Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday, November 22, 2015, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.
TV: FOX, DirecTV 713
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TB +6 /PHI -6
Over/Under Total: 45.5
Its almost hard to believe, but two teams with identical 4-5 records will be looking to get to .500 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in week 11 NFL action on Fox this Sunday.
The Eagles were .500 a week ago, but then they went out and lost quarterback Sam Bradford to a concussion and put forth another huge disappointment losing to the Miami Dolphins at home in the Linc, 20-19. Backup Mark Sanchez nearly led the Eagles back from the brink, but an interception in the Dolphins end zone and a last-minute defensive stand deep in Miami territory allowed the Dolphins to score the upset victory.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers were on the other end of the last-minute comeback, scoring a big, 10-6, victory over the struggling Dallas Cowboys when rookie Jameis Winston scrambled in from a yard out with 54 seconds left. Tampa had alternated wins and losses the past five weeks, so if the Bucs hope to get back to .500 they will need to break the trend and put together a win streak for the first time under Winston.
Even though Bradford stood on the sideline at Tuesdays practice and his availability for Sundays game is still in doubt, it hasnt stopped the oddsmakers out in Las Vegas from installing the Eagles as 4-point favorites in the game on Sunday. Worse yet, it hasnt stopped bettors from blindly following the disappointing Eagles again, especially since the point spread has been bet up to Eagles minus -6 at most sportsbooks with a few -5.5 mix in here and there.
The over/under total opened at 45 and hasnt moved nearly as much as the point spread, moving up the hook to 45.5 at most books.
Honestly I dont know how anyone can be wagering on this game already. X-rays on Bradfords shoulder were negative and he wasnt wearing a sling when he watched Sanchez practice on Tuesday, but lets remember he wasnt exactly lighting up Chip Kellys offense as the starting QB this season to begin with. The good news for Eagles fans is that it looks like they might get LT Jason Peters back for Sunday, which will move Lane Johnson back to right tackle and strengthen the Eagles offensive line as a whole. The Eagles will face an inconsistent Tampa defense that is sort of an enigma in the fact they are ranked 7th in yards allowed (233 ypg), but 26th in points allowed giving up 26.3 a week on average.
Winston has been decent in his rookie campaign at QB, but last week was the first time all season the Bucs won despite him not have a very good game (2 INT, 55.3 QB rating). Each week it looks like Winston is building trust with now-healthy Mike Evans, but the Bucs could have success on offense against the Eagles because they do like to pound the ball on the ground at 126 yard a game (6th in NFL) with Doug Martin and company. For the most part the Eagles defense is healthy, but they are also very middle of the road when it comes to performance ranked 19th versus the run (111 ypg) and 18th in total yards but a solid 10th in scoring allowing just 20.4 points per game.
Philly won the last meeting between these two franchises back in 2013 by a score of 31-20, but that was before Winston. All told the Eagles have won three straight against the Buccaneers going back to 2009 and are 7-3 SU going back to the 2000 season for a larger sample size. Ironically, the team that has won this game straight up, has always covered the point spread too.
The under may turn out to be the best wager on the board for this game Sunday, especially is Bradford sits. The under is already 13-6 in Tampas last 19 games overall, but the under is 7-2 for the Eagles this season and is 5-2 against teams from the NFC.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im waiting for the weeks first injury report to come out Wednesday. If Bradford is on it as doubtful or less, then I expect the point spread to correct itself a little before kickoff. Even if the line doesnt drop a little, I still like Philly to cover in this game. The Eagles wont lay a second consecutive turd at home, even without Bradford. Im taking Philly minus the points.
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