December 14, 2018
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 and college 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, thephillygodfather.com.
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers opened this line with the 11-2 LA Rams, who are 6-0 at home this year, as 9.5-point favorites — and that was before the news that Carson Wentz’s back was injured. Since then, we’ve seen this number balloon up to 11.5 across the screen and it will likely grow larger. It’s as high as 12.5 in some houses. If you’re looking to bet the Birds, I would wait, because the number could rise even more. The total opened at 54, and since, we’ve seen a 1.5-point dip in the market towards the under. It’s 52.5 now everywhere. The average recreational bettor wants no part of the Eagles, who have won one road game this year, at the Giants, with the other win coming at a neutral site in London.
The Eagles still have a slim chance to make the playoffs, but the last time I looked, ‘slim’ is out of town. In order to beat the Rams, or hang with them, you need a strong pass rush, which the Eagles just don’t have this year. They’re ranked 27th in the NFL in ASR, which is adjusted sack rate. On offense, you need a real strong running game, and both of the Rams’ losses have come against the Saints and the Bears, who average over 120 yards per game rushing. The Rams could have lost both games to Seattle, which leads the NFL in rushing yards per game. The Eagles are ranked 28 th in the NFL in rushing. There is just not enough here for the Eagles. If the Rams start well, this could get ugly real fast.
Bottom line: The smart money is all over the Rams.
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers opened this game as the Giants being slight 2-point favorites against the visiting Tennessee Titans, with the total set at 44. Since, we’ve seen some sharp money bet the Titans and the under. The total dropped a half point and is at 43.5 everywhere. It’s a 50-50 split on the overall tickets punched, but the overall money wagered falls 70-percent on the Titans.
When you look at the metrics, it’s just a bad matchup for New York. On offense, the Titans are ranked 10 spots rushing the ball, and in recent play, the Titans are averaging 15 yards more passing per game and four yards more per play on offense. On defense, Tennessee is ranked fourth in the NFL in points given up per game, only giving up 19 points a game. The Giants, in the same category, are ranked far lower, giving up 25 points per game.
Bottom line: The smart money likes the Titans on the moneyline.
What is the line telling you: The oddsmakers and offshore line opened with the Saints as 6.5-point favorites, with the combined total set at 54. Since then, we’ve seen an influx of smart money on the under. Early market reports have an overwhelming response on the Saints, who have taken 75-percent on all tickets punched. But, 66-percent of the sharp money wagered is on Carolina here. The Panthers have won five of six games at home this season. If the line reaches seven, there will be a big bet on the Panthers here.
They’re the second-best rushing team in the NFL, averaging 137 yards per game, and recently, they’re averaging over 160 yards rushing per game. Carolina should be able to control the time-of-possession battle, keep this game close and stay within the number. Teams that have out-rushed their opponents this year have 70-percent of the time and have covered the spread as slightly higher clip. As long as the Panthers don’t turn the ball, the Panthers should be able to keep this game close.
Bottom line: The smart money likes the Panthers and the under.
• Tulane (-3.5) over Louisiana-Lafayette (Games 203-204)
• Fresno State (-5) over Arizona State (Games 204-205)
(Betting lines are subject to change.)
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