The NFL is rapidly closing in on the midway point in the season and in this writeup we’ve got a matchup between the most overrated team in the NFL and one of the most underrated. This line could move against me but so far the public has responded just like I thought they would.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS OCTOBER 16, 2011 10:00 AM PACIFIC
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t, nor have they ever been, ‘the Dream Team’. Michael Vick was an overrated quarterback of dubious character with a mediocre record as a starter that was the beneficiary of a NFL/ESPN propaganda campaign that he was somehow ‘a changed man’ and that the league would now cower at the mere sight of him. Not so much. The Eagles as ‘Dream Team’ meme was a product of the ESPN hype machine and the public followed along.
By now you’d have thought that ‘John Q. Public’ would have figured things out. The Eagles are 1-4 and I couldn’t be happier with my UN 10.5 season wins ticket. I said before the season started that I expected Vick’s play to decline precipitously in 2011. After the first game—the Eagles only win of the year—against St. Louis I noted how Vick was showing a lot of bad signs that no one picked up on due to the victory. I also pointed out how during his career he performed badly—or started to melt down personally—when the pressure was on. He’s a front runner, a guy who can put up big numbers in meaningless situations but can’t play well under even the slightest amount of pressure.
The public is still convinced that the Eagles are due for a strong ‘bounce back effort’ and that’s the only real justification I can see for this line. But if that was the case why now? There wasn’t enough urgency at being 1-2 or 1-3? The problem with the Eagles is simple yet complex—simply put, Philadelphia assembled a team full of talented players who believe their own press clippings but were frighteningly devoid of character or leadership. That’s the simple part—the complex part is trying to get this team to ‘man up’ when its clearly not in their makeup. The ESPN hype machine continues to do their work in keeping the public poorly informed—they still refuse to throw Vick under the bus instead blaming the meltdown on head coach Andy Reid. Reid is part of the problem, but he’s not the guy who throws into double coverage and misreads defenses.
The pricing on this matchup makes no sense whatsoever. In one corner, we’ve got a Philadelphia Eagles team that is 1-4 and in freefall with no on field leadership and a completely befuddled head coach. They’re going on the road to play a divisional rival that is 3-1 and clearly headed in the right direction thanks to excellent coaching and coming off a bye week. Factor in a revenge motive from a 59-28 Philadelphia win on this field last year and it looks like a very strong spot for the home team. Yet the current price on the game is a ‘pick’ with money coming in on Philadelphia after it opened with Washington a -1 point home favorite. The Eagles may end up as a small road favorite which would only serve to underscore the absurdity of this price and the erroneous public perception of these teams.
The Eagles’ worst nightmare (besides themselves) is a stout and aggressive defense—and the Redskins are currently ranked #3 in total defense and #3 in scoring defense. Philly’s situational pointspread record underscores their ‘bully’ and ‘front runner’ status—Eagles are 6-11 ATS against teams with winning records since 2009 and 1-3 ATS after two or more losses. Even during their rebuilding years, Washington was a good investment in competitive matchups going 7-4 ATS since 2009 in games with a line between +3 and -3. Washington is the better team playing on their home field and all they need to do at this price is win outright.
Bet Washington Redskins PK over Philadelphia Eagles
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