Wentz, Eagles off to dream 3-0 start

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Perhaps the only thing to slow down the Philadelphia Eagles is the schedule maker.

Rookie QB Carson Wentz has led the “Iggles” to a perfect 3-0 start, displaying the poise, decision making and overall talent that made him the second pick in the draft back in the spring. But equally as impressive has been the play of the Philly defense under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

In their 34-3 domination of Pittsburgh last week the Eagles made the Steelers offense look anemic. Pittsburgh was held to just 4.3 yards per play in gaining just 251 yards of offense, including rushing for just 29 yards on 10 carries.

An angry bunch of Steelers will take the field Sunday night at Kansas City. But the Eagles will have to wait another week before resuming their quest for a 4-0 start as Philly, along with Green Bay, are the first teams to have their byes, just four weeks into the season.

Joining Philadelphia at 3-0 are Minnesota in the NFC and Baltimore, Denver and New England from the AFC.

The Patriots remain a remarkable organization and after talk of a 3-1 or 2-2 start to the season with starting QB Tom Brady serving his suspension the Pats are favored to start 4-0 should they defeat AL East rival Buffalo on Sunday.

The Bills avoided an 0-3 start with an impressive home win over Arizona, a win that takes away some value from playing on the Bills in Sunday’s game against the Pats.

Chicago, Cleveland and Jacksonville remain winless after three games and New Orleans can be added to that list if the Saints were upset at home by Atlanta this past Monday night.

Pending Monday night’s result between the Saints and Falcons, favorites were 22-22 ATS with 3 games closing at Pick. Of the 22 covers by Underdogs, 18 have been outright upset wins. The pointspread has mattered just 4 times with favorites winning SU but losing ATS.

Double digit favorites are 2-2 ATS. Totals players have seen 26 games go OVER, 21 UNDER with teams averaging 45.0 combined points per game.

Only 7 of the first 47 games have been decided by 21 points or more whereas 16 games have been decided by 4 points or less or have been decided by a touchdown in overtime.

With Green Bay and Philadelphia starting the cycle of Byes, here’s a look at the 15 games on the Week 4 schedule.


Miami +7 at Cincinnati (44.5): The Bengals should find the Miami defense much more permissive than Denver’s while Miami’s offense should continue to improve under new coach Adam Gase. OVER.


Indy -2.5 vs. Jacksonville (49.5): at London, England – Indianapolis’ defense continues to be a major weakness. When strength matches up against strength and weakness matches up against weakness the preference is to back the team with the much better defense here. JACKSONVILLE.

Cleveland +10 at Washington (45.5): Washington’s defense and the lack of a running game allows for plenty of room for the Browns to be competitive in this spot even if they come up short on the scoreboard. CLEVELAND.

Buffalo NL at New England: The New England QB situation likely keeps this game off the boards until late in the week but the Pats will be favored by under a TD after Buffalo’s outstanding effort in handling Arizona last week. Buffalo ran the ball well against a tough Arizona defense and the Pats have rushed for over 160 yards in each of their last two games. UNDER.

Seattle NL at NY Jets: The status of Seattle QB Russell Wilson kept this game off the boards at the start of the week. Expect the Seahawks to be favored by just under a FG. The Jets return home after a pair road games and have another pair of road games up next, making this a vital game to win given those scheduling dynamics. NY JETS.

Carolina NL at Atlanta: Atlanta played Monday night at New Orleans and should come between a FG and TD underdog against a Carolina team smarting from its 22-10 home loss to Minnesota. Expect the Panthers to bounce back from last week and avoid a 1-3 start with a big effort against the only team to defeat Carolina in the 2015 regular season. CAROLINA.

Detroit -2.5 at Chicago (46): Both offenses have had more success passing the football and neither defense has played especially well, suggesting big play potential for both quarterbacks. OVER.

Tennessee +6.5 at Houston (40.5): Fundamentally Houston is the better team and handled the Titans with ease last season, holding them to 6 points in each meeting, both of which the Texans won by double digits. They return to form in this spot. HOUSTON.

Oakland +3.5 at Baltimore (46.5): Baltimore is unbeaten but none of the wins have come easy with margins of 6, 5 and 2. The Ravens are a veteran team backed by strong management. The defense has played extremely well and that unit gives them a huge edge over a still developing Oakland offense. BALTIMORE.

Denver -3 at Tampa Bay (44.5): Denver’s strength is defense but the Buccs will present a challenge as QB Jameis Winston continues his development. Although an upset is possible the better play might be to look for both offenses to have success. OVER.

Dallas -3 at San Francisco (46): Dallas improved to 2-1 with an impressive home win over Chicago. San Francisco was in a bad spot last week at Seattle and lost handily. But the Niners are showing signs of improvement under coach Chip Kelly and return home after a pair of road losses. This one has solid upset potential. SAN FRANCISCO.

New Orleans NL at San Diego: New Orleans is off of Monday night’s home game against Division rival Atlanta. Both defenses have been vulnerable to the pass and prior to Monday night both had allowed over 300 passing yards in each game. OVER.

Los Angeles +8 at Arizona (43.5): The Rams offense will be tested by a tough Arizona defense that was torched for 208 rushing yards, including 76 from QB Tyrod Taylor. Arizona QB Carson Palmer was intercepted 4 times in the loss. Whereas the Rams remain a work in progress the Cardinals are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Do not be surprised if this game unfolds much like last week’s game between the Seahawks and 49ers. ARIZONA.

KC +5.5 at Pittsburgh (47.5): Perhaps no result this season will be a stunning as Pittsburgh’s 34-3 loss to Philadelphia last week. The Chiefs are a sound football team that usually wins without flash. Here they face a contender off of an ugly loss. Such teams often rebound with a strong effort especially when they don’t take the opponent lightly as should be the case here this Sunday. PITTSBURGH.


NY Giants +4 at Minnesota (43.5): Minnesota’s 3-0 start has been very impressive given the loss of their starting QB in the preseason and starting RB in Week 2. Each of the Giants’ first three games has been decided by a FG or less which makes a case for taking the points with the better offense and an above average defense. NY GIANTS.

Last week: 9-6

Season: 32-14-1

(not including MNF)

About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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