October 25, 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: After getting demolished last week by the Cowboys, the Eagles head to Buffalo to face the 5-1 Bills. This might be exactly what the Eagles need to get back on the winning track. Philadelphia matches up very well against this team and oddsmakers agree making the 3-4 Birds only a 1.5-2-point underdogs on the road against a team with an 83% winning percentage this year. So, if you read between the lines, what the books are telling you is that on a neutral field, the Eagles, as bad as they looked last week, would still be a one-point favorite at this time over Sean McDermott’s squad.
The Eagles, who rank seventh in the NFL in opponent yards-per-rush attempt, should be able to contain Buffalo’s run game and force Josh Allen beat them with his arm, which we can't see happening, regardless of the Eagles ranking 24th in the league in the opponent yards-per-pass-attempt metric. The Eagles and Bills rank 11th and 12th, respectively, in plays per game, then add the fact that we have two teams here who rank in the basement of the NFL in adjusted sack rate on defense, we’re expecting both quarterbacks to have time to throw the ball and move up and down the field quickly.
Bottom line: We like the Eagles plus-2 here. We can't see them losing the turnover battle like they did against the Vikings (3 TOs) and the Cowboys (4 TOs) to a team like the Bills, who rank 20th in the league in turnover differential. As great as this Bills defense has looked at times this season, their biggest weakness has been their 31st-ranked pass rush. In order to beat the Eagles, you have to get to Carson Wentz quickly as the Cowboys did last week. We also like the over 43 points as long as the winds don't get out of hand at New Era Field on Sunday.
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers opened this line with the 3-4 Tennessee Titans as small 3-point home favorites over the 2-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the combined total set at 47 points. Within a few hours of posting the opening line, sportsbooks got hit with sharp money on both the underdog and the under, which forced the price to dip down below that key number of three. The total has seen a one-and-a-half point down tick in the market and has settled at 45.5 across your screen.
We like Tampa here. You give Bruce Arians an extra week to prepare and he’s hard to beat. As the Cardinals head coach, he won 80% of his games after a bye week. When we look at the level of competition both teams have played, while comparing each teams metrics on the field, it's not even close: The Buccaneers have played four teams that rank in the top 10 in overall defensive efficiency, averaging 28 points a game, while the Titans have only played one, the Denver Broncos (No. 5), and were held scoreless 16-0.
The other problem for Tennessee is Tampa's defense is ranked No. 1 in opponent yards-per-rush attempt, which is a huge problem for the Titans run game and will make them a one-dimensional offense with a backup quarterback leading the way in Ryan Tannehill.
Tampa also gets healthy on their offensive line, which should give Jameis Winston some extra time to throw the ball and limit some of his turnovers.
Bottom line: The wrong team is favored in this one. This is the type of game you want to maximize your edge, so buy the .5 point on Tampa plus-3, minus-130, and bet the Buccaneers plus-125 to win the game on the money line.
What is the line telling you: Oddsmakers off shore initially implemented the 3-4 Jaguars as 5.5-point favorites over the dismal New York Jets with the combined total set at 41, and sharp money immediately attacked the screen on Jacksonville, which forced oddsmakers to move this number to as high as 7 at some of the offshore betting houses along with the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas. But depending on which book you're using, we see some 6s and 6.5s still out in the market. The total is sitting patiently at 40.5/41.
The road team catching 7 in this spot after a blowout loss would normally be the right side, especially with the Jets defense ranking better in opponent yards-per-pass attempt, 23 spots better in opponent yards-per-rush attempt and seven positions better in overall defensive efficiency. But with a short week and one of the worst offensive lines (ranked 31st in pass protection) in football it's hard investing in Sam Darnold’s team.
Bottom line: Bet the Jags here at minus-6 even, though they're only 1-1 against the closing number as favorites this year. Their only loss came to the 6-1 New Orleans Saints in a game they had a chance to win.
(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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