November 08, 2019
Each Friday for PhillyVoice, Steve Maltepes, known as “The Philly Godfather,” will impart his gambling wisdom on the Eagles and where the smart money is going on various pro football games this weekend. Maltepes is one of the nation’s hottest sports betting experts who appears weekly on national radio and has his own website, www.thephillygodfather.com.
What is the line telling you: The Buccaneers are currently 4.5-point home favorites over the Cardinals with a combined total set at 52. There's going to be a lot of points scored in this one. Bet the over 52. We have two defenses that have given up the second- and fifth-most points in the NFL this year. And when you look at every defensive metric that counts — opponent yards-per-play; opponent yards-per-pass attempt; opponent-points-per game; overall defensive efficiency; and opponent-yards-per-rush attempt — Arizona ranks in the basement of the NFL in all of them.
The one thing we know about this Tampa team is they can put up points against anyone. They're averaging almost 29 points per game this year, which is fourth best in the NFL. They put up 55 against the Rams; 24 on the Saints and 26 on the Panthers. All three defenses rank in the top 10 in overall defensive efficiency.
Bottom line: Bet the over 52.
What is the line telling you: There's a ton of recreational money on the double-digit road favorite. Almost 70% of all tickets punched offshore and in Vegas have come in on the red-hot Ravens, and it seems like very few sports bettors will be looking to invest in a winless Bengals team who sports a negative 86-point differential.
This is a great spot for the dog here, and the Bengals are starving for their first ‘W,’ coming off a bye week to face a division rival. We’re not crazy enough to think Cincinnati can win this, but since the point spread is the great equalizer, all they have to do is cover the spread to cash a ticket.
The situation couldn't be better for a double-digit home dog. The Ravens are coming off the biggest win of Lamar Jackson’s career over the previously undefeated Patriots. They now head on the road to take on a team with an 0-8 record, so you better believe you'll be paying a premium to back John Harbaugh's squad this week. If you look at the first time these two teams met at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore sneaked out a 23-16 win at home. Now, we can grab an undervalued, well-rested team at home plus-10.5. This is the NFL; we’ll take that every time.
This Bengals squad has been gritty all year, losing by one point at CenturyLink Field to a 7-2 Seahawks team and by four points in Buffalo to another team with a winning record. When it comes to over-performing in the market this year, the Bengals and Ravens have the same amount of ATS (against-the-spread) wins, with both covering the spread three times.
Bottom line: The Bengals are getting back some key players this week. Plus, you got a kid at quarterback who has something to prove and will play his heart out. Take the Bengals plus-10.5 and over 44.
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers offshore implemented the 5-3 Rams as 3.5-point road favorites over the surging 4-4 Steelers, with the combined total set at 45.5. Since then, we quickly saw some under money hit the market, which forced books to adjust their price on the total down to 44. There's been minimal movement on the side as the game is still painted Rams minus-3.5 across your screen. As of late, Pittsburgh is playing the much better football. The Steelers have won four of their last five games, with the only loss coming to Baltimore at home in overtime. If you look at their schedule, and you take away that blowout loss to New England in the first week of the season, Mike Tomlin’s team has played some good football. They lost by two to Seattle and went to Levi Stadium caused havoc and almost beat an undefeated 49ers team before losing, 24-20.
The Rams, on the other hand, have beaten three teams with a combined record of 3-21 (Bengals/Falcons/Browns). They beat a Saints team when Drew Brees went down and the only reason they beat a banged-up Cam Newton, 30-27, was because the Panthers turned the ball over three times.
Other than the quarterback position, the Steelers are the better team and have the better overall nucleus. On defense, both teams rank third and fourth, respectively, in overall defensive efficiency, but Pittsburgh’s pass rush is on another level, ranking second in the NFL in adjusted sack rate, which is 12 spots better than Sean McVay’s team.
On offense, the Rams do have the better metrics, but if you look at their common opponents, the Steelers put up 13 more points on the 49ers, three less versus Seattle, and three more points against the Bengals. Then we go to the trenches on offense and the Steelers have the slightly better offensive line, ranking first in the NFL in protecting their quarterback.
Now it's no secret that Jared Goff’s splits have been historically bad, and we’ve seen a massive drop off in his production numbers on the road. We all know Goff tends to fold like a cheap suit against a team with a solid pass rush. We know the Rams coming off the bye week is worth something in this spot, but to be honest, we think the Steelers are the better overall team.
Bottom line: We like the home dog here plus-3.5. Bet the Steelers plus-3.5 and go under 21.5 in the first half and 44 for the full game.
(Betting lines are subject to change.)The Philly Godfather can be followed on twitter @Phillygodfather & his website is www.thephillygodfather.com.
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