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San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Point Spread - Pick

San Francisco 49ers (0-7 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: SF +13/PHI -13
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The San Francisco 49ers come out east for a Sunday matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Niners are still in search of their first win of the season. After breaking a league record by losing five straight games by three or fewer points, they were not so resilient on Sunday, getting walloped 40-10 at home by the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn't even that close, with a late touchdown that was meaningless. They look to resume their gutsy ways this week in what is a tough road spot against an Eagles team that moved to 6-1 with a 34-24 win over the Redskins on MNF. It was their second win over Washington this season, as they continue to get separation from their division rivals. They look for the big win this week, but can't be caught sleeping on the short week against their winless foe.

The 49ers are in definite rebuild mode so the expectations aren't very high. Still, the record for close games is a two-headed sword. It has to be hard to have a run of games that are close and to not have a win materialize. It does show that they can be competitive in the right spots, though Sunday was not one of them, as they were quickly taken out of the game. After holding Dallas to a promising three-and-out to open the game, Trent Taylor fumbled the ensuing punt, setting Ezekiel Elliott up for a few runs to get the first score and it was downhill from there. Quarterback CJ Beathard was in the starting role for the first time and while he wasn't bad, he didn't shine, either. It's just that the resolve we saw over the past few weeks wasn't there at all on Sunday and that was not a good sign.

Granted, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan is a guy getting paid millions to lead the Niners back to glory, but the move to replace Brian Hoyer behind center seemed ill-timed. After putting up 919 yards in three games, he quickly got the hook and it's been Beathard since then. Granted, there is some underdog appeal to Beathard and he wasn't bad on Sunday, even running in a TD among the few SF highlights. At any rate, the youngster gets the nod and in the state the 49ers are in now, why not see what the kid has? He connected decently with Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon, but two fumbles were costly for the former Iowa quarterback and he wasn't adept as Hoyer in bringing out the best in the guys around him. Still, it was his first game and we'll see how he does this week, if they in fact stay with him. Carlos Hyde was OK on Sunday on the ground and we'll see what he can come up with against a Philly run-defense that has been fairly robust this season.

The San Francisco defense has not been very good and they were really bad on Sunday, especially against the run—an area they have suffered in all season. Some early promising signs this season are evaporating in the face of injuries, with their lack of depth on this side of the ball beginning to manifest badly. Still, despite them being outmatched by Dallas on Sunday, we generally have seen this side of the ball trying hard and more respect-worthy than what's been seen from them over the past two seasons. Still, only two teams have given up more points than the 49ers and this side of the ball is down-trending, as injuries continue to pile up.

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It's hard to not like the Eagles as we approach the midway point of the 2017 season. On defense, we see a growing capacity for big plays, while they have been exceptionally stout against the run. And the offense is offering a lot of balance with a stud second-year QB in Carson Wentz who is on the precipice of becoming an elite NFL quarterback. They have a rising coach in Doug Pederson and an overall demeanor that is very positive. With all of the chaos in the league from week to week with teams experiencing a wide range of different results, there is a certain consistency with this team that could go a long way this season.

Again, Wentz has really brought his game together this season. He has a big arm with nimble legs and can make a lot of things happen. He is also a slithery sort, evading pass-rushers and generally just being very slippery. In his last three games, he has 11 aerial touchdowns. TE Zach Ertz has been a consistent weapon, while Nelson Agholor has snapped into form this season after looking like he might be a bust. Alshon Jeffery is a top receiver who could round into peak form at any point. There are a lot of guys on this team who can do aerial damage and they really haven't even fully-gelled yet—a scary thought for opponents. On the ground, they have gotten a boost from LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood, while Wentz is a valuable weapon with his quick feet and showed it on MNF against the Redskins with 63 yards on eight carries. The win over Washington wasn't without a cost, as LT Jason Peters was lost for the season. They have tried to overcome injuries to their O-line this season, but losing Peters is a major concern and is something to watch moving forward.

On MNF, the weakest part of this team against materialized, with Kirk Cousins successful through the air. It's an outstanding issue that could eventually come back to bite them. Still, it's a young group of defensive backs that could improve. And making up for it is a really tough front. On Monday, however, there was some collateral damage on this side of the ball, with LB Jordan Hicks also being lost for the season. Hopefully for them, they can still make it work. Up-front, they've been tough with Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Tim Jernigan, and Brandon Graham. They lead the league in allowing just an average of 67 yards a game on the ground, while also getting after quarterbacks. Getting LB Mychal Kendricks back will help, as LB Nigel Bradham is also tough on the second level.

Trying to time an Eagles' letdown could be a costly game to play. Even in a game like this where you might project a lowered level of urgency with them being at home holding a big lead in the division facing a winless team, this is not an Eagles' team that is prone to phoning it in. San Francisco was very resolute at times this season. But having a head coach who is looking to build more so than immediately win has maybe led to them taking a step back, as evidenced by their collapse last week. In a game where I see both offenses thriving to different extents, I'm taking the "over" this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting that the 49ers vs. Eagles game goes over 47.5 points.

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