The Philadelphia Eagles renew an old division rivalry this Sunday afternoon when they travel to University of Phoenix Stadium to square off against the Arizona Cardinals. The game is scheduled to kick off at 4:05 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
This betting preview is part of an ongoing series that started with Game 1 of the preseason where I take an in-depth look at each and every Eagles game this year and offer a free NFL pick using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System. My goal is to demonstrate that specialization on a particular team is a viable aspect of any successful sports betting strategy.
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Betting Lines by 5Dimes
Pointspread: Philadelphia -4
Total Line: 43.5
Game Overview: Philadelphia
On paper, the Eagles are 2-0 straight up (0-2 against the spread) on the year, but how they have gotten there is a whole other story. In their back-to-back one-point victories against Cleveland in Week 1 and Baltimore last Sunday, Philadelphia has turned the ball over nine times, including six interceptions by Michael Vick, and the Eagles committed 28 penalties for 248 yards in those two games. They repeatedly shot themselves in the foot for the majority of both games but won each on a last-minute drive for a touchdown. That is certainly not the way that head coach Andy Reid had drawn things up, but, in a season where his job has already been put on the line, he will take a win anyway he can get it.
It has not been all bad for the Eagles. In fact, there are a number of areas where this team has been quite good. It has the No.1-ranked offense in the NFL in total yards per game and is ranked seventh on defense in points allowed and fourth in total yards allowed. If the Eagles can eliminate the costly mistakes, they could be one of the most complete teams in the league. One huge concern moving forward could be the loss of center Jason Kelse for the season with a torn MCL. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin remains questionable for this game with a hip pointer.
Game Overview: Arizona
These West Coast birds are also a surprising 2-0, both SU and ATS, after beating Seattle, 20-16, as one-point home underdogs to open the season as well as shocking New England, 20-18, last Sunday as 13-point underdogs on the road. The Cardinals needed a late fourth-quarter drive engineered by former Eagle Kevin Kolb at quarterback to get by the Seahawks, and they received a huge break on a missed Patriots field goal attempt late in that game as well to preserve the win. Kolb replaced an injured John Skelton in Week 1 and will most likely get the start this Sunday afternoon.
Arizona’s offensive stats are basically forgettable with an average of 175 yards a game in the air and 74 yards on the ground, which both rank near the bottom of the league. Kolb has completed 60 percent of his throws and the team’s best running back, Beanie Wells, is averaging 2.8 yards per carry. Even more shocking is the fact that all-pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has just five catches in the first two games. Before we start chalking up Arizona’s hot start to smoke and mirrors, this team does have a defense that can shut down both the pass and the run. It will be tested again this week against a very potent Eagles attack, but just ask Tom Brady what he thinks about this squad.
Game Betting Trends
These two teams met last season with Arizona coming away with 21-17 win as a 13.5-point underdog on the road. Overall, the Cardinals have won three of the last four meetings SU dating back to 2005 and are 3-1 ATS. The total stayed “under” the 47-point line last year, but it went “over” in five previous meetings.
It is just hard to imagine the Eagles, or any NFL team for that matter, continuing to turn the ball over like they have in the first two games. Somewhere along the way, the offensive line is going to stop holding people and the defensive secondary will learn how to keep their hands to themselves past five yards. I believe that time is Sunday in Glendale as the whole package finally comes together. I am going with my strongest play so far this season this week using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System with four units on Philadelphia to cover the four points on the road.
Take # 419 Philadelphia (-4) over Arizona for 4 Units
YTD Record: -1 Unit (-$140)
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