The Philadelphia Eagles are fresh off their first-ever Super Bowl title. But bettors don’t feel as though they’re going to repeat.
“There are a ton of teams that have a lot more action [than the Eagles],” Ed Malinowski — sportsbook director for Stratosphere in Las Vegas — said to ESPN’s David Purdum.
As of Thursday morning, the line has shrunk to Philadelphia minus-1 ahead of their opener against Atlanta. This summer, that line stood as high as Eagles minus-5.5. But Ed Salmons, head football oddsmaker at the Westgate, has an idea as to why.
“No one knows when [Carson] Wentz is going to be back,” Salmons says. “And it became pretty clear to everyone in the preseason, when he didn’t play at all, that he wasn’t going to play Week 1.”
In place of Wentz, Nick Foles gets the call Thursday night. And while he did guide the Eagles to a title, he didn’t have a good preseason. Normally that doesn’t matter, but the Falcons aren’t an easy opponent. They’re a tough early test following a preseason that didn’t exactly go that well.
Logically speaking, it’s difficult to repeat as Super Bowl champions to begin with. Therefore, it’s not too surprising bettors are leaning another way. After all, the Eagles aren’t, say, the New England Patriots.
Right now, the Eagles are 14-1 to win it all this season (at the Westgate). The Patriots, for what it’s worth, are at 6-1. In fact, many expect a third straight Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady and company. We’ll see how much the action changes as the season rolls along.