NFL Betting: Crucial Week 14 Game for Division-Leading Lions and Eagles
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Dec. 6, 2013
If the 2013 NFL playoffs started today, the Detroit Lions would be the third seed and win their first NFC North title ever – they last won a division in 1993 when it was the Central. The Philadelphia Eagles would be on the outside looking in even though they are tied for the NFC East lead. Both the Lions and Eagles are 7-5 and have a worse record than the final current wild-card team, the 49ers. Thus Sunday afternoon’s game is vital for both clubs to win. Philadelphia is a 3-point home favorite at Bovada with Live Betting available.
Detroit looks in great shape to win the North because it has a one-game lead over second-place Chicago and 1.5 games over No. 3 Green Bay. The Bears and Packers are still playing with backup quarterbacks. The Lions also hold the tiebreaker over both teams and are done playing them. So it would really take a terrible four-game end of the year for Detroit not to win the division. They are a -500 favorite to do so at Bovada.
The Lions will have had a little extra time to prepare for the Philly offense as they last played on Thanksgiving, ending a nine-game losing streak on Turkey Day with a 40-10 victory over the Packers. Green Bay took a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter, which simply awoke the Lions to the tune of 37 straight points. Matthew Stafford threw for 330 yards and three scores, Reggie Bush rushed for 117 and a TD and Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
When Stafford, Bush and Johnson are all going like that, the Lions offense is as good as any in the NFL. The Lions finished with a 435-yard advantage over the Packers in total offense, Detroit’s largest single-game yard margin in franchise history. The Lions still can be careless with the ball, as evidenced by their four turnovers versus Green Bay. They are -8 on turnover differential for the season. Detroit is 25/1 to win the Super Bowl and has never reached the game.
Philadelphia would miss the playoffs as things currently stand because Dallas holds the head-to-head tiebreaker courtesy of a Week 7 victory. The Eagles finish the season in Dallas. The Cowboys are -125 to win the NFC East with Philly at even money. Philadelphia and Dallas have equal 33/1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
The Eagles won their fourth straight last Sunday, beating a good Arizona team 24-21. Former backup QB Nick Foles continued his amazing season with three touchdown passes. Foles, the NFC’s Player of the Month for November, has 19 TD passes and no interceptions on the season; he had one picked off against Arizona but it was wiped out by penalty.
The record for TD passes without throwing a pick to start a season is 20, set by Peyton Manning this year. A few weeks ago, Coach Chip Kelly wouldn’t even commit to Foles starting over Michael Vick. After Sunday’s win, Kelly said of Foles: "He’s the starting quarterback for the next 1,000 years here." Foles leads the league with a 125.2 rating, which would be a record.
Philadelphia has won two straight at home after a 10-game losing streak there. The offense isn’t the only reason the team is winning. Philly hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in any of its past eight games. Detroit is No. 2 in the NFL in total offense and averages 27.2 ppg (No. 5). The Lions won 26-23 in overtime at Philadelphia in Week 6 last year, rallying from a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes to tie. Foles didn’t play in that one.