Philadelphia Eagles (7-0) at Houston Texans (1-5-1)
A week ago on the early line, the Eagles were favored by 9 points in this matchup with the Texans in Houston, but this line has since shifted all the way up to 14. Normally I like to fade significant week-to-week line movements like that because they tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play, but in this case, I think the original line was always too low and the line movement was needed for this line to be around the correct number.
The Eagles may not be the best team in the league, despite being the league’s last undefeated team at 7-0, as they have benefited significantly from a +14 turnover margin (+8 more than any other team), which is not predictive week-to-week, while ranking just 5th in schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive. However, they are still one of the best teams in the league any way you look at it, while the Texans are arguably the worst team in the league, ranking dead last in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 10 points below average and 4 points worse than any other team in the league.
The Texans were similarly bad last season too, actually finishing 13 points below average and 5 points worse than any other team in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency. They’re a more talented team this season than they were last season, but not significantly so and they are missing several key players with injury right now, including edge defender Jonathan Greenard, wide receiver Nico Collins, and interior defender Maliek Collins. Without those three, my roster rankings have them about seven points below average.
Overall, I have the Texans eight points below average, giving us a calculated line of Philadelphia -14.5, with the Eagles about 8.5 points above average. Obviously we’ve lost all line value with the Eagles in the past week because of the significant line movement, but they should still be the right side for pick ‘em purposes, in what should be a blowout. I can’t take the Eagles with any confidence at such a high number, but, either way, I don’t expect this game to be close.
Philadelphia Eagles 31 Houston Texans 16
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -14