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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Eagles become first No. 1 seed to begin NFL playoffs as an underdog

Nick Foles

Carson Wentz is helping the Philadelphia Eagles make history in the postseason, and the star quarterback isn’t even going to play a snap.

The Eagles, who earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC after winning the NFC East division and finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record, opened as a 2.5-point underdog for Saturday’s divisional round game against the Atlanta Falcons. According to David Purdum of ESPN.com, that is the first time a No. 1 seed has opened as an underdog in the NFL playoffs.

The Falcons, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, pulled an upset over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. Given the way Atlanta looked and the way Nick Foles played over the final two games of the regular season, it’s no surprise the Eagles are an underdog for next weekend’s game. Westgate Superbook oddsmaker Ed Salmons believes Philly would have been as much as a 6.5-point favorite with Wentz.

Even with the home team getting points in a playoff game, Salmons says most of the bets have been on the Falcons.

“The early action, it’s pretty much all on Atlanta,” He told ESPN. “The public is going to bet Atlanta.”

Foles took over as the starter for Philly when Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL in early December, and he looked extremely shaky to close out the season. There was even some talk that he could be benched for the playoffs, but Doug Pederson put that to rest.

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