Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Brief for NFL Wild Card Weekend. In this column, we’ll review some recent sports betting news in the Keystone State and spotlight some potentially advantageous betting opportunities as well.
The NFL postseason is here, and Pennsylvania sports fans have some skin in the game. No, the Steelers couldn’t quite overcome the mountain of obstacles in their way to squeak into the playoffs, dropping their last three games. But, the other NFL squad in the state, the Eagles, did manage to beat some long odds and live to play in January. We’ll start by looking a special DraftKings Sportsbook promotion that commemorates Philly’s playoff participation before offering betting takes on both their Wild Card game against the Seahawks this Sunday and their futures odds on winning Super Bowl 54.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Industry News
DraftKings Sportsbook Gives Eagles Fans Hope, Opportunity With Special Postseason Promo
The Philadelphia Eagles already arguably defied the odds by getting into the NFL postseason. Racked with injuries on the offensive side of the ball, the Birds managed to sweep their three NFC East mates over the last four games (they defeated the Giants twice) to clinch a division crown that appeared to be a pipe dream when they entered December with a 5-7 record. Nevertheless, not only is Philly “in the tournament”, it’s even hosting a playoff game versus the Seahawks on Sunday open things up.
In commemoration, DK Sportsbook is offering a promotional special to Keystone State bettors that expires five minutes before Sunday’s 4:40pm ET kickoff. Pennsylvania residents physically located within the state can take advantage of 100/1 odds on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl with a wager of up to $5. To take advantage of the offer, users must Opt-In from the Sportsbook Promotion page on the DK Sportsbook’s web interface or mobile app. Following the Opt-In, users will be issued a single-use Boost for use on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFL Championship 2019/2020. In order to apply the special pricing, bettors must select the boost in their betslips.
With the likes of the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and even Sunday’s opponent, the Seahawks, in its way, Philadelphia is clearly a long shot to even make it out of the NFC, much less win it all. But DK Sportsbook is at least offering home-state fans a bit of optimism and a chance for a nice return on a modest investment with this offer.
This Week’s Best Bets at PA Sportsbooks
NFL Wild Card Weekend
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks — 4:40 p.m. ET
- DraftKings Sportsbook Point Spread/Odds: +1.5 (-109)
- FOX Bet Point Spread/Odds: +1.5 (-110)
- FanDuel Sportsbook Point Spread/Odds: +1.5 (-115)
- Rivers Casino Point Spread/Odds: +1.5 (-109)
By most accounts, the Seahawks had a much better 2019 season than the Eagles. Not only was Seattle’s 11-5 record appreciably better than Philadelphia’s 9-7, they were seemingly more battle tested. While the biggest obstacle to a division title for Philly was an underachieving Cowboys squad, the Seahawks were doing battle with the San Francisco 49ers until the very last down of the regular season. But, in a time of year when the hottest teams are the ones which often win it all, it’s the Eagles with the decided advantage. They went on a 4-0 run to finish the regular season while Seattle limped to the finish line with a 1-3 mark.
The two teams did meet this past regular season. The Seahawks managed a 17-9 win at Lincoln Financial Field back in Week 12. Both defenses took center stage. Russell Wilson posted his second-lowest completion percentage of the season (52.0) while Carson Wentz threw two interceptions. The Eagles enter this rematch seemingly capable of playing similarly impressive defense, if the last quarter of their season is any indication. Philadelphia held three of its last four opponents to 17 points or fewer, although again, two of those games were against the inconsistent Giants.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks come into Sunday’s game with just 36 combined points in their three December losses. What’s more, their offense is getting close to being as decimated as the Eagles’ is. On Seattle’s end, it’s the running backs that have taken a beating. Chris Carson (hip), Rashaad Penny (knee) and C.J. Prosise (arm) are all on IR after suffering their respective injuries in December. They just-arrived duo of Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin now combine with rookie Travis Homer to form the Seahawks’ backfield. Their matchup versus the Philly front seven ranks as the NFL’s toughest, however. The Eagles allowed the fewest rushing yards per home game (77.2) during the regular season. Wilson also faces an unenviable task in the form of the Philly secondary. The Eagles’ ability to limit the multi-time Pro Bowler in their previous encounter was no fluke; the Eagles finished the season allowing the fourth-fewest passing yards per home contest (196.4).
On the Eagles’ side, Wentz will once again be forced to work with a makeshift group of receivers. Nelson Agholor (knee) has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game. That means the wideout corps will be helmed by Greg Ward, Deontay Burnett and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. That relatively nondescript group would ideally be supplemented by a healthy tight end duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Yet only the latter may be on the field Sunday. Ertz remains questionable with rib and back injuries. He practiced in limited fashion all week but has yet to be cleared for contact as of Friday night. The matchup versus a Seahawks secondary that allowed 261.4 pass yards per road contest would otherwise be a very favorable one were it not for the poor health afflicting the offense.
But on a more positive note, Miles Sanders, who was forced from the Week 17 win against the Giants with an ankle injury, won’t carry any designation into Sunday’s game and is ready to log a normal workload. Jordan Howard is healthy as well after returning from a shoulder injury last week. However, Boston Scott, who compiled 128 total yards and three rushing touchdowns in Sanders’ stead against New York, is now a more proven commodity that can be liberally mixed in by coach Doug Pederson. Both Sanders and Scott are also certainly more than capable of serving as additional reinforcements for the depleted passing game.
While the Seahawks are undoubtedly a quality team, the Eagles defense has the talent to make life difficult on their offense through both the ground and air. I therefore lean toward the hotter team managing a cover here at a minimum, if not an outright upset.
The Lean: Eagles +1.5
Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl 54 Futures
- DraftKings Sportsbook Point Spread/Odds: +3000
- FOX Bet Point Spread/Odds: +3500
- FanDuel Sportsbook Point Spread/Odds: +3500
- Rivers Casino Point Spread/Odds: +3000
As previously mentioned, the Eagles went from the ranks of also-rans to division champs in short order during the last month of the regular season. However, the oddsmakers clearly and rightfully still see an arduous path for them to the Lombardi Trophy. Yet Philadelphia isn’t the longest shot by far as the playoffs begin. In each of the four sportsbooks cited above, the Texans, Vikings, Bills and Titans all carry longer odds of winning it all than the Eagles.
The issue for Philly first and foremost is the caliber of competition in the NFC. After this Sunday’s home game against the Seahawks, the Eagles appear destined for back-to-back road playoff games. Assuming Philadelphia beats Seattle, the only other potential survivor in the NFC past this weekend with a lower seeding going in would be the Vikings. Minnesota would have to beat New Orleans at the Superdome on Saturday to advance, certainly no small task. It’s also worth noting the Vikes toppled the Eagles by a 38-20 score earlier this season as well.
The 49ers, Packers and Saints — all three teams with a higher seeding than Philadelphia — posted a combined 39-9 regular-season record. That includes a combined 19-5 home mark. The Eagles did pull out an improbable, last-minute win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field this season and didn’t face either the Niners or Saints. Philadelphia was obviously a lot healthier on offense when they faced off with the Packers than they are at this point. And that, more than any other factor, naturally seems be influencing these prices. When it comes time to winning in the postseason, particularly on the road, an offense missing the top three receivers (Alshon Jeffery, Agholor and DeSean Jackson) it started the season with is more than likely not up to the task.