A couple weeks ago, on a lengthy conference call with reporters around the country, NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he thought the Eagles were in a good position with the 32nd pick in the draft (see story).
Mayock said the Eagles can either pick the best player on the board or there might be a chance to trade down and pick up some much-needed draft choices if another team wants to sneak back into the first round and get a quarterback.
The bonus for a team that wants to do that would be to guarantee they get their guy and to also get the fifth-year option on that QB's rookie contract.
The latest odds from Vegas seem to support Mayock's assertion that the Eagles have "prime real estate." According to Bovada, the over/under for Lamar Jackson's draft position is set at 32½.
Jackson, the quarterback from Louisville, could very well be the key for the Eagles in this spring's draft. If he hasn't been selected by the time the Eagles are on the clock at 32, there's a good chance some phone calls might be coming in. And the Eagles will very likely be willing to answer.
The best example of something like this happening recently came in 2014, when the Vikings moved up to draft Teddy Bridgewater with the last pick in the first round. The Seahawks moved down to pick No. 40 and added a fourth-rounder.
The Eagles have six draft picks this year but none in the second or third rounds. And the first of their two fourth-round picks is the 30th pick of that round. That's a long time for the Birds to wait between selections.
At the combine last week, Howie Roseman said the Eagles wouldn't hesitate to draft a player they like with the 32nd pick — but if there are a few players with similar grades or guys who they deem aren't worthy of the pick, they'd then look to move down.
Of course, in order to move down, the Eagles will need a partner. If Jackson is still on the board, it could help them find one.
The Sixers finished in the basement of the NBA standings last season with a league-low 10 wins. But with the influx of young talent and addition of a couple veterans to the roster, the Las Vegas oddsmakers are betting on the Sixers to make some strides upward in the 2016-17 standings.
Last week, the WestGate Superbook in Las Vegas set the Sixers' over/under for wins this season at an optimistic 27½, which was the fourth-lowest projection in the league.
Similarly, while Bovada is projecting another season of basketball filled with mostly losses in Philadelphia, the sportsbook doesn't view the Sixers as a shoo-in to finish as the league's worst team for the second consecutive year.
Per Bovada, the Sixers have the fourth-longest odds (125/1) to capture the Atlantic Divison title for the first time since 2001-02, beating out the Nets (250/1) by a considerable margin.
The favorite to win the division is the Celtics at 20/21, trailed closely by the defending division champion Raptors (21/20). The Knicks are between the Raptors and Sixers at 10/1.
The Sixers (150/1) also edged out the Nets (200/1) in odds to win the Eastern Conference championship. The two teams in the conference directly ahead of the Sixers in that futures bet are the Hornets (100/1) and Magic (50/1).
The Cavaliers are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference at 5/11, followed by the Celtics (5/1) and Raptors (14/1).
Least surprising of all futures odds, Bovada has the Sixers tied with four other teams for the longest odds to win the NBA title. The Nuggets, Kings, Nets and Suns were tied with the Sixers at 500/1 odds to win the Larry O'Brien trophy.
The early favorites to win it all are the same two teams that met in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors are alone at top with the shortest odds at 4/5 trailed by the Cavaliers at 3/1.
News flash: the Sixers weren't good in 2015-16.
That's being kind. The numbers do all the harsh talking for the team. The Sixers recorded a league-low 10 wins, endured a major North American sports-record 27 straight losses that dated back to the previous season, ranked dead last with a minus-10.2 point differential and finished 29th in both scoring offense and points allowed.
The Sixers have infused some serious talent to the active roster since last season ended, namely No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons along with 2014 No. 3 selection Joel Embiid and 2014 draft-night acquisition Dario Saric. They also signed a few veteran free agents to help contribute on the floor and guide the youngsters off the court.
So just how much will those new pieces add to the win column? According to the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas (via ProBasketballTalk), quite a bit.
NBA over/under odds on wins for every team were released by the Westgate Superbook on Tuesday and the Sixers' number came in at 27½. That's more than a handful of games over last season's over/under mark of 21½ wins.
The Sixers' 27½ total ranks 27th among the projections, ahead of the Phoenix Suns (26½), Los Angeles Lakers (24½) and Brooklyn Nets (20½).