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 each weekend this season. Maltepes is one of the nation’s hottest sports betting experts who appears weekly on national radio and has his own website, www.thephillygodfather.com.
Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0), 8:15 p.m. Thursday
The Line: Eagles minus-7 at DraftKings Sportsbook/Total: 49
What is the line telling you: The Eagles opened as 8-point home favorites, and since, we saw a ton of money show up on Minnesota at plus-8, plus-7.5, and plus-7. It’s gone down to 6 in some places. The Eagles right now are minus-7 favorites. This is a big move on the Vikings. We took plus-8 on the Vikings. The Eagles are banged up after Week 1. Look at the box score and you’ll see that New England had seven more first downs, 131 more total yards, and if wasn’t for the Patriots’ two early turnovers leading to a 16-0 lead, the Eagles would have lost that game. This week, cornerback James Bradberry, safety Reed Blankenship and linebacker Nakobe Dean are all out. They already lost a ton of production from last year. This is a game in which Minnesota can come in an upset the Eagles. Look at what Minnesota did in its loss against Tampa Bay. The Vikings looked bad, but had more first downs and 137 more total yards. They had twice as many penalties, and almost won. They lost because they turned the ball over three times. Kirk Cousins can tear them apart.
Bottom line: Take the Vikings down to plus-6 if you have to and any number over that, plus the money line. The Vikings can win this game outright.
AROUND THE NFL
New York Jets (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (1-0), 4:25 p.m. Sunday
The Line: Cowboys minus-9.5/Total: 39.5
What is the line telling you: Since Aaron Rodgers for hurt, the lone reached 9.5 for the Cowboys. The Jets have one of the best defenses in the league, arguably the best. The Cowboys have a great defense. It will be a low-scoring game.
Bottom line: Take a seven-point teaser with the Jets, giving them 17.5, and couple that with Jacksonville, which is getting 3 against the Chiefs, which would give them an additional 10. That cashes a ticket.
Cleveland Browns (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday
The Line: Browns minus-2.5/Total: 39.5
What is the line telling you: This originally opened as the Browns being 1-point favorites on the road, and that number is up to 2.5. Pittsburgh suffered key injuries and the Steelers were expected to look much better than they did last week against San Francisco. The Steelers laid a goose egg. The 49ers ran the ball down their throats for 188 yards. Now we’re talking about Nick Chubb and a Browns’ defense that took Joe Burrow out of the game. This Browns team could be one of the best in the NFL this year. The Browns were good money before the season started at 39-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.
Bottom line: Take the Browns minus the points.
(Betting lines are subject to change.)
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories 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, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.