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.
Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. Sunday(Games 459 & 460 on the sports betting screen)
The Line: Eagles minus-10/Total: 46.5
What is the line telling you:
Oddsmakers offshore opened up the Eagles as 9-point road favorites with the combined total set at 46.5 and we immediately saw some sharp money hit the screen on Doug Pederson’s team, which forced the bookmakers to move this line up to 10. This is the perfect matchup for a team like Philly, which has been struggling on offense. The Dolphins defensive metrics are some of the worst in the NFL, so the Eagles should be able to take full advantage and move the ball at will on this team. On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles are playing some great football and finally look healthy. The last three times the Dolphins played a defense that ranked in the top 10 in overall efficiency, they lost 59-10 to the Ravens, 43-0 to the Patriots, and 27-14 to the Steelers. The Eagles currently have the seventh best defense in the NFL.
Bet the Eagles minus 10 points.
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. Sunday(Games 455 & 456 on the sports betting screen)
The Line: Ravens minus-5.5/Total: 46.5
What is the line telling you:
We could be looking at a prelude to the Super Bowl here. The soft opener on this matchup offshore had John Harbaugh’s team as 4.5-point favorites over the 49ers, with the combined total set at 46. And since the number cracked, we've seen over 60% of all tickets punched across your screen on the Ravens, which pushed this line up to as high as 7, before we witnessed resistance in the market at that key number and as of right now the game is painted 5.5 almost everywhere. The total quite surprisingly has been creeping upwards to 46.5/47. Don't be surprised come game day if the weather is bad to see this number drop again. Moving forward, Baltimore is playing some of the best football we’ve ever seen. The Ravens are the first team in NFL history to defeat each of the previous year’s Super Bowl participants by 17 points or more and the first team to win four-straight games against winning teams by a total margin of 90-plus points. It’s been a great run.
Breaking down the match up, the Ravens offensive metrics are the cream of the crop: No. 1 in offensive efficiency; No. 3 in yards-per-play; and No.1 in yards-per-rush attempt and No. 5 in yards-per-pass attempt. It's hard to argue that Lamar Jackson isn't the greatest running QB that we've ever seen. He’s on pace for almost 1,300 yards rushing, which would smash Mike Vick’s single-season record by more than 200 yards. So the advantage on offense definitely goes to the Ravens, the only problem is the weather's supposed to be horrible. Throw all those metrics out the window if the weather is as bad as predicted.
Bottom line: Anytime you can grab plus-6 points on the 49ers, who have the much better defense in bad weather, it's an automatic bet. The combination of bad weather here with the ability of this 49ers defense, which has sacked opposing quarterbacks on 11.8 percent of their dropbacks (which is the highest rate in the NFL), it should give Jackson some major problems, limiting his running ability. Take the 49ers here plus-6.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. Monday
(Games 475 & 476 on the sports betting screen)
The Line: Seahawks minus-3/Total: 50
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers offshore opened this line with the Seahawks being small 2.5-point home favorites over Mike Zimmer’s team with a combined total set at 49. Since then, we've seen the Seattle side kissed up to minus-3, and even money at some of the sharper betting houses on the islands. We've also witnessed some soft sharp money take a bite on the over 49, which forced books to move the total to 50. We’re hoping the public keeps pounding the Seahawks here. As of right now, the bet splits are top heavy with 65% of all tickets punched on Seattle. The bookmakers are begging for Seattle money at home, when they came out with that soft 2.5 early in the week. That line felt really short, which is scary because of Russell Wilson and the level of competition his team has faced and beaten this year. When you look at these team’s schedules, Seattle’s opponents have a combined 10 more wins than Minnesota’s. The Vikings have only played two teams this year that rank in the top 10 in defensive efficiency compared to five that Pete Carroll’s team has faced. How is this line only 2.5/3
Bottom line: If you read between the lines, the Seahawks have more wins than the Vikings. They beat the best team in the NFC two weeks ago on the road. They have the better QB, but if these teams played this week on a neutral field, according to Vegas bookmakers, this line would be a pick’em. Bookmakers don’t give out free money. We’ll take our chances with Minnesota, a well-rested road dog here coming off the bye at plus-3 or 3.5. Since losing to Baltimore three of the four Seahawks opponents are ranked in the basement of the NFL in turnover differential. Two of their last three games went into overtime, and they're coming off playing a tough Philly defense.
(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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