NFL Picks Eagles Home Cover Over Panthers for Monday Night

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:12 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 2:12 PM UTC

It’s redemption time for Mark Sanchez. He’ll be starting for the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night when they host the Carolina Panthers, and the NFL odds have Sanchez and the Eagles laying six points.

Jason’s record after Week 9: 26-36 ATS, 10-14-1 Totals

Profit: minus-34.81 units

There aren’t very many second acts in the NFL. But here we are with Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, and on Monday Night Football no less (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). This is a golden opportunity for Sanchez to wash away the bad taste from his failed 2012 season with the New York Jets. The Week 10 NFL odds have Philadelphia laying six points to the visiting Carolina Panthers, losers of three straight at 1-2 ATS.

Sanchez will definitely have a better supporting cast this Monday than he did two years ago. Clearly the NFL betting market is confident enough that Sanchez can hold the fort in relief of Nick Foles (clavicle), who’s not expected to return for at least another six weeks. Our consensus reports show 61 percent of early bettors willing to back Philadelphia, contributing 60 percent of the action. The average bet size for either team is about 50 bucks – not extravagant, but hardly pessimistic.


Mrs. Foles’ Baby Boy Is Coming Home
Not that we’d actually wish harm on anyone, but it’s kind of a shame Foles didn’t suffer this injury in Week 1 – only because it would have given the Eagles more betting value. Foles came into the 2014 season on the heels of an unusually strong sophomore campaign where he threw just two picks in 10 starts. That probably wasn’t going to be sustainable. Sure enough, Foles has regressed to the mean:

Foles 2012: 60.8 CMP%, 1.9INT%, 79.1 passer rating, No. 30 passing DVOA
Foles 2013: 64.0 CMP%, 0.6INT%, 119.2 passer rating, No. 2 passing DVOA
Foles 2014: 59.9 CMP%, 3.2INT%, 81.5 passer rating, No. 19 passing DVOA

Although Foles has improved his game in many ways since he was a rookie, he’s still only putting up the stats of a somewhat competent game manager. That’s something we can imagine Sanchez being, as well. He certainly had his rough moments as a Jet, but by his third season, he was putting up numbers approaching what Foles has produced this year:

Sanchez 2009: 53.8 CMP%, 5.5INT%, 63.0 passer rating, No. 29 passing DVOA
Sanchez 2010: 54.8 CMP%, 2.6INT%, 75.3 passer rating, No. 28 passing DVOA
Sanchez 2011: 56.7 CMP%, 3.3INT%, 78.2 passer rating, No. 29 passing DVOA

So again, if we’re charitable about how Sanchez played in 2012 and blame it on the dismantling of the team around him (a team that had gone to the AFC Championship Game twice, don’t forget), then there’s no reason to think he can’t deliver a Foles-like performance Monday night against a Carolina team that ranks No. 24 overall (No. 21 pass, No. 29 rush) in defensive efficiency.


Parkey with No Problem
Things are otherwise set up quite nicely for Sanchez to succeed. He already played well for three quarters of last week’s 31-21 win over the Houston Texans (+1.5 away), and his Eagles should be fresher than the Panthers, having taken the bye in Week 7. And speaking of low ceilings, Sanchez only inherits the No. 18-ranked offense in the league (No. 20 pass, No. 19 rush). It’s been the defense and special teams powering the Eagles to victory this year.

Which gives us a great chance to acknowledge the work that Philly PK Cody Parkey has done this year. The undrafted rookie out of Auburn took the starting gig away from Alex Henery and has been nearly flawless, making 13 of his 14 field goal attempts. The Eagles also have the best punt returner in the game right now, Darren Sproles, which is why they also have the highest-rated special teams. When making your NFL picks keep in mind that all Sanchez needs to do is play competent football and not mess up this opportunity, and may the prolate spheroid be with him.


The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: PHI
Defense/Special Teams: PHI
Coaching: PHI
Market Bias: CAR
Betting Line Value: CAR

Verdict: 1-star pick on PHI

Free NFL Pick: Bet 1.4 units on the Eagles –6 (–109) at Pinnacle

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