Now that the Super Bowl no one in Philadelphia wanted to watch is over, let’s start looking at what really matters: The Eagles’ chances to end this one-year drought and rightfully reclaim their title next February.
Vegas, of course, wasted no time posting odds for Super Bowl LIV. Let’s be honest: It’s no easy feat predicting now who’ll be bathed in confetti next February. There’s no news yet about free agency, the draft, trades, waivers, retirements and injuries. You’re throwing a dart in the dark.
So why do the casinos offer you a chance to bet now? Because they know you will. And why will you? Because it’s fun to take an uninformed flyer once in a while. Occasionally it works out. Hey, it got really close for Biff Tannen betting on the 2015 World Series in “Back to the Future II.”
Last June I was honored to place the first-ever sports bet at Delaware Park, getting stingy 9/2 odds on the Eagles to repeat. That didn’t work out, although the ride was fun at the end.
This year, the early number shows our favorite team earning no such respect. The first numbers from Las Vegas had the Birds at 20/1 (BetOnLine and SuperBook USA). In both cases they are tied for 10th with the likes of the Colts, Packers and (ugh) Cowboys.
At first glance, that seems like a good deal. Unless you’re just looking to grab early action, however, my advice is to hold back.
Logically, it’s way too early to predict the direction this team is headed. Leaving aside the departure of Nick Foles, there is uncertainty at these position groups: Running back, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and secondary.
Is Jason Peters returning one more season at left tackle? And if a shredded Achilles sidelines Brandon Brooks, who replaces the Pro Bowl left guard? Is Isaac Seumalo (gulp) really going to be handed a starting job?
There is doubt about the return of so many of our recent heroes: Brandon Graham. Darren Sproles. Chris Long. Jordan Hicks. Ronald Darby. Hey, we haven’t even considered the likelihood that Wentz will fully heal from his injury and return to MVP form one year later.
Please understand I’m not saying the Eagles can’t have a marvelous journey and end up at Super Bowl LIV, Feb. 2, 2020 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. It’s going to require GM Howie Roseman to have a masterful off-season – just as he did two years ago.
Meanwhile, I’d wait for more meaningful odds to come out in the summer when the oddsmakers have a better sense of what teams are about. If you really want to invest in something right now, I’d suggest booking early airfare for that February weekend in Miami. Even if the Eagles don’t make it, there are worst places to be that time of year.