Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Philadelphia -2½ over Miami
8:20 PM EST. Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles finally tripped up last Sunday. The New York Jets’ defense gained momentum steadily in their Week 6 contest, forcing Hurts into bad throws and untimely interceptions as the Eagles’ lead continuously slipped away. A terrible throw, one of the worst passes we’ve seen from Hurts in his career, gave the Jets a short field late in the fourth quarter and an opportunity to upset Philly at home. And that they did. In recent history the Eagles aren’t a program that has two bad games in a row, however, and they’ll need to quickly correct their flaws this weekend if they hope to hang with the high-octane Miami Dolphins.
After a dip in performance in Week 4 against the Bills, the Dolphins are flying high again and all over sports media as a team that could contend for a Super Bowl.. At home their offense has been historic: 143 points in three games this season. Their defense has played well in Miami too – just 57 points allowed. Away from the sun and fun of South Florida, their marks have been a bit different. Ignoring their Week 1 game at Los Angeles, hardly a home-field advantage in the ideal weather and shallow fan base of the Chargers, in two other road contests the Dolphins weren’t as prolific. In Week 2 they eked by the Patriots in a contest they were lucky to win. More turnovers and questionable calls by the referees stymied New England’s chances to tie the game late, but the Dolphins did just enough to gain a W. In Week 4, Miami was blown out 48-20 by Buffalo. They only converted three of their ten third down conversions, succumbing to a swarming Bills’ defense in enemy territory.
Now we’re not saying the Dolphins aren’t as dangerous on the road – they can and will win many away games this season. This is a highly potent offense and a defense that’s growing under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who’s clearly changed the culture and ferocity of their resistance. What we are saying is that a chilly, windy night in south Philly is hardly the atmosphere where we’ve seen the Dolphins play their best.
We must note the Eagles’ injuries because they’re starting to stack up. Starting WR Devonta Smith is dealing with a hamstring injury, something we’ve seen many receivers struggle through and it can certainly limit production. We’re not overly excited about an old and possibly washed up Julio Jones signing this past week by the Eagles, but Smith’s injury might be one reason why they did. Veteran all-pro right tackle Lane Johnson is also dealing with a setback (ankle) and he’s unlikely to play Sunday night. Cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Reed Blankenship, both key members of their pass-defense, are both questionable and haven’t participated in practices this week. Jalen Carter, the rookie defensive tackle who’s been an immediate force in the Eagles’ interior line, was limited in practice this week but hopes to play.
It’s been over two years since the Eagles lost back-to-back games with Jalen Hurts as their starting QB. Injuries or not, Philadelphia has leaned on Jason Kelce and one of the most elite offensive lines the game has ever seen. While the Eagles’ defense will have its challenges, especially if they’re without some of their stars, a raucous Philly crowd and a vengeful roster after their loss last week should amplify their level of play. As much as we love watching Mike McDaniels’ offense and how exciting they can play, they have yet to defeat an elite team on the road. Just go back to their 2022 schedule and you’ll see what we mean. Until there’s more proof that Tua and the gang can look as potent away from Miami, we can’t fade a fired up Eagles’ squad at home, especially if we’re getting under a field goal.
Philadelphia -2½ -111 (Risking 2.22 units - To Win: 2.00)