How much is NFL strength of schedule worth for a team when basing it completely off the combined winning percentage of its opponents from the previous season? There is some value, but it's not the be-all, end-all. Going by that metric, however, the Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest 2021 slate. The Eagles are given an Over/Under win total of 6.5 games via oddsmakers, while the SportsLine Projection Model forecasts the Eagles to win 5.5 games next season after going a hugely disappointing 4-11-1 in 2020.
Regarding the added 17th game this season, the Eagles were fourth in the NFC East and thus will visit the New York Jets, who finished fourth in the AFC East. The Jets' 2-14 record obviously makes Philly's 2021 slate that much easier. The Eagles' 17 opponents were a combined 117-155-0 last season, a winning percentage of .430. It obviously also helps Philly that not a single NFC East team finished with a winning record.
Philadelphia will open 2021 with a new starting quarterback in Jalen Hurts, who was handed that role when Carson Wentz was traded to Indianapolis, and a new coaching staff headed by head coach Nick Sirianni.
Hurts was 1-3 SU and 2-2 against the spread as the late-season replacement for Wentz. Hurts wasn't super-accurate in completing only 52 percent of his passes, but he definitely brought a running element with 354 yards and three TDs on 63 carries overall, a 5.6-yards-per-carry average. His new backup is Joe Flacco.
Ironically, Sirianni is the former offensive coordinator of Wentz's new team. When the Eagles hired Sirianni to replace Doug Pederson, some in the NFL thought that was a good sign for Wentz NOT being traded. Philadelphia entered the offseason with one of the worst salary cap situations in the NFL -- Wentz will count nearly $34 million in dead cap space, a league record.
Philadelphia Eagles trends/William Hill Sportsbook odds
- 2020 record: 4-11-1 (6-10 against the spread, 7-9 Over/Under)
- 2021 strength of schedule rank: 32nd (combined opponents' winning percentage of .430)
- 2021 Over/Under win total: 6.5
- SportsLine Projection Model forecasted wins: 5.5
- Odds to win Super Bowl 56: +6000
- To win NFC: +2800
- To win NFC East: +425
- To make playoffs: No -350, yes +280
- NFL MVP odds: Jalen Hurts +8000
Philadelphia Eagles Home Opponents
- Dallas Cowboys: Philly has won and covered the past two at home in the series, winning 23-9 last year
- New York Giants: While the Eagles have won seven straight at home in the series, they are 0-4 ATS in the past four
- Washington Football Team: Eagles' three-game SU home winning streak ended in a 20-14 loss in 2020
- New Orleans Saints: Saints were in Philadelphia last December and upset 24-21
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady's last-ever game in Philly? Bucs last visited in 2015
- Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City has won and covered the past two, last in 2017 in KC
- Los Angeles Chargers: Bolts are 1-3 ATS in the past four meetings, but covered most recent one in 2017
- San Francisco 49ers: Eagles are 3-6 ATS in past nine home meetings but covered last one in 2017
Philadelphia Eagles Road Opponents
- Dallas Cowboys: America's Team has won and covered the past three in Big D in series
- New York Giants: Eagles were -4.5 on Nov. 15, 2020 in New Jersey and lost 27-17
- Washington Football Team: Teams have split the past 10 in Maryland both SU & ATS
- Atlanta Falcons: Philly last won and covered in Atlanta in 2009 (0-3 SU & ATS since)
- Carolina Panthers: Five all-time meetings in Charlotte, and Eagles are 3-2 SU & ATS
- Las Vegas Raiders: Eagles' first-ever trip to Vegas; they are 2-2 SU & ATS in past four "at" Raiders
- Denver Broncos: Denver has won and covered past three at home, last a 52-20 rout in 2013
- Detroit Lions: Detroit on three-game ATS winning streak at home in series (last in 2016)
- New York Jets: Philadelphia is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in past five as road team in series
The full NFL schedule should be released in early May. The Eagles will be looking to avoid back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since going 7-9 in 2015 & '16. That first season was the final one where Chip Kelly was head coach, and the 2016 campaign was Pederson's and Wentz's first year.
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