Arizona Cardinals (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
The Eagles snapped their 10 game home losing streak before the bye against the Redskins, beating them 24-16 in a game that wasn’t really even as close as that final score. The big difference was they had Nick Foles under center. Foles proved his first home start of the season, against the Cowboys, was a fluke. That game is clearly the outlier of his season, as he completed 11 of 29 for 80 yards against the Cowboys’ terrible defense there.
On the season, he’s playing out of his mind, completing 63.6% of his passes for an average of 9.59 YPA, 16 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He’s the real deal. He might not consistently go 162 attempts without throwing an interception and 7 of his 16 touchdowns did come in one game, but he’s proven himself as a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. His coaching situation doesn’t hurt. Like he did with Michael Vick, Chip Kelly is getting the most of Foles.
On one hand, I don’t want to lose more money going against Nick Foles (Washington was my Pick of the Week last week). However, I also don’t want to overcorrect and be all over Nick Foles. Foles could struggle, by his 2013 standards, off of the bye now that he’s officially been anointed the starter and now that he’s had two weeks to hear how good he is. Arizona is also by far the toughest defense he’s faced thus far this season. There’s a big difference between Arizona and Washington, who has one of the worst defenses in the NFL and has since proven themselves as one of the worst overall teams in the NFL. The Eagles’ win over them doesn’t seem as impressive now. There also still might be something to the Eagles’ home struggles.
On paper, the Cardinals appear to be the better team, which is not what this line would suggest. The Cardinals rank 9th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 73% rate, as opposed to 70% for their opponents. The Eagles, meanwhile, rank 20th, moving the chains at a 76% rate, as opposed to 77% for their opponents. The Eagles are better than that now that Foles is under center, but I’m still concerned about their defense and I’m concerned about how Foles will handle Arizona’s tough defense, especially now that he’s had two weeks to hear how great he is.
The Cardinals are also in a good spot as they are a distraction free underdog, hosting the Rams next week. Teams are 114-85 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional home favorites. Again, I don’t want to lose anything else betting against Foles and I really wish we were getting more than a field goal with the Cardinals because I think this could be a field goal game, but I’m taking the Cardinals for a no confidence pick.
Philadelphia Eagles 24 Arizona Cardinals 23
Pick against spread: Arizona +3