We usually save our “Lines that make you go hmmm…” for later in the week, but Week 9’s Monday night matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints has everyone – from books to bettors – scratching their heads.
“This is a really tough game,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, told Covers. “The initial perception is that this is going to be a really good game, exciting with lots of scoring. But, in reality, it’s looking like a 17-14 game.”
Korner’s crew of oddsmakers sent out a suggested spread of Saints -5. Online books opened the game as low as New Orleans -3. Regardless of the opening line, it’s safe to say Week 9’s marquee Monday Night Football game features the two most disappointing teams of the 2012 season.
New Orleans, hindered by all the offseason drama of Bountygate, is 2-5 SU (3-4 ATS) and coming off an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday night. The Eagles are also limping into Week 9, falling to 3-4 SU (1-5-1 ATS) after a 30-17 flogging by the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.
“I’m lost on this game,” laughs Korner. “One team will have to win, in that case we’ll go with the home team.”
Korner was baffled by the betting patterns for the Falcons-Eagles game, which saw Philadelphia open as the favorite and draw action throughout the course of the week. He’s even more surprised that many online books have opened this week’s spread as low as a field goal.
Korner admits New Orleans hasn’t performed much better, but the Saints are far from the hot mess that has become the Eagles’ season.
Quarterback Michael Vick continues to limit the offense, which has scored just 17.1 points per game (30th in the NFL). Rumors are picking up momentum that head coach Andy Reid – whose job is on the chopping block - may look to backup QB Nick Foles in an attempt to save the season and his job.
“I think Reid’s time is coming to an end,” says Korner.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-9.5, 42.5)
By now, we’ve all read the cringe-inducing stats regarding the Chiefs and their futility this season and you could make an argument that Kansas City is the worst NFL team we’ve seen in some time.
The odds for Thursday night’s meeting between the Chiefs and Chargers are teetering on double digits at some markets while others have this standalone game as low as Bolts -8.
Korner says two of his oddsmakers brought spreads of 7.5 to the table while others had it as high as 10. He’s suggesting keeping this number as high as possible and sent out San Diego -9.5, even suggesting a move to -10 or above.
“You don’t want to be cheering for Kansas City come Thursday night,” he says.
Korner is throwing out the Chargers’ 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns Sunday, believing the bad weather had a lot to do with San Diego’s lack of offense. Quarterback Philip Rivers went just 18 for 34 and finished with 154 yards and no touchdowns.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants (-3.5, 47)
The Giants escaped a second-half collapse versus the Dallas Cowboys Sunday to improve to 6-2 and now return home to host the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat up on New York’s NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins, in Week 8.
Korner sent out the G-Men at -5 while online books are offering the defending champs as low as a field goal. He says people are thinking about New York’s dreadful second half in Dallas and forgetting the one important thing.
“New York won that game,” says Korner. “The Giants just plain win. For them to be 3-point favorites in Dallas, it should warrant them being bigger than 3-point favorites at home to a Pittsburgh team that isn’t the same ole Pittsburgh team.”
“It’s a really good game, and the Giants seem to always win these big games”Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 47.5)
Korner believes football bettors are getting a deal on the Falcons as 5-point favorites, after sending out the lone unblemished squad as touchdown chalk at home on Sunday night.
“This is cheap,” says Korner. “(Atlanta) has firepower, it’s explosive, it’s playing good defense. If they can handle Philly on the road, they can surely handle Dallas at home.”
Korner says a lot of the parlay money for Sunday will be tied into this Sunday nighter, making it one of the deciding games of the Week 9 slate.