Online Betting UK – Arizona at Philadelphia

March 27, 2009

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Online Betting UK asked:

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Philadelphia (5-5-1 straight up, 6-5 against the spread) as a 2 ½-point favorite with a total of 47 ½. As of Wednesday afternoon, most books had the Eagles at three (even money) with the total adjusted to 46 ½. The Cardinals are plus-120 on the money line (risk $100 to win $120).

“When we opened Philadelphia at -3 this week, it sent our players’ heads spinning,” said Eddie Franks, the Head Oddsmaker at Brobury Sports. “Already 90% of the action is on the Cardinals, who bring one of the most dynamic offenses week in and week out. But we’re not budging yet. Despite two weeks of shockingly bad performances by McNabb and Co., they have more going for them than players recognize.”

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That would be Arizona at Philadelphia, where the Andy Reid-Donovan McNabb Era could be on its last legs.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Philadelphia (5-5-1 straight up, 6-5 against the spread) as a 2 ½-point favorite with a total of 47 ½. As of Wednesday afternoon, most books had the Eagles at three (even money) with the total adjusted to 46 ½. The Cardinals are plus-120 on the money line (risk $100 to win $120).

“When we opened Philadelphia at -3 this week, it sent our players’ heads spinning,” said Eddie Franks, the Head Oddsmaker at Brobury Sports. “Already 90% of the action is on the Cardinals, who bring one of the most dynamic offenses week in and week out. But we’re not budging yet. Despite two weeks of shockingly bad performances by McNabb and Co., they have more going for them than players recognize.”

Philadelphia is coming off an embarrassing 36-7 loss at Baltimore as a one-point road underdog. Trailing 10-7 at intermission, Reid did what he’d never done before during McNabb’s 10-year career – bench him.

McNabb had completed only 8-of-18 passes for 59 yards in the first half against the Ravens. Most importantly, he had coughed up a fumble and thrown two interceptions.

Arizona (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) is accustomed to the type of turmoil hovering over the City of Brotherly Love, but not during this 2008 campaign in which the Cardinals are running away with the NFC West. Despite last week’s 37-29 loss to the Giants, they maintain a four-game lead in the division.

The decision by second-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt to go with veteran Kurt Warner ahead of Matt Leinart as the starting quarterback has turned into a stroke of genius. Warner is enjoying a banner season, completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 3,506 yards with a 21/8 touchdown-interception ratio.

Reid ended speculation that McNabb could be done playing for the Eagles by announcing that he would get the starting nod Monday morning. However, it’s crystal clear that barring an improbable run by the Eagles to make – and then advance in – the playoffs, McNabb’s days in Philadelphia are numbered at the end of this season.

And the same could be the case for Reid as well.

Philadelphia RB Brian Westbrook has been dealing with several different injuries for much of the season. He has missed a pair of games and was downgraded to “questionable” this week when he missed Tuesday’s practice. Westbrook has 760 yards (rushing and receiving) on 171 “touches” for eight TDs.

He has the NFL’s best 1-2 tandem of wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Fitzgerald has 72 receptions for 1,010 yards and six touchdowns. Boldin, who missed two games with a broken jaw, has 73 catches for 879 yards and 11 TDs.

In fairness to McNabb, he has dealt with injuries to several of his top weapons. At various points in the season, WRs Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, in addition to TE L.J. Smith, have missed games.

McNabb has a 14/10 TD-INT ratio this year compared to a 185/89 ratio for his career.

“While we don’t expect McNabb to come out firing and light up the field, we do expect a much improved version who will hold onto the ball and manage his offense properly,” Franks told VI. “Much has been said about Reid benching McNabb, but not enough has been said about how this will affect his supporting cast. Reid’s move no doubt was meant to break down the complacency that has plagued this team recently, and we expect that it will be a successful move. McNabb is too seasoned and has rebounded from too many setbacks to not bounce back again.”

Arizona is 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS on the road. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is 3-2 both SU and ATS at home.

The ‘over’ is 7-4 overall for Arizona, but the ‘under’ is 4-2 in its road games. The ‘over’ is on a 6-2 run for the Cardinals (regardless of venue). The Eagles have watched the ‘under’ go 6-5 overall, 4-1 in their road assignments.


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