Philadelphia was a 1-point home favorite at midweek because the Ravens were the only team in this matchup that looked like a contender in Week 1.
The Eagles struggled to a weak win at Cleveland while the Ravens routed Cincinnati. And Baltimore's recent history against the NFC East generally and the Eagles specifically is giving bettors more ammunition to bet on the Ravens.
"Baltimore is 4-1-1 ATS against the Eagles in six meetings over the years and they have dominated the entire division to the tune of 8-1 ATS in nine meetings this decade," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
But there is disagreement in Vegas and at online sportsbooks tracking this game. Some have it at -1 for Philly, while one has them at -3.
"We are holding Philly -3 but +115," said Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada. "And at that line, even though the bettors have to pay -135 for three points on the Ravens, it's not stopping the flow of money on Baltimore, as over 90 percent is on the Ravens (as of Thursday)."
They couldn't have kicked off their 2012 campaign a whole lot better than they did on Monday night. In Baltimore's 44-13 win over NFC North rival Cincinnati, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice looked outstanding on offense and the seemingly ageless Ed Reed and Ray Lewis led the defense to a great performance as well.
Baltimore has been an excellent home team over the last few years, so it will be interesting to see how they handle this road test this week.
It was much uglier than expected, but the Philadelphia Eagles did pick up a win in their season debut in Cleveland. Favored by nine points on the road in that one, it took a touchdown drive in the final two minutes to eke out a 17-16 win.
Michael Vick threw four interceptions, but in the end, a win is a win. The defense forced five turnovers which was a plus, but Baltimore's offense figures to be much tougher than Cleveland's.
Last year, the Eagles started the year off 4-8 SU and ATS before finishing the year off 4-0 SU and ATS. They looked a lot more like the 2011 early season team than the 2011 late season team last week. Baltimore, on the other hand, looked great on both sides of the ball.
If both teams play to their potential, this has the makings of a classic as both teams have elite talent on both offense and defense. Going on a tiny one-game sample size for recent form, the edge has to be given to Baltimore.
Philadelphia is just 3-8 SU in its last 11 games at home, and until the Eagles show us that they can play great when something is on the line (instead of down the stretch of a lost season), we have to proceed with caution.
PICK: Baltimore +1 |
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