NFL Line Watch Divisional Round
Game to bet now
Atlanta at Philadelphia (+3)
This one opened with the No. 1-seed Eagles as the first underdog ever to a 6 seed, and the 3-point number is unlikely to budge as early-week betting is showing pretty much equal money on each team. With Carson Wentz on the shelf, all eyes are now on Eagles backup QB Nick Foles. Philly moved on from Foles even after his quality 2013 season, when he tossed for 27 TDs with only two interceptions, and now he’s viewed as only a decent backup. The door is wide open for the Falcons, who are itching for another shot at New England after Atlanta’s epic Super Bowl choke job 11 months ago. The Falcons have been a solid cover team since mid-season, beating the number 7 times in their last 10 games.
Games to wait on
Tennessee at New England (-13.5)
Patriot Nation has been rocked by allegations made in that ESPN story which said that there is a rift involving ownership, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Brady’s personal trainer. If any team can batten down the hatches, it’s the Patriots – and there is some thought that this will make the key principals circle the wagons and take out their frustrations on the Titans. Tennessee, which saved Mike Mularkey’s job with its strong second half in beating KC on Saturday, has been involved in one close game after another. The Titans – who have averaged barely 18 points a game in their last 6 – have to tighten things up offensively if they want to stay in this one. Might be worth waiting to get a feel for what’s going on in both camps before risking any cash.
New Orleans at Minnesota (-4)
It’s hard to run the ball against the Vikings, and its hard to pass the ball against the Vikings. Drew Brees, though, seems to always find a path to the end zone – and the route this time could just be on the ground. After trading away PITA Adrian Peterson early in the season, the Saints unveiled their tandem backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and they each ran for more than 1,500 yards this season. And if the Vikings jam the line of scrimmage, well Brees still has that gleam in his eye and tons of playoff experience.
Total to watch
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (41)
Over players took a beating on Pittsburgh (6-10-0) this season, but there is good news for points-lovers – Antonio Brown is reportedly close to 100 percent and will almost certainly play in this one. Brown wasn’t needed vs. Houston and Cleveland, but the J-Ville defense is legit, and its pass coverage is the best in the league by far. The Jaguars better work on their offense a lot this week after scoring just 10 points in each of the last two games.
- Larry Ness
- August 15, 2018 - 7:05 PM
- Offered at:
- betnow @ PHI (120)
My free play is on the Phil Phillies at 7:05 ET. The Boston Red Sox won again last night, as a pinch-hit, go-ahead homer in the eighth inning led to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was Boston's fifth straight win and 11th in 12 outings to open August. The Red Sox are currently on pace to win 115 games and sit 10 games of the Yankees in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Phillies have mustered just nine runs en route to losing four of their last five games, dropping them two games behind National League East-leading Atlanta. Philadelphia currently owns the second NL's wild card spot and the Phillies sit just one game behind Milwaukee. However, the wild card field is crowded, as the Cards are just one game back of the Phillies, with the Rockies 1 1/2 games back and the Dodgers 2 1/2 games back.
Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.74 ERA) began the 2018 season with the Rays but was traded to the Red Sox before the July 31 deadline. He began his Boston career with consecutive scoreless starts but allowed eight runs (just four earned) in just 2 2/3 innings in Friday's 19-12 win against Baltimore (Eovaldi had a no decisions). Eovaldi takes the mound with a 3-4 mark with a 3.51 ERA in nine career starts versus Philadelphia. Vince Velasquez (8-9, 3.98 ERA) comes off 6-0 loss at Arizona in his last outing (four runs in four innings). The Phillies are an unimpressive 9-13 in Velasquez's starts in 2018. He has faced the Red Sox just once in his four-year big-league career, as a member of the Houston Astros back in 2015. In that contest, he gave up three runs and struck out seven batters in six innings in an 8-3 win.
The Philadelphia offense has struggled in the last week, as the team has scored just 16 runs in its last seven games (2.3 runs per game), going 2-5 in that stretch. However, while Boston's easily owns MLB's best record and the Red Sox lead the majors in runs scored (among a bevy of other offensive categories), they have scored just five runs in taking two of three from the Phillies in 2018. I'm not sold even a little on Eovaldi plus will note that previous to Velasquez's most recent start, he had allowed only five ERs over 32 1/3 innings of his prior six starts (1.39 ERA). Boston can't win them all. Take the Phillies.