ESPN Writers Hate the Eagles, Love Andy Reid

ESPN Writers Hate the Eagles, Love Andy Reid’s stable of NFL writers released their “expert” guesses predictions for the 2013 season ahead on Tuesday, and believe it or not, the Eagles didn’t receive a whole lot of love. Not a single one of them chose the Birds to come out on top in the NFC East this year, and by my count only one out of 36 even has Philly in a wild card spot.

The one would be David Fleming, who also by the way rather insanely chose Michael Vick to be the league’s Most Valuable Player. I’m not even going to touch that one.

Obviously Ashley Fox, formerly of the Philadelphia Inquirer, did not pick the Birds. You changed, Ashley. You used to be cool.

Granted, most Eagles fans aren’t expecting much from this season, either. So like everyone else, ESPN’s writers are probably justified in not awarding the team any respect. Still, I guess I thought more people would be excited about the possibilities considering Chip Kelly’s somewhat unique vision. It’s not like the NFC East is full of powerhouses, ya know.

And while the Eagles appear to be an afterthought, the Chiefs under Andy Reid are not. 15, or nearly half the panel, like Kansas City to make the playoffs, including one nutjob (Grantland’s Bill Barnwell) who has them as AFC West Champions over the Broncos.

I suppose the Chiefs in the postseason is fair as well, as Reid actually inherited a roster with some talent out there. A fair number of people picking them clearly must be counting on Big Red’s influence turning that franchise around, because 12 chose him to win NFL Coach of the Year honors.

Votes for Chip: 0, or zero. Okay, what kind of odds would you give me that Chip Kelly finishes ahead of Andy Reid for Coach of the Year? Because I may consider that action.

>> Experts’ NFL predictions for 2013 [ESPN]

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

The Sixers on Friday announced that center Nerlens Noel will undergo a minor surgical procedure on his left knee to address an inflamed plica. 

Noel appeared in the Sixers' first preaseason game, but has been sidelined since Oct. 6 because of a left groin strain. 

While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

Noel's status for the season opener on Oct. 26 was already in question, and knee surgery should officially rule him out. There is no timetable for his return.

No surgery for Bayless
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless' left wrist ligament injury will not require surgery.

Bayless, who has been a limited participant in training camp, will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

The logam at the center position has dominated talk surrounding the Sixers as they approach the start of the 2016-17 season.

While a trade has yet to be made, Bovada believes there's a good chance two of the team's three young centers won't be in Philadelphia by season's end. 

Bovada released their NBA player props for the upcoming NBA season Tuesday, listing Nerlens Noel (5/7) and Jahlil Okafor (8/5) as two of the league's favorites to be dealt before February's trade deadline. On the other hand, Noel's odds to not be dealt are even, while Okafor's odds to remain a Sixer past this season are 4/9.

Kings swingman Rudy Gay was between Noel and Okafor with the second-best odds to be traded at 5/9. Gay's teammate DeMarcus Cousins had the fourth-best odds at 3/1. 

Bovada's over/under player props featured bets involving six different Sixers. Joel Embiid's rookie stat line was set at 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. In five preseason games, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 14.4 minutes of action. If his limited preseason action is any indication, Embiid could certainly reach Bovada's averages once his minutes restriction comes off. 

Here are the rest of the Sixers' over/under prop bets: 

  • Jahlil Okafor: 15 points, 6.5 rebounds
  • Nerlens Noel: 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds
  • Gerald Henderson: 10.5 points
  • Robert Covington: 12.5 points
  • Dario Saric: 5.0 rebounds