By Peter Gleason
Well, boys and girls.
Here we are on November 13 and another make-or-break game:
Atlanta Falcons at Eagles
Spread: Opened Eagles -2.5; now Atlanta -2
Total: Opened 49.5; now 50
Consensus pick: 84 percent Atlanta
The public is all over the Falcons here, as these two teams are perceived to be heading in opposite directions with the Falcons on a path to the playoffs, while the Eagles have come down to earth after a fast start.
Some sharp bettors have joined the public on Atlanta to flip the favorite here, but there are sure to be some sharps who like Philly and just haven’t offered any resistance yet. The Eagles also look like a playable underdog teaser, as you can get them at +7.5 or higher in a game where they started as the favorites.
At 6-3, the Falcons collide with an Eagles’ defense that isn’t playing nearly as well as it did early this season, and the Falcons’ big three of Matt Ryan/Devonta Freeman/Julio Jones should get the job done.
The public sentiment of the Birds built and reached a crescendo a few weeks into the season, but has since taken a nosedive. Now is the time to jump back on board the Philly bandwagon. The Eagles are Massey-Peabody’s eighth-ranked team, and have a point differential of plus-57 on the year. Why are they only 4-4? They’ve been unclutch, playing substantially worse in the fourth quarter of close games.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’ve chosen to lose the wrong games — their 0-3 divisional record and 2-4 conference record put them at a significant disadvantage in playoff tiebreaker scenarios, and they only have a 1-in-4 chance of making the playoffs. My model makes them a small favorite at home against Atlanta, giving them a 54.6 percent chance of winning. With the market moving toward Atlanta in the last day, I’ll take the Eagles and the under.