Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Date and Time: Monday, December 25, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Opening NFL Odds: Eagles -8
Eagles vs. Raiders TV Coverage: ESPN
The Raiders have to be crushed right now. They've had so many heartbreaking moments this season, but watching Derek Carr stretch out for the pylon with just seconds left in the game against Dallas, only to fumble the ball into the end zone was the worst.
The chances the Raiders would get into the playoffs were always slim, but any hope was squandered as soon as that ball went out the side of the end zone.
At this point, Amari Cooper should be shut down for the rest of the season thanks to his concussion and ankle injuries. It might behoove the team to give some breathers to Marshawn Lynch and see if any of these other tailbacks on the roster could carry the load. Lynch is no guarantee to return next season, and even if he wanted to, he could be a cap casualty after truly not being that big of impact in the Oakland running game this season.
Philadelphia could be handed a gift in advance of Christmas if the Vikings lose to the Packers. That would get the job done for the playoffs as well, leaving the Eagles with the No. 1 seed to themselves with two games to play.
Still, we can't imagine anything is going to change on Christmas night. The Eagles still need to make sure that Nick Foles is ready to go, and he's only played in one and change games this season. Carson Wentz isn't walking through those doors the rest of the way, and Foles is the only hope that Philadelphia has.
In fairness to Foles, his first performance was excellent against the Giants. It wasn't his fault that the team surrendered 29 points in New York, but he did his job, throwing four touchdown passes.
Betting Trends of Note
There's a lot working against the Raiders here for sure, not the least of which is their motivation to actually play a game on Christmas night clear across the country.
The Raiders scored 71 points in their first two games of the season and haven't scored more than 31 points in a game since then. They've bottomed out here at the tail end of the season with 32 points scored in must-win games against the Chiefs and Cowboys.
The under has cashed in five straight Raiders games since their bye. In that stretch, Cooper has been virtually silent, and Michael Crabtree has only scored two touchdowns, both of which came last week against Dallas.
Raiders vs. Eagles Free Picks
The Eagles are the right play in this game, even if the No. 1 seed is already locked up. Unless news comes out that Foles isn't going to play this whole game, we have to imagine that this is a game Doug Pederson is going to go all out to win.
Perhaps there will be a few more touches for Wendell Smallwood or Corey Clement and a few less for Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. Maybe Zach Ertz splits some time with the up and coming Trey Burton. Maybe the defensive line rotation limits the amount of time Timmy Jernigan and Fletcher Cox are on the field together.
But we can't see wholesale changes at this point in the game. Next week against Dallas? Maybe. But even then, we don't think that's going to be the case either. The fans in the City of Brotherly Love couldn't get enough of Chip Kelly saying that his men signed up to play 16 games even though the Eagles were locked into their playoff position with a game to go three seasons ago, and they'd love to see the Eagles close out this year at 14-2 as well.
Oakland? We can't see any reason to really care about this game.
NFL ATS Pick: Eagles -8 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Eagles 38, Raiders 13