Take Improving Eagles +4 as the NFL Pick Against Cardinals

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, December 19, 2015 8:16 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 8:16 PM GMT

The Cardinals soar into Philadelphia gunning for their eighth consecutive victory while the Eagles are starting to get back on track, winning their last pair. Let's see the NFL odds first.

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NFL Pick: Eagles +4
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Arizona Cardinals (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS)
The Cards have reeled off seven in a row yet have failed to cover the NFL odds in three of their last four contests. In their last outing they hosted the Minnesota Vikings as 10-point home favorites and came away with a narrow 23-20 victory. Of course that results makes the Arizona fans happy but not those who backed them in their NFL picks in Week 14.

The Cardinals boast one of the very best wide receiving corps in the league with veteran Larry Fitzgerald, Malcolm Floyd and John Brown all capable of busting one loose and taking it to the house. Former New England Patriots and three-time Super Bowl champion Matt Chatham (@chatham58) is one of the finest football analysts out there and he illustrated beautifully this week why these three are such a terrifying triumvirate for opposing defenses particularly when you have a field marshal like Carson Palmer pulling the trigger.

Headed into this contest against the suddenly resurgent Eagles the Redbirds own the 3rd ranked passing attack averaging nearly 300 yards per game while ranked 2nd in points scored with 31.2 points per game. Defensively Arizona is no slouch either as they are holding opponents to 19.4 points per game, good for 7th in the league. The Cardinals are among the best teams in the league when focused but the question is can they get up for this trip to Philadelphia?

 

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Imagine being tied for the division lead with a sub .500 record and only three games remaining? That is the good fortune that has befallen the Philadelphia Eagles and they appear to be turning things around at the right time with consecutive victories over New England and Buffalo. The win in Foxboro was an absolute stunner as the Eagles met the Patriots on their home turf, fell behind by the score of 14-0, and yet still came away with a 35-28 victory as 11-point underdogs.

Sam Bradford is back under center and it appears the team rallies when he is calling the signals. Bradford is clearly the better choice over Mark Sanchez and the team has won and covered in three of their last four when he has been in the pocket and he will be on the field this Sunday when the Cards' offense meets one of the stoutest defenses in football. Philadelphia is ranked 14th in points scored this season and is 21st in points against surrendering 24.8 PPG.

 

Betting Analysis
Public perception is everything and it is exactly what the NFL oddsmakers try to predict when they set the lines. This has nothing to do with what they believe will happen but what they think the best number is to attract money on both sides of the ball so the bookmakers don't get buried on one side and in effect become gamblers themselves.

This is the long way around telling you why we believe the Eagles are getting 3½ points at home because public perception is that Philly got lucky against New England and stunk the joint out on Thanksgiving (which is a game the entire nation watched as opposed to the regional coverage of the game against the Patriots) when they were hammered 45-15 by the Lions in Detroit. The squares do not differentiate between the Mark Sanchez led Eagles offense and that of Sam Bradford. It is just one combined team record and the betting public does not take the time to do their research to discern betting patterns, injuries, trends or matchups.

The Eagles will cover the number in this game because Philly is a team that is improving while the Cardinals have been lethargic recently against teams they do not consider a threat. Philadelphia has already figured out that Arizona has one primary defensive strategy - blitz! Bradford is good enough to get a quick release and DeMarco Murray will have a big game as his safety valve coming out of the backfield. Don't misunderstand me this is not a question of Philadelphia being better than Arizona, it is a situational play where I see the Cards looking ahead to Green Bay and Seattle while Philly understands every game is a playoff game from here on out.

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