The Philadelphia Eagles will try and play the role of spoiler this upcoming Sunday when they face the 6-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. This NFC conference clash is set to kick off at 1 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available locally on FOX
This continuing series of Eagles’ game previews and predictions relies heavily on my past experience covering this team. Utilizing Doc’s Unit Betting System, I assign a value to each pick based on my confidence level for that week’s particular matchup. When it comes to wagering on the NFL, it’s always smart to focus your handicapping efforts on what you know best in an effort to gain that all-important edge to correctly picking the actual outcome of the game.
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Betting Lines by BetOnline
Pointspread: Tampa Bay -7
Total Line: 46
Game Overview: Philadelphia
The title of the heading above should simply read ‘game over’ after the Eagles current losing streak reached eight games with this past Sunday night’s 38-33 loss to Dallas as 10-point road underdogs. At least the 3-9 Birds finally covered in a game after going a dismal 1-9-1 against the spread in their first 11 games. The total went “over” the 43-point line and has now gone over in three of their last four games.
The carnage in Philadelphia continues with embattled head coach Andy Reid deciding to fire his defensive line coach Jim Washburn and put Michael Vick on the shelf for the rest of the season. That means rookie signal caller Nick Foles’ audition for next season’s full-time starting role will continue for four more games. He has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 793 yards and two touchdowns in his first three starts, but he has also thrown three interceptions and been sacked eight times. The one positive thing to come out of this whole mess has been the play of running back Bryce Brown. He set a team rookie record for rushing against Carolina two weeks ago with 178 yards and tagged the Cowboys for 169 yards this past Sunday night. He should be tested this week against a Buccaneers’ defense that is ranked first in the league against the run.
Game Overview: Tampa Bay
Last Sunday’s 31-23 loss to Denver as a 9.5-point road underdog dealt a serious blow to Tampa Bay’s playoff chances, so needless to say this game becomes a must-win to stay alive in the race. The Buccaneers come into this matchup at 6-6 SU and a very profitable 9-2-1 ATS. The total has gone over in nine of their first 12 games.
Quarterback Josh Freeman has returned to form this season to make enough plays to throw for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. Overall, Tampa Bay is ranked 14th in the NFL in total yards and fourth in scoring with an average of 27.8 points a game. Adding to this firepower is rookie running back Doug Martin, who has rushed for 1,106 yards and nine scores. The majority of the problem with the Bucs this season has been a defense that is ranked dead last against the pass. This has often led to back-breaking big plays that have this unit giving up an average of 23.8 points a game. They have actually given up 24 points or more in four of their last five games.
Game Betting Trends
The Eagles are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games against the NFC and 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a SU loss. The total has stayed under in seven of their last eight road games.
The Buccaneers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss. The total has gone over in four of their last five games at home.
Head-to-head, Tampa Bay has won three of the last four meetings both SU and ATS dating all the way back to the 2003 season. The total has gone over in three of those four games.
The Eagles showed some heart last week against Dallas, but that was in a prime time game against a division rival. They now face a very hungry Buccaneers’ team that fully understands that a loss means an end to their season as well. This game should actually remain close most of the way, but look for Tampa Bay to pull away down the stretch to cover the one-touchdown spread. Using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System take Tampa Bay and give the seven points for 3 Units.
Take #120 Tampa Bay (-7) over Philadelphia for 3 Units
YTD Record: -22 Units (-$2470)