Time for our weekly visit from Dave Staley of sportsbook.com.
Give us a breakdown of the Eagles-Chargers line this week.
A: The Eagles are currently 1.5-point underdogs. As usual, the money is on the favorite as 67 percent of the early bettors are backing the Chargers. The line moved from Chargers minus-2.5 earlier this week.
The Eagles lost a key game to a division rival at home last week, whereas the Chargers pulled within one game of the AFC West lead. Often, the betting public makes its wagers based on what a team did the previous week.
However, the Chargers play in Denver next week so perhaps they could be looking ahead to that big game?
The Eagles lost Ellis Hobbs and Joselio Hanson during the week. This isn’t good timing for Philly as San Diego ranks seventh in the NFL, averaging 266 passing yards per game.
One of the first numbers I look at in terms of handicapping a game is giveaways/takeaways. The Eagles are an NFL best plus-11, whereas the Chargers are mediocre at plus-1.
I also am looking at how the Eagles will respond to Sunday’s Dallas loss. As I mentioned after last month’s Oakland loss, Andy Reid usually gets his team to respond after disappointing defeats. This is even more evident following a loss to division rivals, as they are 7-1 against the spread the last eight times they played following a loss to an NFC East team.
This could be a dangerous game for the Chargers as they not only might be looking ahead to next week’s huge game, but they could be in for a bit of a letdown after last week’s dramatic victory three time zones away at the Meadowlands.
Q: What about the over/under?
A: The total moved from 47.5 to 47 just a few hours after it opened. Combined, the Eagles and Chargers average 53.2 ppg, whereas their defenses give up a combined 41.5 ppg. The 47-point total sits almost right in the middle.
San Diego’s defense has been playing better the last few weeks, holding their last three opponents to 7, 16 and 20 points, respectively after giving up 30-plus points in three of their first five games. However, their last three opponents included two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Chiefs and Raiders.
The Eagles could have some success on the ground as San Diego has given up 100-plus yards to their opponents in all but one game.
The good news from last week is that the Eagles’ defense continued to impress from a numbers standpoint, giving up just 20 points to a Cowboys team that averages over 27 ppg.
Q: Any other gambling storylines to keep an eye on?
A: After a few so-so weeks and one brutal week, sportsbook.com finally had a very good Sunday. Until last weekend, the big favorites had been covering at a reliable rate. But that changed as Houston, Miami, Tampa Bay and Carolina all covered despite being big 'dogs.
The public was able to get a good chunk of their money back Monday night as 81 percent of the action backed the covering Steelers.
Looking ahead to this weekend, it appears the Sunday night game could make or break our weekend. When New England and Indianapolis meet up, it is always one of the biggest games of the regular season. If the early numbers hold, we will be rooting for the underdog (for once) and the over (again, for once) as 61 percent of the money is on New England (plus-3) and 57 percent is on the under of 50.
Week 10 picks
Last week: 7-6
JAGUARS (+7) at Jets
BRONCOS (-3.5) at Redskins
STEELERS (-7) vs. Bengals
TITANS (-7) vs. Bills - MC's Pick of the Week. He's 6-3 on the season
LIONS (+16.5) at Vikings
SAINTS (-13.5) at Rams
FALCONS (-1.5) at Panthers
DOLPHINS (-10) vs. Bucs
CHIEFS (+2) at Raiders
SEAHAWKS (+9) at Cardinals
PACKERS (+3) vs. Cowboys
CHARGERS (-1.5) vs. Eagles
COLTS (-3) vs. Patriots
RAVENS (-10.5) at Browns