Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

Two of the NFL’s most dynamic quarterbacks face each other in a game that is vital for both their teams for varying reasons.

For the Eagles, Jalen Hurts enters with his team 9-1 and looking as though they can reach the Super Bowl as they did last year. Hurts has led the Eagles to 26 victories in his last 28 regular season starts. His counterpart, Josh Allen for the Bills also a dual passing and running threat like Hurts sees his side who were expected to one of the major contenders in the AFC almost on life support with a 6-5 record and very much on the outside looking in to the AFC playoff race.

Hurts has thrown for 2,497 yards and rushed for 345 while combining for 24 touchdowns and always provides a challenge for opponents and the same can be said of Allen. He has combined for 3,136 yards and 29 touchdowns in the air and on the ground. His 22 TD passes led the NFL entering Week 12. Allen has struggled at times this season, and his 12 interceptions also topped NFL passers entering Week 12. Allen has thrown at least one pick in seven straight games. His play, and the offence’s struggles in general, led to the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and promotion of quarterbacks coach Joe Brady before the Bills 32-6 rout of the Jets last Sunday.

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If there is one factor that has plagued the Bills more than anything this year it’s turnovers, they have struggled this year with turning the ball over, which comes back to haunt them in close losses to teams like the Jets, Patriots, Bengals, and Broncos, all teams which they are capable of beating. The Eagles on the other hand have been a more dogged and efficient foe having scored on 45.7% of their drives, second in the league.

All in all, the scenario we face here is an exciting one with two high-profile offences coming off big wins with both sides in the hardest part of their schedule, the Bills in particular have a brutal remaining schedule. The Eagles are in the middle of the hardest part of their schedule as well, coming off the Chiefs game and facing the 49ers and Cowboys over the next two weeks. With those schedule demands in mind both sides can’t really afford to be conservative in this game and this is a game where both offences have the ability to light up the scoreboard hence the game is 7-2 favourite in the starsports.bet specials “Highest Scoring Game on Sunday” market, where the Colts/Buccaneers game at 8-1 looks to be a value option.

Although new Bills offensive coordinator Joe Brady didn’t make wholesale changes to the offence against the Jets he did introduce one or two wrinkles, including using more pre-snap motion. The most noticeable difference though was that QB Josh Allen looked far sharper than he had in the season so far running some well-designed and creative plays which have often been the hallmark of this Bills offence. This week, Buffalo face an Eagles defence that has been terrific against the run this year but has been burned repeatedly through the air. In fact, the Bills running game may have just got harder to predict as it appears to have formed into a three-man committee now with Ty Johnson added to the mix behind James Cook and Latavius Murray. The Eagles have played elite run defence, this season holding opposition running backs to 3.9 yards per carry and two all-purpose touchdowns in 10 games.

If the Bills are to win move the ball and win this game it’s going to need to be through the air and the Eagles have been exposed in pass defence this year. Buffalo enter Week 12 ranked fifth in the NFL in pass rate over expectation (PROE) and near the top of the league in average depth of target, they also play at a quick pace with significant threats all over the field at wide receiver and tight end. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are going to have the opportunity to make some big plays down the field, as the Eagles have given up some big plays on several occasions this year. Just think back to last week and the game against the Chiefs that could have seen a very different result if the Chiefs Marquez Valdes-Scantling had caught a deep ball in his hands on the last drive of the game.

Diggs has been quiet the past two weeks and some say a little unsettled but those games have come against tough matchups and this week Diggs gets an Eagles defence that as we have seen is vulnerable. Diggs receiving yards line set at +72.5 (10-11) by starsports.bet could be equally in danger of being 5-10 yards too short given how influential Diggs could be for the Bills in this scenario. Backing up Diggs are Gabe Davis and Khalil Shakir with the latter a dangerous deep threat and capable of scoring from deep.

One Bills offensive weapon whose role has expanded week-to-week of late is tight end Dalton Kincaid. The injury to Dawson Knox has fully opened up Dalton Kincaid in this Buffalo offence. The rookie tight end is a weekly contributor and he has at least 5 catches in 5 straight games for the Bills. Kincaid caught 6 passes for 46 yards last week against a tough Jets secondary and the Eagles have been susceptible to passes over the middle which is where we can expect to see Kincaid operating for the most part. Over the past five games with Knox out or exiting early, Kincaid has 23.8% of the Buffalo targets, second on the team and Kincaid looks to be the 2nd most reliable target for Allen now and it won’t surprise to see him have a big game.

Efficient is the way to describe the Eagles offence as they operated in that manner last week when they found a way to win at the Chiefs despite not paying that well for at last three quarters, but that’s what good teams do win when they are not playing well. What is in their favour here is that they face a Bills defence that has been decimated by injuries and Hurts is expected to make hay. Hurts was limited through the air on Monday against a stingy Kansas City pass defence and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

He still managed to contribute though courtesy of 29 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns and if the Eagles get near the goal line then we know that Hurts is going to be the recipient of another TD via the “Brotherly Shove” a play which is almost impossible to stop. Hurts has nine rushing TD’s this year and the 8-11 with starsports.bet about him obtaining another one in this game looks one of the better odds-on TD scorer prices in the NFL this weekend.

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D’Andre Swift has emerged as the clear lead running back for the Eagles, and his role has grown as the season has gone on. Kenneth Gainwell had a critical fumble in Week 8 and Swift’s usage in the red zone and key situations has grown since that moment. Swift enters this week off the back of his best game of the season turning 15 touches into 107 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo’s allowance of the NFL’s fourth-most catches (65) and second-most receiving yards (545) to running backs suggests this could be an especially productive game for Swift as a receiver as well as a runner.

With the absence of TE Dallas Goedert the Eagles have become a very condensed receiving unit involving A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in the main alongside Swift out of the backfield. There is a narrative that suggests that Smith’s role grows with the absence of Goedert and that was certainly the case against the Chiefs. Smith has put together a three-game run, posting games of 7-99-1, 3-51-1, and 6-99-0. Smith now has a team-high 30.5% of the team targets and 39.9% of the air yards on 283 routes run with Goedert off the field since the start of last season. Starsports.bet have set Smith’s receiving yards line at +57.5 (10-11) and looking at the facts and matchup he has here Smith must have a good chance of exceeding that line.

Brown had a particularly quiet game on Monday night registering 1-of-4 targets for eight yards. Believe it or not, but it was not his fewest yards in a game since joining the Eagles. He had a game with seven yards last season against Washington. There’s every chance that Brown won’t be as quiet against the Bills.

The Eagles have scored at least 28 points in every home game this season. If the Bills can allow 29 points to Mac Jones and the Patriots, 28 points to the Eagles in Philly is more than possible and this game looks similar as a contest to the Eagles home game against their divisional rivals the Cowboys that they won 28-23. Tactically, if both defences try and take away the strength of the opposing offences they are both good enough to beat them in a different way and that game scenario often leads to a contest where plenty of points are scored and this has the makings of a game that could just turn into a fun one played at an up tempo pace.

ANDY RICHMOND

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PROFIT/LOSS (NOV 2023): LOSS -14.91 points

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Author: Eugene Morris