The team at the top of the NFC East is not the one most people expected through 10 weeks of the season. Covers checks in on the opening line for a key clash involving that team, along with three other Week 11 games, with insights from Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (+3.5)
Philadelphia is certainly one of the top surprise teams of the year, piling up seven consecutive wins en route to the best record in the NFL. The Eagles (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) are also coming off their bye week, after dismantling Denver 51-23 as a 7-point favorite in Week 9.
Dallas, which won the NFC East last year with a 13-3 record, can’t seem to regain that form, and it didn’t get any easier in Week 10 without the now-suspended Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys were 3.5-point underdogs at Atlanta and got rolled 27-7.
“No one would’ve anticipated Dallas being an underdog in this game prior to the season starting, or even a few weeks ago, but here we are,” Cooley said. “Philadelphia has made leaping strides this season and is well above the Cowboys in our power ratings. As we all know, JerryWorld doesn’t exactly provide a home-field edge, so the Eagles deserved to be above the field-goal threshold. However, I do expect this will close at a field goal.”
In fact, late Sunday night, the line had already ducked down to 3.
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Pittsburgh was among the preseason favorites in the Super Bowl futures book, but hasn’t looked much the part this season. Yet the Steelers are still 7-2 SU (5-4 ATS), after rallying from a 17-3 deficit to post a 20-17 victory at Indianapolis as a 10.5-pint chalk.
Like the Steelers, Tennessee (6-3 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) has won four in a row (1-2-1 ATS). The Titans got a last-minute touchdown Sunday to top Cincinnati 24-20, though they fell just short at the betting window as 4.5-point favorites.
“Marcus Mariota looked like his old self this week, while the Steelers slept-walked through an ugly affair,” Cooley said. “Still, we know this Pittsburgh offense can explode any week, and we know that the public is going to back the Steelers through and through. We’ll likely see some serious sharp money on the road ‘dog.”
New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (no line)
New England is definitely rounding into form heading into this neutral-site clash in Mexico City. The Patriots (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) flattened Denver 41-16 in the Sunday nighter, easily cashing as a 7-point road chalk.
Oakland had a bye in Week 10 and is hoping to climb back to .500 in what many observers thought would be a much better season. The Raiders (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) edged Miami 27-24 in Week 9, pushing as a 3-point road favorite.
Since the Patriots were in the Sunday nighter, Bookmaker.eu is holding off on the opening line until Monday.
“If everything goes accordingly, we’ll look to make the Pats around 6-point chalk,” Cooley said. “Something just isn’t right with the Raiders these days.”
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (-3)
In Week 10, Atlanta finally looked a little more like the team that went to the Super Bowl last year. The Falcons (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) pulled away from Dallas in the second half for a 27-7 victory laying 3.5 points at home.
Seattle comes into this Monday night matchup with a little more rest, having played the Week 10 Thursday nighter. In that contest, the Seahawks (6-3 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) held off Arizona 22-16 to push as a 6-point fave. However, Seattle lost superstar cornerback Richard Sherman for the rest of the year, due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“We’re going to find out very quickly how much the Seahawks miss Sherman. My guess is a ton,” Cooley said. “They already had ample offensive deficiencies, and now there’s a gaping hole in the secondary. If not for Russell Wilson, this would be one of the worst teams in the NFL. On the other side, is Atlanta finally hitting its stride?”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.