As someone who appreciates the fine art of sports wagering, I always look forward to my first peak at the week’s lines. Usually, I’m within a point of the spread, particularly with the Eagles.
Except this week.
The Eagles (1-3) have been installed as a three-point favorite on Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to meet the Bills (3-1).
While I don’t see an AFC East crown, let alone a Lombardi Trophy in the Bills’ near future, they are a team worthy of their 3-1 record.
We’ll break down the numbers later, but Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a dangerous quarterback with a stable of qualtiy receivers. Fred Jackson paces a potent ground game, and yes, Buffalo does have a tight end on their roster–so there’s at least one touchdown.
But this spread isn’t really about the Bills. It’s about the Eagles.
And it leaves me wondering: What the hell have the Eagles done to be giving three points in this game?
Three straight fourth quarter collapses. A defense that has gaping holes, with no obvious fix in sight. And, oh yeah, it’s unit that just lost its best lineman in Trent Cole.
Pair that harsh reality with an offense that can’t create distance from an opponent because of woeful redzone execution, lost a Pro Bowl left tackle to injury, and is starting a rookie at right gaurd.
Again, the Eagles are a three-point favorite?
This team has underachieved (or so we hope), and the betting public must figure the Eagles can’t possibly lose four straight games. And that’s fine. But that’s the same logic used by the guy who walks up to roulette table and thinks it impossible for black to hit for the seventh straight roll.
Believe it–it is very possible the Eagles will begin this season at 1-4. It’s possible that by late Sunday afternoon they will be all but eliminated from meaningful late season football games. It’s possible.
So what’s this all mean? Despite the hideous football played by this team over the last three weeks, I, like so many others, think the Eagles will somehow win. But I, like so many others, can’t explain why.
I wouldn’t touch this game, but if you must, I’d take the Eagles–not because I have confidence in their ability to win the game, but because I’ve learned that in gambling when all signs point one way and the spread points another, there’s usually a reason.