Fresh off making a big trade last week with one another, funnily enough the Bills will take on the Eagles in Week 2 of the pre-season. Last week, the Bills made a flurry of intriguing moves as they continue in their attempt to rebuild and get more flexible with cap considerations. Buffalo shipped out oft-injured wideout Sammy Watkins to Los Angeles, and then in a separate deal got back Jordan Matthews from the Eagles. And then in true Buffalo fashion, Matthews was hurt in his first practice and will be out a while. Buffalo had a dreary start last week, losing a clunker to the Vikings. Not much is expected from the Bills in 2017, but you can bet they’ll be looking for improvements on all fronts against Philly.
For the Eagles, this is a much better group than the one that finished last season. Carson Wentz has another year under his belt, and the experienced and talented Nick Foles is right behind him. That QB depth should play well in the pre-season, though last week’s showing was pretty abysmal against an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay team. Philly dropped a 24-9 contest, though you can bet they’ll be more focused coming home in front of their own fans.
Week One of the pre-season is always a tricky one to handicap, though with the starters getting progressively more playing time as the exhibition campaign continues, game plans begin to get clearer. Read on below for a game breakdown and betting pick to kick off Week 2 of the pre-season between the Bills and Eagles.
Bills vs. Eagles Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +5 (-110)
@ Philadelphia Eagles -5 (-110)
Over 39 (-110)
Under 39 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Eagles Pick:
Bills head coach Sean McDermott came out yesterday and said their starters will likely see a substantial amount of action on Thursday evening – likely about a quarter and a half. That’s a pretty big amount of time and reps for Week Two of the pre-season, but it’ll be good to see what Buffalo has to offer before the real thing gets going in September. Personally, I see a lot of doom and gloom for the lowly Bills in 2017.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles have a lot of new faces but it seems like they’ll wait again until next week to unleash them altogether. Philly’s starters are likely only expected to play 1 or 2 drives, and it has been reported that Nick Foles doesn’t expect to play, while star wideout Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable. Head coach Doug Pederson did mention yesterday though that he’d like to get Jeffery in there. Even though Philly has superior talent to Buffalo, it still doesn’t seem like it’ll be on display for the home crowd just yet.
Buffalo will want to make amends for last week, and they enter with some solid health – especially at the QB position. Tyrod Taylor will play for a while by the sounds of it, while T.J. Yates and Nathan Peterman have both looked impressive. Peterman is a young rookie who is pushing Yates hard for the backup spot on the depth chart. Both will want to make solid impressions on Thursday night.
Sometimes betting in the pre-season isn’t about betting on the quality of the first-teamers, it’s more about figuring out coaching game plans and how long they’ll be in for. For Thursday’s clash, it’s clear that the Bills’ first-teamers will be in there a lot longer than Philadelphia’s – if we take the coaching staffs at their word. Buffalo has solid QB depth beyond Tyrod Taylor, and with no Nick Foles slated to play, it’ll be a lot of an unimpressive Matt McGloin for Philadelphia. That bodes well for Buffalo, and with them getting five points in an exhibition contest, I’m inclined to lean heavily for the Bills on Thursday night.
PICK = Bills +5 (-110)