Friday, November 30, 2012

Which Team is really the best in the NFL?

Each and every week the debate rages on among all the football experts as to which team is currently the best in the NFL. This situation is constantly in flux based on the previous week's results as most people have the tendency to only focus on the present instead of taking into consideration past results and future potential.

The following is a link to an article I did earlier this week for Doc's Sports Services that was posted on Sports Glory detailing my personal top five teams after Week 12 of the regular season. Just as a side note, I probably would not have elevated Atlanta from its current spot even with Thursday night's victory over New Orleans, but the Falcons continue to cement the fact that they are clearly the best team in the NFC.

Which Team is Really the Best in the NFL?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Bold Prediction for Andy Reid's Next Stop

It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Andy Reid will not be back next season as the Eagles head coach especially since team owner Jeff Lurie already stated before the season started that the team would have to do a better job than last year's 8-8 record for him to keep his job.

At 3-8 with five games to go, there is a very strong possibility that this team does not win another game this year, so that begs the question of what is next for Reid? The first thing you can rule out is seeing him on ESPN or the NFL Network breaking down matchups or talking about which team is going to win the Super Bowl. He barely has the personality to do a postgame press conference let alone ham it up with Chris Berman on NFL Countdown.

He is a coach and that is what he does best. Love him or hate him, Reid is the best coach in the history of the Eagles franchise and it will be a long time before we ever see another coach do that much hard time in the City of Brotherly Love. It is hard enough to coach here for four seasons let alone 14 so he does deserve some credit for that. His main fault during this tenure was hanging around one or two seasons too long. He should have left town with Donovan McNabb as both of them were in desperate need of a fresh start.

Now on to the question at hand; what will Andy Reid be doing the first Sunday in September of next year? If he is smart, nothing, but that does not seem to be Reid's style. There are bound to be a few other vacancies in the NFL after this season besides Philadelphia and you would have to think that with a track record like his there would be some interest from the other teams looking for a new coach.

What about the New York Jets? Owner Woody Johnson has already seen where a coach who could not keep his mouth shut got him, so maybe hiring one that has specialized in one-word answers to the press would be a breath of fresh air. Reid has already shown that he can handle the hostile atmosphere in Philadelphia so coaching in the Big Apple might actually be a breeze.

Another possibility could be San Diego, but it is hard to see the Chargers replace one coach who outstayed his welcome with another that just did the same. There could be a vacancy in Cleveland, but with Mike Holmgren out of the picture, the new owner would probably not want to hire one of his proteges.

My bold prediction for Reid's future is the old coaching switcheroo. Sean Payton still maintains that he is returning to New Orleans next season after serving his one-year suspension by the NFL, but that could be easier said than done. He may actually need a fresh start much like Reid and what a better place to land than in Philadelphia, where his brash temperament would fit like a glove. Reid could head on down to the Big Easy to a team that already has an elite quarterback and a built-in mentality of throwing the ball 40 to 50 times a game. This may sound like a reach, but when this whole deal goes down just remember where you read about it first.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 12 vs. Panthers

It is only Week 12 of the NFL regular season and the Eagles are already riding out the string in what has been one of the worst seasons dating all the way back to 1998 when the Birds went 3-13 under the expert guidance of Ray Rhodes. It was his last season as head coach of the team as the following year a young assistant from Green Bay named Andy Reid took over the helm.

Reid guided the Eagles to a 5-11 record in his first season and will be hard-pressed to match that mark in what is sure to be his last season as head coach of this team. Do not feel bad for Reid as he will be stalking the sidelines in some other NFL city in the not too distant future. The question is, who will be steering the ship in Philadelphia when the Birds take the field in 2013.

I have some mixed thoughts on this, as a veteran head coach offers instant stability while an aggressive young coordinator might bring the necessary energy that this team that has been lacking in recent years. What about Jon Gruden coming back to his coaching roots? He might be the best candidate to offer both experience and an aggressive approach to winning games. I am not even sure he has any desire to return to the coaching grind as opposed to his cushy job on TV. Whomever Jeff Lurie decides to hire better have the thick skin to make it in the City of Brotherly Love, which is definitely something Reid brought to the table.

In the meantime, its on to Monday night and a date with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, which, believe it or not, are just as bad as the Birds. Below is a link to my weekly preview and prediction for the game as originally published on Doc's Sports Service.

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 12 vs. Panthers

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 11 vs. Redskins

Rookie quarterback Nick Foles will be making his first NFL start in the regular season this Sunday when the Eagles try to crawl out of the NFC East basement against their co-tenants there; the Washington Redskins. Both teams are 3-6 on the year and already looking towards earning a favorable pick in next April's draft.

The big question in this game will be, is this the beginning of the 'Nick Foles Era' in Philadelphia or does Michael Vick still have a future with this team? I am expecting a decent showing from Foles against a Washington defense that has been absolutely horrible this year. Whether or not he will play well enough to keep Vick on the sidelines remains to be seen. My guess is that with a fairly soft schedule ahead, Foles will remain the starter as long as produces some positive results. With Andy Reid clearly on his way out as head coach, every player on the Eagles' current roster will be auditioning for their job over the next seven games. You cannot help but get the feeling that Vick may have already made his curtain call with this team.

Below is a link to my complete preview and prediction for Sunday's game as part of an ongoing series for Doc's Sports Services. For each Eagles' game, I utilize Doc's Unit Betting System to assign a confidence value for my pick.

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 11 vs. Redskins

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NFL Totals Betting: Week 11 Over and Under Predictions

The Eagles' loss to Dallas last Sunday was painful to watch on a number of levels. I am not really upset that they lost because neither one of these teams is going anywhere this season, but I am distraught over the final score.

I had gone way out on the ledge to predict that this game was definitely going to stay UNDER the 44.5-point total line to the point where I made this my biggest play of the season in my weekly Eagles' game prediction for Doc's Sports Service. I was sitting pretty with the Eagles leading 17-10 late in the third quarter and then in a blink of an eye (actually 2:25 minutes)the score had ballooned to 31-17 Dallas after it posted a long touchdown pass, punt return for a score and an interception returned for a score.

This revolting development marked the end of my day, the end of the Eagles' season and most likely the end of the Andy Reid and Michael Vick era in Philadelphia. It is hard to believe that that sort of incredible chain of events could have done that much damage.

I am back on the horse this week as far as picking my top three "over/under" matchups but am staying as far away from this Sunday's Eagles' game against the Redskins as I have no clue what that final score is going to look like.

If you want to check out this week's picks click the link below for this week's article on Doc's.

NFL Totals Betting: Week 11 Over and Under Predictions

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 10 vs. Dallas

It is Cowboys' week in Philly and the only thing that makes the Eagles four-game losing streak a bit more bearable is the fact that Dallas has been just as bad this season. I still never get tired of seeing Dallas owner Jerry Jones' face cringe as his team continues to blow game after game. As the league's reining egomaniac, there is nothing better to see his handiwork blow-up in his face.

Getting back to our beleaguered Birds, they are now just one loss away from a complete meltdown. I have cancelled my reservations to New Orleans after last week's debacle in that very city as this team has more holes than a big old block of Swiss cheese. The offensive line is a patch-work of second stringers and the defense is afraid to get its pants dirty by making a tackle. I never watched Nnamdi Asomugha play when he was with the Raiders but how the hell he was ever voted to the Pro Bowl is a complete mystery to me. He is easily the most overrated (and over-paid) player in the NFL. The sad part is this could be said about a number of players on the Eagles' current roster.

For anyone out there calling for Nick Foles to take over as starting quarterback you are way off base. It is hard to blame Michael Vick for the mess this team is in considering that he has been hit more times than a pinata at a kid's birthday party. I cannot make excuses for all of his turnovers, but when you are constantly running around to save your life, bad things are bound to happen.

My prediction for this Sunday's game is a tie, because that would be the only fitting result for two talented teams that have come nowhere close to living-up to the lofty expectations that were placed on them before the season started.

If you are interested in what my real prediction for Sunday's game is, check out the following link to my weekly Eagles' preview that is posted on Doc's Sports Service. If I keep making picks like I have for the first eight games they are going to cancel this season-long series, but I remain confident that I nailed it this time with my highest unit play of the season.

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 10 vs. Dallas

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cowboys vs. Eagles Over and Under Prediction

The NFL regular season heads into Week 10 with a number of interesting matchups on the slate. At the top of the list is Sunday night's clash between the Houston Texans and the Chicago Bears in what could easily be a preview of this year's Super Bowl.

Closer to home is this Sunday's Eagles game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Linc. I know I called last Monday night's game against New Orleans a desperation game, but this matchup is definitely the final straw for one of these teams as there is no coming back from a 3-6 record in a highly competitive NFC. I decided not to waste my time trying to handicap this game to come up with a winner since both team's recent dismal performance almost mirrors one another.

Instead, I spent much of my energy on handicapping the teams in terms of the total line and my conclusion is that there is no way that this game is going OVER the current 44.5-point line. I have been wrong about the Birds almost every week this season, but I am lunking the farm that this remains a low-scoring battle.

Look for both teams to move the ball up and down the field, like they have done all season long, but they will still struggle to score touchdowns, like they have all season long. These kind of problems usually do not correct themselves overnight. The Cowboys have averaged just over 18 points a game on the road this season and the Eagles have scored more than 20 points just twice in their first eight games.

Another factor that will keep the final score low will be that both Cowboys and the Eagles will be playing not to lose this game instead of trying to win it. Andy Reid will take his fair share of shots downfield as well as mix in a few gadget plays to try and gain an edge, but it will be next to impossible for his team to play loose with the entire season hanging in the balance. The same can be said for Dallas as it fully understands the gravity of the situation as well. A conservative approach means kicking the field goal as opposed to trying to extend a drive on fourth down. It means that LeSean McCoy should get his highest number of carries this season. Finally, it means that all a team needs is one more point than the other to escape with a win; so neither of these two rivals will be going for style points come Sunday afternoon.

The following is a link to a weekly article I write for Doc's Sports Service where I make my picks for the Top 3 plays on the total line each week. Be sure to check back later in the week for my complete preview of this Sunday's Cowboys vs. Eagles game.

NFL Totals Betting: Week 10 Over and Under Predictions

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 9 vs. Saints

This upcoming February, Super Bowl XLVII will be played in New Orleans when the best team from each conference will battle it out for a world title. This Monday night at the Superdome could easily be coined the Desperation Bowl as the winner lives to fight another day, while the loser can pretty much start planning for 2013.

As Eagles' fans, we are coming to know this scenario a bit too well after watching our team dig themselves into an early hole last season that it was never able to climb out of. A victory over the Saints in this game has the potential to kick-start a season that has been headed in the wrong direction over the past three games. A loss could start a chain reaction that would most likely cost Michael Vick and eventually Andy Reid his job.

Last year after Philly stumbled its way to an 8-8 record, I suggested that the 'Andy Reid Era' as head coach had probably run its course. I did not think that team owner Jeff Lurie should fire his head coach, but I did think that Reid would seriously consider going in a different direction by stepping down. The one thing we have learned about Reid is his resiliency in the face of adversity. Earlier this year, he tragically lost his son to a drug overdose and pressed-on. During the Eagles bye week he had to fire his defensive coordinator and, most recently, had to publically stand behind his quarterback when everyone around him was calling for a change. Many fans out there may not like Reid but you cannot help respect him for handling the good and the bad in this business with an even demeanor.

As I mentioned before last week’s game against Atlanta, my confidence in this team has been shaken to the core after this totally unexpected start. I honestly thought that the Eagles would be one of the top teams in the NFC, not because I am a knuckle-headed die-hard fan, but because of the overall level of talent on this roster.

There is still time for a turnaround and you have draw inspiration from both Green Bay’s and most recently New York’s unlikely run to a Super Bowl over the past two seasons, as desperation has a way of turning losers into winners. The problem is, this Eagles’ team appears to be getting worse after a lucky 3-1 start. It probably is time for a major overall of this team at both quarterback and head coach and unfortunately those wheels could very be set in motion after Monday night.

The following is a link to my complete preview and prediction for the Eagles vs. Saints game in an article that was previously posted on Doc’s Sports Service. This is part a weekly series where I breakdown the matchup and offer a pick utilizing Doc’s Unit Betting System.

Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Week 9 vs. Saints

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NFL Totals Betting: Week 9 Over and Under Predictions

Since we get a one-day reprieve from the Eagles this week I decided to post my weekly picks on the total line for Sunday's games. For anyone who enjoys wagering on the NFL, many times the total line can offer even more value than betting on the spread if you know where and how to look.

I have been doing this piece for Doc's Sports Service for two seasons now and have been fortunate to carve out an overall winning record. This season I got off to a horrendous start but a recent hot streak took my overall record to 12-10-1 on the year.

My confidence level for an Eagles win on Monday night is not all that high, but I feel a big week is in store with this week's Over/Under plays. Check them out for yourself through the link below and let me know what you think.

NFL Totals Betting: Week 9 Over and Under Predictions