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.
Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m. Sunday
The Line: Eagles minus-3.5/Total: 45
What is the line telling you: The Eagles opened as 4.5-point road favorites up at Foxborough over the Patriots. The line shot up to 6, when the real sharp money hit the market and the Patriots plus-6 fell to 5.5 and plus-5. The line right now is 3.5. Go with the sharp money here. The teams that lose the Super Bowl the following year are just 2-8 against the spread over the last 10 years opening the season. There is definitely a Super Bowl hangover that happens. The other is the Eagles’ history from last year. Even though they had a magical season, they struggled against teams with a strong pass rush. The Pats were No. 6 in the NFL last year in sack percentage. The Pats have improved on offense with the addition of Bill O’Brien, and with their strong pass rush, they can catch the Eagles a little off guard. With New England honoring Tom Brady, there is going to be a lot of electric in the air that night.
Bottom line: Take the home dog Pats here at the current number of plus-3.5. Leave the total alone, but if there is a lean here, it would go over the 45, because the Eagles have lost so much of their defense and the Pats have O’Brien.
AROUND THE NFL
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. Sunday
The Line: Bengals minus-2.5/Total: 47.5
What is the line telling you: This originally opened as the Bengals being 2.5-point favorites on the road. Then, Joe Burrow had that injury, the line dropped to 1, and since he’s expected to play, that line has popped back up to 2.5. But Burrow has not played all summer, and the Bengals’ offensive line is still bad. They allowed 2.8 sacks a game last year, which was the seventh worst in the league—and the Bengals have not addressed that issue. Even though they have weapons on offense, they still have a rusty Joe Burrow, so the Browns have a chance to win the game outright. The Bengals are 27-13 over the last two years against the spread, so oddsmakers tend to inflate their price. You’re paying a premium to back the Bengals this year. The previous two years you weren’t. This game should have been a pick’em, but oddsmakers have inflated their price. The Browns got Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator and they could shock a lot of people.
Bottom line: Take the Browns and the points.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m. Sunday
(Games 129 & 130 on the sports betting screen)
The Line: Ravens minus-10/Total: 43.5
What is the line telling you: This game opened as the Ravens being 9.5-point favorites, and since then, the line has moved to 10, and the total began at 45 and since been dropped to 43 and with some books 41. The public is going to be all over this one with the favorite laying the big number at home. They are going to cash their ticket on John Harbaugh’s team. Harbaugh is a creature of habit and Harbaugh’s teams have excelled in three key areas over the last 15 years: They’ve dominated at home, they beat up on rookie quarterbacks, and won huge at home to set the tone for the rest of the season.
Bottom line: The Texans have done good things over the offseason, but with the injuries on their offensive line, and with a rookie quarterback, the Ravens may win this game by 20 points.
(Betting lines are subject to change.)