Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)
The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week at home against the Washington Commanders, but that was primarily because the Commanders converted 13 of 22 on third and fourth downs and won the turnover battle by two, allowing Washington to win despite losing the first down rate battle by 8.09% and the yards per play battle by 1.54. Losses like that tend to be a complete fluke, as first downs and yards tend to be much more predictive than turnover margins and third and fourth downs.
Even after losing the turnover battle last week, the Eagles still lead the league in turnover margin, having a +15 turnover margin across their 8-0 start, and, while turnover margin isn’t predictive, the Eagles also rank 4th in schedule adjusted efficiency, which is much more predictive, and they rank even higher in my roster rankings, which they lead, in part due to the fact that they are one of the healthiest teams in the league. They also have history on their side, as teams tend to bounce back in a big way after a big upset loss like the Eagles had last week (11-point favorites), with teams covering at a 57.7% rate after a loss as favorites of 10 points or more.
The Eagles’ loss last week moved this line from favoring the Eagles by 9.5 to favoring them by 6.5, a big swing, and one that was not justified, as my calculated line still has the Eagles favored by 9.5 points, even before taking into account that they’re in a great spot to bounce back after getting upset last week. The Colts pulled the upset in Las Vegas last week, but they still rank just 24th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about 3.5 points below average, and I’m still skeptical of interim head coach Jeff Saturday long-term. The Colts could also be without starting right tackle Braden Smith after he tweaked his back in practice on Friday and my calculated line would increase if he didn’t play, as he’s arguably their best offensive lineman. There isn’t another game I like more than this one this week, so I’m locking in the Eagles at -6.5 as my Pick of the Week.
Philadelphia Eagles 27 Indianapolis Colts 16
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -6.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week