Call me a homer, but I actually think the Eagles still have a chance to win the division.
I’ll explain my thinking on that and give a recap of last weeks picks (2-1, again). We’ll take a first look at the Eagles / Redskins game and the line move of the week. Wait, there’s more… as an added bonus you get some ‘lactose intolerance’ from Arian Foster, all in this week’s installment of the Thursday preview.
So, it’s Week 6, huh? This surely has to be the must win week for the Eagles. I mean the 49ers game was kind of a ‘must win’, then the Buffalo game was definitely a ‘must win’, now we go to Washington for the ultimate ‘must win’. At what point does it switch from ‘must win’ to ‘it just doesn’t matter anymore’?
The good news for Eagles fans is that the NFC East is still wide open, even Vegas is throwing up it’s hands. Right now the Eagles are +300 to win the division, not too bad considering they are 1-4. Who is the favorite to win the division? Well, it’s this weeks opponent, the 3-1 Washington Redskins at +150. And you know what, the Eagles are a 1.5 point favorite. Whaaaaaaaat?
The game opened at Redskins -1 then the sharps got a hold of it and pushed it to Eagles -1.5. So the professional gamblers like the Eagles chances this week and I think getting the Eagles at +300 to win the division (you would win 3 times your bet) is a great value.
Here are the current odds to win the NFC East (via Sportsbook.com)
- Washington Redskins: +150 (bet $100, win $150)
- New York Giants: +240
- Dallas Cowboys: +250
- Philadelphia Eagles: +300
We all know that the Redskins can’t keep this up, no way. They have three wins, week 1 over the Giants, then a one point win over Arizona and a seven point win over St Louis. I have the Skins pegged at 6-10 for the season. +150? No thanks.
I expect the division race to come down to Week 17 (Redskins @ Eagles; Giants @ Cowboys). I could see the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys all in contention in that last weekend. I think 9-7 wins the NFC East.
Looking at the Eagles’ upcoming schedule, there is only one “no way we can win” game, a Week 11 home game against New England. We still have two vs. Dallas, two vs. Washington, on the road at the Giants, then out of division we have Chicago (not very good), Arizona (KOLB!!), @Seattle (tough road game, but not a good team), @Miami (we should win), and the J-E-T-S (toss-up, but it’s a home game). What’s to say we don’t win all five of those out of division games (excluding the Pats) and thee or four of the division games. Bang! 9-7 just like that. Easy peezy.
I’ve gone ahead and predicted all game for the NFC East teams until the end of the season. I see us and Dallas ending at 9-7, Giants at 8-8 and the Skins will come back to earth and finish at 6-10.
I know, I’m crazy. You’re thinking “there’s no chance we end the season 8-3″, but look at our opponents. If we can win against the lesser teams (2 vs. Skins, @Dolphins, @Seahawks, Cardinals), beat the Jets and Bears at home, and win 1 out of of 3 in our games vs. the Cowboys and Giants, that’s 9-7. I really think we can do it.
Then comes down to the tie-breakers, which may be tough to overcome. But if it gets to be week 17 and we’re worried about tie-breakers to win the division after starting 1-4, I’ll be happy with that.
Week 5 Revisited
Last week the picks went 2-1, so we made some money, again (for amusement purposes only). We had Eagles / Bills OVER 50, Giants -9′ and Lions -5
Eagles / Bills OVER 50 – This one went as everyone thought, lots of points and no defense. With a final score of 31-24 we had the OVER by mid-4th quarter. Don’t get me wrong, the game was horrible loss for the Eagles, culminated by two ugly plays (the fumble, then the defensive offsides). We know the Eagles can score, we know the Bills can score, we know both teams can’t really play defense. So this one was pretty easy to get. Final Score: Eagles 31 Bills 24. Winner.
NY Giants -9’ over Seattle – Sometimes you just scratch your head. Not only did the Giants not cover the spread, they lost the game straight up. At no point in this game were the Giants even leading by 10, so it wasn’t a letdown when they didn’t cover. I was mentally prepared for the loss. The Seahwaks lost their starting QB (Tavaris Jackson) and left it up to Charlie Whitehurst to pull the upset. A late flurry of points gave the Seahawks the win. Ugly game by the G-Men. Final Score: Seahawks 36 Giants 25. Loser.
MNF: Lions -6’ over Chicago – Detroit Lock City. It pretty much played out like I thought, the Lions were quick strike on offense, and stifling on defense. Give credit to Jay Cutler, he hung in there against a monster pass rush and kept the Bears in the game. And it all came down to tackle on the 3 yard line on the last play of the game to preserve the cover. Final Score: Lions 24 Bears 13. Winner.
Week 6 Preview:
Hometown Preview: Eagles at Washington Redskins
Opening Line: Redskins -1 / 48
Current Line: Eagles -1.5 / 47
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Underdog is 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings
This one is interesting simply because the wiseguys are all over the Eagles. This line opened with the Eagles as the underdog and was quickly bet up to Eagles as a 1’ point favorite. I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m not buying the Redskins. They have 3 wins, 2 are against terrible teams (Cardinals and Rams), they played a sloppy MNF game at Dallas and lost. I think this is the week that the Eagles finally right the ship and get a W.
I guess you can always say that the OVER is a good bet in Eagles games, they are 16-5 OVER in their last 21 road games. But I’m not sure I’ll make a play on the total.
I’m leaning Eagles right now, in Friday’s post I’ll make the official pick.
Big Line Move of the Week: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
Opening Line: Falcons -5.5 / 51
Current Line: Falcons -3.5 / 51
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Over is 8-1-2 in CAR last 11 games as an underdog
The line move here looks like a combination of two things, the sharps think the Falcons are overrated and some injuries on the Falcons (WR Julio Jones is probably out).
The Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games. They aren’t winning, but they are fighting to the end and getting backdoor covers, so I guess the thinking is taking anything over three points might be a good buy.
The Falcons have struggled this season with the pointspread going 1-3 ATS in their last 4. And in their three losses they haven’t scored over 14 points. I don’t know if the Falcons D will be able to stop Newton, Atlanta has given up 25+ points in four of their five games.
I don’t know if the Panthers are considered a ‘public’ team yet, but everyone knows about Cam Newton, so as long as he is putting up numbers and covering spreads, bettors will be backing him all the way.
I would lean Panthers, but I’d go with the moneyline, currently +165 for Carolina.
Tweet of the Week
Arian Foster is a weird dude. Follow him on Twitter (@ArianFoster) and you can see what I mean.
Back before the season started he dissed fantasy football players who were concerned about his hamstring injury impacting their seasons (“4 those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick”). Well, this week he went one better. He took on milk. Yeah, milk…
He seemed surprised that alot of people enjoyed a nice, cold glass of milk. But in the face of such heavy pressure he didn’t relent, I respect that.
Chin up Philly sports fans, at least we have the Flyers…
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