Time for our weekly visit from sportsbook.com's Dave Staley:
Q: What do you make of this week’s Eagles-Bucs line and over/under?
A: We opened the line for the Eagles game Wednesday morning. Right now the Birds are giving a whopping 15 points to the winless Buccaneers. The first thing I always look for when the lines come out every week are which teams will be getting double digit points. So, this game along with the Giants giving up 15 are the lines that jump off the page. However, after looking into this one a bit more, it is obvious why the Bucs are getting so many points. They have really only been competitive in one game so far, last week against a bad Redskins team. In their other three, they suffered double digit losses, with a point differential of 16.7 points per game. They have thrown for a total of 158 yards in their last two games and could be in for another long day in the air as the Eagles have the second stingiest pass defense in the league, allowing just 156 yards per game. Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook are back so the Eagles' offense should be back at full strength even though it was quite impressive without them two weeks ago. McNabb, Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek, etc. That’s a lot of weapons on the field against a Tampa team giving up 26.7 points per game. I think Michael Vick will actually make an impact this week. Finally, you can’t ignore how important bye weeks are for teams. Look no further then the fact that the Eagles are 16-6 against the spread in their last 22 games following a bye week -- very impressive indeed. The early bettors obviously agree because after checking our trends page, 76 percent of the early action is on the Birds.
Currently, the over/under sits at 43 with 73 percent of the early bettors on the over. This is a pretty standard total as far as points are concerned. Obviously, as mentioned above, the Eagles shouldn’t have a problem putting points on the board, but will the Bucs do their part? They are only averaging 13.5 points per game so far this season, including just 13 in the past two weeks combined. I really don’t know how they are going to move the ball against the Eagles' defense, which yields only 262 yards per game. A couple of trends support the under in this one. In their last six games against the NFC East, the Bucs covered the under five times. In their last 22 games following a bye week, the Eagles covered the ‘under’ 18 times.