After opening as 1.5-point home favorites against the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles are now favored by 2.5 points in the NFC Championship Game. All according to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The initial spread would have had the 49ers as 1.5-point favorites on neutral ground. Now the line has San Fran as a 0.5 point favorite in this hypothetical situation.
Don’t get me wrong, the Niners are a very good team. We highlighted this in our Divisional Round rooting guide, where we laid out the case for rooting the Dallas Cowboys to come to Lincoln Financial Field:
The 49ers are better than the Cowboys. Any type of relevant objective metric indicates as much. San Fran leads the NFL in point differential (+48 above Dallas). They are the No. 1 team overall according to the Pro Football Focus rankings. They are the highest ranked team in weighted DVOA. They are fourth in offensive EPA per play and first in defensive EPA per play while Dallas ranks 10th and second respectively. Some would say facing Brock Purdy is better than facing Dak Prescott…but it’s not just about the quarterback in this case. Also, the Eagles were very close to beating Dak with Gardner Minshew on Christmas Eve. The thought here is that the Birds are generally a better match for the Cowboys while the 49ers might have some answers for Philly’s offense.
You can bet the 49ers are going to fight The Linc. They’re a solid, physical team riding a 12-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since the Kansas City Chiefs beat them by 21 points on Oct. 23.
That being said, shouldn’t the Eagles be a bit more respected? The way they just crushed the New York Giants was pretty impressive. The Birds won’t have a large talent gap in their favor against the 49ers like they did against the G-Men. But they will be have a quarterback advantage and an intense home crowd working in their favor.
While the Eagles’ win over the Giants was a redux of their January 2018 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the feeling here is that this 49ers game will be more like Philly’s battle against the Atlanta Falcons. Things were tense in this match, with the Eagles needing a goal to finish with the win, 15-10. It could very well be another low-scoring affair at The Linc.
Ultimately, I’m not sure Jalen Hurts is anyone to bet against right now. This Eagles team as a whole deserved the benefit of the doubt. It won’t be easy…but I think they’re getting there and covering the spread.
What you say?