Each week, Steve Maltepes, known as “The Philly Godfather,” will impart his gambling wisdom on the Eagles and where the smart money is going on various pro football games. Maltepes is one of the nation’s hottest sports betting experts who appears weekly on national radio and has his own website, thephillygodfather.com
What is the line telling you: Look for the Cardinals to slow the game down and run the ball as much as possible in the first half, trying to stay within the point spread early. The Eagles have scored 85 points in the second quarter this year, more than any team in the second quarter in NFL history through the four games of the season. The Eagles going to the West Coast, with Dallas following the next week, makes this is a sandwich game. The Eagles have the best pass rush in the NFL right now, with 16 sacks this season. But any time you face a mobile quarterback like Kyler Murray, that negates that kind of pass rush. He can run outside the pocket. With limited weapons, and the sixth-best rushing offense, containing Murray could be an issue.
Despite Dallas coming in next week and playing well, the Eagles will tell you that they’re not looking ahead, and they’re going to keep telling you that they’re not looking ahead. Regardless of what they say publicly, they are looking ahead. If Dallas beats the Rams this week, it makes Eagles-Dallas an even bigger game. The Eagles have outperformed the market the last few weeks. The market should have set the Eagles at three, but with how well the Eagles are playing, they added an extra 2.5 points to the point spread. This is a letdown spot for the Eagles. The oddsmakers adjust their price, and as the Eagles get better, you’re paying a premium. You look for a little value right there.
The price on the Eagles will keep going up as long as they keep playing well. They’re bound to have an off week, even though we haven’t seen any signs of it. But the situation, with Dallas next week and the Eagles a road favorite, may dictate that.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written features for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning ESPN.com feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, and his breaking story on Carson Wentz for PhillyVoice on January 21, 2019. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.