Long-standing trends are regarded as nothing but noise by NFL oddsmakers, who focus more on the game-to-game results to build a spread. However, some trends make so much noise, they’re nearly impossible to ignore.
Books turned a few heads this week, opening the Philadelphia Eagles as big as 2.5-point home favorites hosting the undefeated Atlanta Falcons Sunday.
While giving points to a 6-0 team may seem outlandish, bettors are pointing to Eagles head coach Andy Reid and his outstanding record coming off the bye week, which Philadelphia enjoyed in Week 7. Reid is 13-0 SU and 10-3 ATS in games following the bye and the Eagles are a profitable 16-7 ATS after a week off going back to 1990.
Aron Black of UK-based sportsbook bet365.com
says Reid’s success coming off the bye has a very small impact on Philadelphia’s stand as the favorite and says the line speaks more about Atlanta’s soft schedule to start the year. The Falcons have stolen close wins from bottom-feeders like Oakland and Carolina en route to their unblemished record.
“This is the hardest line to get your head around for Week 8,” Black told Covers
. “Atlanta has really been doing nothing wrong. They’ve had to pull out some wins against inferior teams.”
On the other hand, the Eagles have left at least two wins on the table this season – a two-point loss at Pittsburgh on a last-second field goal and a three-point overtime defeat to the Lions are what stand between Philly and a 5-1 SU mark.
“And,” notes Black, “we’re thinking that it’s only a matter of time before the Eagles get a handle on those turnovers.”
Still, you are what you are, and at 3-3 Philadelphia is just one of 18 teams in the league at or within one game of .500 heading into Week 8. Another 8-8 finish would likely be the end of the line for Reid with the remainder of the season amounting to a 10-week job evaluation for the venerable coach if the Eagles suffer their third straight loss Sunday.
However, a win over the Falcons would put some bounce back in his hefty step and keep the fan base at bay for a bit. At least Reid has history on his side.
Black reports that mid-week money is split on this game, but expects some late-week movement toward Atlanta due to public perception.