Thursday, December 25, 2014

Eagles 7-point favorites against 'Skins

Time for our weekly visit from Dave Staley of sportsbook.com.

Eagles 7-point favorites against 'Skins

Time for our weekly visit from Dave Staley of sportsbook.com.

Q: What's your take on the spread for Eagles-Redskins this week?

A: Currently, the Eagles are minus-7 for Monday night’s game at Washington. The line originally opened at minus-6.5 but moved to minus-7 on Monday morning. Despite the line change, 95 percent of the early money so far is on the Eagles. If the action stays this one-sided over the next couple of days, we could see it go to minus-7.5. If you plan on backing the Birds this week, get on it early as the difference between minus-7 and minus-7.5 is pretty significant. On the flip side, if you are one of the few that like the 'Skins, you might as well wait; maybe you’ll get an extra 1/2 point.
 
It is a little surprising that so many folks are backing the Eagles coming off their dreadful loss to the Raiders last week. Recent results often stick to the minds of the betting public; obviously, that's not the case here though. Then again, I think the Eagles just didn’t take the Raiders seriously and were looking ahead to facing their three NFC opponents over the next few weeks.
 
Maybe this has to do with the fact that Andy Reid teams often bounce back from disappointing losses. Case in point -- last year’s 48-20 drubbing of the Cardinals just a week after getting embarrassed by the Ravens.
 
Although, it probably has a lot more to do with the fact that Washington is abysmal. They do have two victories, but those wins came against two of the NFL’s winless teams, the Rams and the Bucs.
 
Despite having four losses, the Redskins do have a very good defense that can keep them in the game. Only one opponent scored over 20 points on them, and their opponents are averaging just 16 points per game. Then again, their schedule has been ridiculously soft. Besides the Giants, their other five opponents have a combined win total of four games.
 
Another point: bettors often notice when a team hasn’t been able to cover. Considering Washington is just 1-5 against the spread, it is no wonder so many people are on the Eagles.

Q: And what about the over/under?

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A: The total is currently at 37.5 points after opening at 38.5.
 
This number seems pretty sharp to me although the bettors don’t agree as 89 percent of the early action is on the over.
 
As mentioned, the 'Skins have been very competitive on the defensive side of the ball. They rank fifth in yards per game (287) and fifth in points allowed (16.0 per game). Again, we'll see how valid are these numbers are, considering their competition. It isn’t surprising that they covered the under in five of their six games.
 
On the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins average just 13.2 points per game and have a season-high of 17.
 
Besides last week’s 9-point performance, the Eagles have shown they have the firepower to cover the total by themselves.
 
This number might just creep back up to where it started, so if you like the ‘over’ get on it now.

Q: What have this year's Monday night games been like from a gambling perspective?

A: Like most Monday night games, this will probably be one of our most important games of the week. Not only because of the one-sided action but also because of the action Monday night games take in.
 
The Monday night game is usually the biggest game of the week from a betting standpoint for a few reasons:
 
1. Obviously it’s the bettors’ last chance to bet on the NFL for six days.
 
2. It’s a stand-alone game which is in the living rooms of every potential bettor.
 
3. For those bettors that won during the weekend, they want to keep their streak going.
 
4. For those bettors that didn’t fare so well, they want to get back some of their losses.
 
From a sportsbook.com stand point, we’ve done well on spread bettors on Monday night as five out of the seven 'dogs have covered. However, we’ve done horribly on the total. The over covered six out of seven times, which is usually a profitable trend for the betting public. I anticipate this action will remain very one-sided so it should be another nail-biter for the boss.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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