The Philadelphia Eagles look for their first win of the 2020 NFL season when they travel to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
After soundly defeating the Giants 36-9 with backups forced into action, San Francisco is getting reinforcements this week in the form of star tight end George Kittle and possibly speedster Deebo Samuel.
For Philadelphia, the team has had a disastrous start, coming off a surprising tie to the Bengals, owners of this past year’s top pick. Injuries are already piling up in Philadelphia, as has been the tradition for the Eagles the last few years.
The Niners are weathering their storm of offensive injuries and have proven to be a more complete squad, albeit against two of the bottom teams in the NFL (Jets and Giants). Philadelphia is off to its worst start since 2015 and losing offensive weapons left and right.
New Man In Charge
The timing favors San Francisco at home to cover the seven points here against the reeling Eagles. It’s looking like Nick Mullens will be making the start at quarterback again for the Niners, replacing injured starter Jimmy Garoppolo. The 25-year-old backup isn’t going to win you games on his own, but he’s capable of moving the chains and getting the ball to his playmakers.
His biggest playmaker will be Kittle, who is undoubtedly licking his chops at the opportunity to go against an Eagles team that gave up three touchdowns to Rams tight end Tyler Higbee in Week 2.
Trouble At The Top
The Eagles’ issues begin with quarterback Carson Wentz. Many pegged Wentz as a dark-horse MVP candidate this year, given this was his first offseason not coming off surgery since 2017, along with new and improved weapons in the passing game.
These weapons, first-round rookie receiver Jalen Reagor, veteran speedster DeSean Jackson, 2019 second-round wideout JJ Arcega-Whiteside and starting tight end Dallas Goedert, are all expected to miss this week’s contest, leaving Wentz with a cast of characters similar to last year, when the Eagles started 5-7. Reagor and Goedert have already been placed on injured reserve.
Unfortunately for Eagles fans and those who have bet on them to cover so far this year (0-3 ATS), Wentz himself has been the problem. He has missed easy throws, held the ball for too long, and turned it over at a blistering pace (six INTs in three games).
He looks to be a shell of the player he was in his first four years, and until he can fix his accuracy issues, it’s best to stay away from betting on this team.
Eagles at 49ers Betting Picks
Since the beginning of 2018, the 49ers are 5-8-1 ATS as the home favorite, while the Eagles are 5-4 ATS as road underdogs. One trend going in Philadelphia’s favor: San Francisco is 0-7 ATS in its last seven home games when favored by seven points.
If you are considering taking the Eagles to cover the seven points, their best hope will be on the back of their rising star runner, second-year man Miles Sanders. The 49ers suffered two big defensive losses with defensive ends Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both out for the year. On paper, their second-ranked run defense looks stingy until you consider their two games against both New York teams, who lack a playmaker out of the backfield.
The best recipe for a struggling QB is to hand the ball off, and Sanders is averaging 95 rushing yards a game. Keep an eye on the runner’s rushing prop bet this Sunday, as he has gone over both games he’s been active in this year.
This line opened at -3 last week and has since ballooned to -7 on the back of Philadelphia’s tie game last Sunday. This Eagles team is depleted and playing as poorly as anyone in the NFL to start 2020.
Whether they right the ship starts and ends with their quarterback. With Wentz’s top receivers this week being Greg Ward and John Hightower, the safe bet is to ride the more consistent team.
The pick: 49ers -7