The Oakland Raiders will travel to CenturyLink Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take on the NFC leading Eagles. This Christmas day matchup will kick off at 8:30 PM/ET.
The Eagles (12-2) are coming off a victory over the New York Giants. The Giants have struggled all season, so it was surprising that this game was competitive. The Giants led for a good part of the day. Philadelphia, however, managed to make a comeback and then finished the day by holding off New York’s late surge. While team records don’t matter much in divisional games, it’s still surprising that Philadelphia’s defense was unable to stop New York’s inept offense.
The Raiders (6-8) are still holding on the playoff hunt, but their chances are fading fast. Oakland needs a lot of help to get into the playoffs, and a win against the Eagles on Christmas day will mean nothing if several other teams don’t win as well.
The Eagles are soaring towards home field throughout the playoffs.
Last week, the Eagles clinched a first-round bye when they defeated the Giants. If Philadelphia can win against the Raiders on Christmas day, then they’ll clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Philadelphia is 6-0 at home this year, and with two weeks remaining in the regular season, it’s very likely that Philadelphia won’t have to travel for another game until the Super Bowl if they should make it.
The only thing stopping the Philadelphia hype train is their week 15 performance. The Eagles defense looked extremely vulnerable facing the Giants. According to NFL Stats, the Giants have the 23rd ranked offense.
Eli Manning put on his best performance of the season, throwing 3 touchdowns and completing 37 passes. Philadelphia eventually came back and managed to hold off the Giants, thanks in part to their high-flying offense. With the playoffs just around the corner, and the competition bound to improve, the Eagles’ defense is potentially their greatest weakness.
The Raiders last stand.
The Raiders are on the cusp of being eliminated from the playoffs. They’ve had a wildly inconsistent season. A vintage performance by Derek Carr, however, could help keep their season alive.
Last week against the Cowboys, Carr played well throwing for 2 touchdowns on the day. Despite the loss, Oakland attempted a valiant comeback, coming from 10 points down at the half and then seven points down to tie the game twice.
Unfortunately, an ill-timed fumble into the end zone by Carr cost the Raiders a chance to win or tie the game.
According to NFL Stats, the Raiders defense ranks 22nd in yards allowed per game and 19th in points allowed per game. Oakland’s offense lacks the explosiveness needed to keep pace with the Eagles, so the Raiders’ defense will need to step up and try to disrupt an Eagles offense that’s been dominant, even with Carson Wentz sidelined.
Eagles vs Raiders Betting Lines
BetOnline.ag has the Eagles favored to win the game by 9.5 points. The over/under on total points scored is 47.5. You can read our full BetOnline review here.
Surprisingly, Oakland ranks 7th in the NFL in terms of third-down percentage, according to NFL Stats. By comparison, the Eagles rank 2nd in the league. The Raiders will need to play a perfect game to overcome a vastly superior Eagles squad. Even without Carson Wentz, this Eagles team is special. The Eagles will have a first-round bye, but securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs is a major victory for Philadelphia. Oakland will know by the end of the day Sunday if they’re playoff hopes are still alive.
The Raiders need at least three teams to win on Sunday to keep their playoff chances alive, and the most unlikely of those teams is Miami. If the Dolphins can upset Oakland’s division rival Kansas City, then Oakland will still have something to play for. Don’t expect that to happen though. The Eagles will likely win this game, but expect Oakland to keep this game close and cover the spread.
Play: Raiders +9.5 @ BetOnline.ag
2017 Monday Night Football • Oakland Raiders betting Pick • Philadelphia Eagles betting pick