Eagles to continue to soar
Following some crushing wins last week, the NFL conferences are already beginning to take shape as we head into week five.
This week we preview the games of the only two sides that remain unbeaten this season and assess their chances of keeping their winning streak going.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams
Last year’s Super Bowl finalists the Philadelphia Eagles look to be set on marching right back to the Super Bowl, winning all four of their games so far.
There have been a few tight results in there though, including last week as they needed an over-time field goal from Jake Elliott – his 13th of the season – to secure a 34-31 victory over the Washington Commanders.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns, continuing his fine start to the season which has seen him throw touchdowns passes in all of the Eagles’ four games to date. He also threw for 319 yards against the Commanders. With a player of Hurts’ quality spraying those kinds of passes and the quality of the Eagles’ offence, which includes talented wide receivers Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown (13/8 and 5/4 respectively to score a touchdown at any time) it’s no surprise they are among the top five highest scoring teams in the NFL this season.
The Eagles have won five of their last six ties against the Los Angeles Rams and will be confident of another positive result as 20/43 favourites.
The Rams bounced back from a narrow defeat in week two to beat the Indianapolis Colts 29-23 at the Lucas Oil Stadium last week. A fast start, with 20 points scored in the first two quarters was enough for the Rams, but their defence was really tested after that by the Colts.
With quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Puka Nagua in the side they are capable of causing most sides problems. However, the fact that both those players sit near the top of the passing and receiving stats charts, yet the Rams are only third in NFC West suggests they aren’t making the most of their opportunities. They might struggle to break down the Eagles’ defence and are 37/20 underdogs as a result.
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
The match of week five looks to be the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers against the in-form Dallas Cowboys.
These two sides are both very evenly matched as the top two points scorers in the NFC so far, while they also have the meanest two defences. It’s a similar story in their all-time meetings, with both franchises winning 19 of their 38 meetings and a spread of only +/- 3.5 suggests this will be another close encounter.
The Cowboys dealt a crushing 38-3 defeat to last week’s opponents the New England Patriots, a result that will have filled them with confidence ahead of this meeting. They have lost their last two meetings with the 49ers, both in the playoffs, so Mike McCartney’s side will be out to avenge those losses. They start as the 33/20 outsiders on the money line. In a team bursting with attacking talent, running back Tony Pollard is evens favourite to score a touchdown, with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb also fancied to get over the line at 8/5.
The 49ers are a formidable side and are many peoples’ tip as this season’s Super Bowl champions. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been forthright in saying the 49ers are the benchmark for his side when it comes to judging their prospects this season.
The Californian team haven’t been truly stretched in their four games to date, with a 30-23 victory over the LA Rams in week two the closest they have come to defeat. However, the Cowboys certainly represent a new level of threat, with their tight defence and cutting offense, so while the 49ers are solid favourites at 20/37, there may be more value in siding with the road team.