Date/Time: September 29th, 4:25 PM ET
Spread: Denver -11.5
Week 4 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, September 29th between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos.
We’re comfortably 2-1 ATS at this point in our plays of the week, and we are up to 3-1 ATS in our college plays. We’ve got more confidence in this one than any of our other NFL picks for the year to date, as we have a feeling that there is a real opportunity for the Eagles to beat the Broncos outright, even as double digit underdogs.
The biggest factor that we have here is rest. This is almost like a situation in the NBA where you have one team with multiple days off and one team that is playing the second half of a back to back. The Broncos played on Monday Night Football last week. This is a problem that QB Peyton Manning realizes is a part of the game, but what he doesn’t realize is that his team is 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight games when playing the Sunday after a Monday Night Football contest. Some of that is Manning’s problem. Some of it came before he was ever on the team. The concept remains the same, though.
Just look at what has happened this year to teams that have played on Sunday the week after playing on Monday Night Football. The Houston Texans should have been beaten SU by the Tennessee Titans, but they ended up winning the game in overtime without covering the spread. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins were toasted the next week by the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were trashed last week by the Chicago Bears. The only survivors were the Cincinnati Bengals, who came back last week from playing in MNF in Week 2 to beat the aforementioned Packers. All told, teams that played on the Sunday after playing on a Monday the week prior are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS thus far this year. (Note that these Eagles and the San Diego Chargers both played in MNF in Week 1, and they came back to play each other in Week 2, and we didn’t count that game, knowing that one team had to win and cover.)
What’s even better than this though, is the fact that Philly is playing on a long week of rest after having lost to the Kansas City Chiefs last week on Thursday Night Football. We already have four examples of teams that played on Thursday and then had a long week of preparation to work with. The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns played on TNF in Week 1 and both covered and won in Week 2 on Sunday, while the New England Patriots and New York Jets both won last week after playing on Thursday in Week 2. The total record? 4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS.
This isn’t your normal Thursday to Sunday situation, though. This is a situation where we finally get to see the Eagles with a somewhat normal week of preparation. They only had six days to get from Week 1 to Week 2, and they only had four days to get from Week 2 to Week 3. Now, they get a full 10 days off to prepare for one of the highest flying offenses in the league, and they get a tired team to face in doing so.
This is also a case where the thin air that usually helps the Broncos so much might turn out to be a detriment in this one. If the Eagles can get back to running play after play and snapping it 50+ times in a half of football, that Denver defense, one which is already thin as it is, is definitely going to get tired out. On the injury report this week, DB Champ Bailey has a foot injury, TE Joel Dreessen has a knee injury, S Duke Ihenacho has an ankle problem, G Chris Kuper has an ankle injury, and DB Tony Carter has an ankle issue. On top of all of that, C Dan Koppen and T Ryan Clady are out for the season, and LB Von Miller remains suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and then trying to mask the results.
We’re also waiting for the game that QB Peyton Manning doesn’t throw for 300 yards. As it happens to be, he’s probably going to end up throwing for 400 on a defense that really just flat out isn’t that good this week, and all of his receivers are probably going to end up being fantasy football stars.
However, this isn’t about fantasy football. It’s about real football, and we’re getting 11.5 points on our side to start. Though we wouldn’t put it past the Broncos to get into the 40s in this game, we also wouldn’t put it past the Eagles to get into the 30s. Denver has allowed at least 20 points in each of its games this year, and we have a hard time believing that this won’t be another one of those games.
There aren’t many perfect spots to be fading a Manning-led team (well, at least not a PEYTON Manning-led team), but this is the one. Philly, for all of its problems, is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 road games against teams with winning home records, and this has the potential to be the showcase game in the Head Coach Chip Kelly era.
Week 4 NFL Pick of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles +11.5
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.