Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why are the Eagles 7-point favorites?

Our weekly visit from Dave Staley of sportsbook.com:

Why are the Eagles 7-point favorites?

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Our weekly visit from Dave Staley of sportsbook.com:

Q: What's the line for Eagles-Broncos Sunday?

A: With another win and another cover comes even more respect for the Eagles from the bettors. Two weeks ago, our odds for the Eagles to win the NFC were 10-1. Last week, those odds dipped to 7-1. Today, the odds are 5-1.

The Eagles have now won five in a row and covered three straight. For the season, Philly is 9-5 against the spread (64.3%). Considering they have been favorites in 11 games, bettors have profited nicely from the Birds this season.

Denver, on the other hand, peaked earlier in the season. After winning and covering their first six games, the Broncos are 2-6 both straight up and against the spread.

We opened this game with Philly as seven-point favorites, and that number has not budged. However, you can now get the Eagles at -105 juice instead of the standard -110. If you are on Denver, the juice is -115.

This is interesting, considering that 76% of bettors are currently on the Eagles. This indicates that our handicappers consider -6.5 to be the truer number. Personally, I disagree and was surprised this number didn’t open on the other side of seven.

Since their six-game winning streak, Denver’s offense has been pretty brutal. In their last eight games, they scored 20-plus points only two times. And now they have to travel to the east coast to play in a hostile environment, against an extremely aggressive defense? I’m still scratching my head a bit with this spread…

Denver hasn’t been kind to bettors in December recently as they are just 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 December games, whereas the Eagles are 8-4.

Q: What about the over/under?

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A: The ‘total’ is right where it opened, 41.5 points. And people are pounding the ‘over’ at an 86% clip.

The heavy ‘over’ action comes as no surprise. Philly is averaging 28.5 points per game. Over their last three games, the number is 35.3.

At first glance, it is obvious why the ‘over’ is getting so much love, but I think the 41.5 is just right. Mainly because I have so little confidence in Denver’s offense, as I explained above.

Best wishes for safe and happy holidays to everyone, and good luck to the Eagles.

Philly.com
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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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