Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots Preview and Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) +22, 50 O/U at New England Patriots (10-0) -22, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, 8.15pm EST Sunday
by The Crazy Snake of

I just thought you’d like to know that I have finally come to a conclusion about a question that until recently still caste a shadow of doubt in my mind. Until this week the jury was still out on whether the world had finally gone mad. In my own mind it’s now official! The world has gone completely loopy.

Why is this so? I saw the New England money line open at -3000 at my favorite bookmaker (no, that is not a misprint). The spread opened at -22.0. The points total opened at 50.5. I mean, I thought I had stumbled into a college mismatch game line by mistake. I have never seen such a short quote in an NFL game. It defies description. I don’t know what I expected it to be. I figured it would be around the -1250 mark with a 16 point spread. When I opened up my browser and clicked on the NFL lines I am certain I did a double take.

I also watched New England firm from -125 for the Superbowl at one of the braver bookies I often use and as I write it has fallen below -150. I haven’t stopped shaking my head in disbelief as yet. I mean, they should be those odds to receive a major injury before the post season, not to win it all.That price is equivalent to a 3 game parlay (Divisional, AFC Championship and Superbowl) at -550. Are they trying to tell me that the Patriots would be -550 to beat the Steelers or Jaguars in a divisional playoff? The Colts in the AFC Championship? The Cowboys, Packers or Giants in the big one? I don’t actually think that’s what they’re saying. I think they’re saying “Screw you guys! No more Pats bets for now, peoples. Back someone else!” And was it my imagination, or did the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best performed teams to date all win AND cover on Turkey Day in impressive style?

It’s fair to sat that NE seems unstoppable right now. But there is a movie called “Any Given Sunday”…

But seriously, who would be silly enough to bet against them? Well, believe it or not there are people still willing to back the Eagles to win this one outright against them, despite the overwhelming weight of bookmaker and public opinion to the contrary. More power to them, I say! At least they are willing to be a little contrarian. I have made my living from being contrarian for years. But not usually by taking on the all conquering Patriots with an under performing team likely to start their second string quarterback.

Nonetheless, we still want to know if the Pats can cover a spread that looks more like a score in a basketball game than a spread in a football game. Personally, I am pretty certain the bookmakers won’t be wanting a lot of action on this game, but given the time slot and the teams playing they are likely to get it. There’ll be those that think 22 points is too big an impost and will back the Eagles. Others will look at the records and see the Patriots eclipsing that mark by the half.

The question can best be answered by looking at the Eagle’s capability to contain Brady to Moss, Stallworth and Welker. The only way to achieve that will be to mount an excellent pass rush and do it all day long. The Eagles are solid against the run so they could contain Moroney well enough, but asking them to contain all of those threats at the same time just isn’t fair. They will get pummeled. There is no question about it. The only question is whether the Pats want to, and given last week and more 4th down antics, we just know they want to. There will be no love lost between these two teams. Their 2005 Superbowl match up was plenty spiteful enough.

The Snake’s Bite: Sorry guys, no miracles here, though I think it would add life to a season that is fast becoming a procession. The Pats will win and cover. The Eagles just don’t have enough scoring ability to stay with them. The Pats will hunt Westbrook in numbers all day and that should see plenty of 3 and outs on the Eagle’s offense. How many points can one team score if they control the ball for 3 quarters of the game? Their usual 40-50 would seem a logical answer.