Saturday, October 25, 2014

NFL Week 8 NFC East Preview & Pick

After taking last week off, the Eagles are back in action this Sunday afternoon on the road against Arizona. Both of these teams come into this NFC showdown with identical 5-1 records and while the Cardinals have taken a much more conventional approach to posting their fast start out of the gate, our beloved Birds have made things extremely interesting from the opening kickoff of the Jacksonville game.

Philadelphia set a new NFL record for overcoming three-straight double-digit deficits to start a season 3-0. It was just two yards away from knocking-off San Francisco after special teams and the defense combined to score all the points in a 26-21 loss. The following week the Eagles built a 27-point lead late in the third quarter only to hold on for a six-point win. The good news is that heading into its bye Philly finally put it together in every phase of the game to wax the Giants 27-0. This was the Eagles at their best with six sacks on defense and 149 yards on the ground by LeSean McCoy.

I stayed away from this Sunday's game against the Cardinals when it came to my NFC East "pick of the week", but if I had to make a wager on the outcome I would go with the OVER on a total line of 48. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer returned to the starting lineup two weeks ago and the offense responded by putting-up 30 points in a win against Washington and 24 points in last week's victory over Oakland. Philadelphia is ranked third in the NFL in scoring with an average 30.5 points a game, so touchdowns and field goals should not be too hard to come by for either of these teams come Sunday afternoon.

I did make an official pick on Monday night's Washington at Dallas game in my weekly NFC East preview for Doc's Sports. Last week I went against the Cowboys and paid the price, but I believe that I am dead-on with this week's play. Check it out at the following link on Doc's.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 8

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NFL Week 7 NFC East Preview & Pick

The Eagles headed into this week's bye on a high note after last Sunday's dominating 27-0 shutout over the Giants. Despite a gaudy record of 5-1, it was the first time that this team played a full 60-minutes of football on both sides of the line. The best thing that this win accomplished was to dispel many of the football experts' opinion that Philadelphia was grossly overrated.

Hopefully this impressive performance will set the stage for continued success when the Birds do return to action, but for the purpose of this discussion we have to turn our attention to this Sunday's showdown between the Giants and the 5-1 Cowboys. This game could go in a number of directions, but I am banking on a close matchup that goes down to the wire. I am not saying that New York will win this game straight-up (although it is a distinct possibility) I am more than confident that the Giants will cover against the seven-point spread. They are not nearly as bad as they looked last Sunday against the Eagles and Dallas can easily get caught reading its press clippings about last week's stunning win in Seattle. Just as a side note, when you really start to breakdown the Seahawks they are probably even more overrated than the Cowboys.

The following is a link to my weekly preview of the NFC East as part of an ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 7

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Key Stats for NFL Week 7 Matchups: Divisional Trap Games

As part of an ongoing weekly series for Sporting Charts I take a look at some key stats and trends for a trio of matchups on each Sunday's NFL slate. This week there are three division leaders that face a potential trap game within their division including the NFC East showdown between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

Seeing how the Eagles rolled-over the Giants last Sunday night at the Linc and Dallas extended its current winning streak to five games with an impressive win over the Seahawks in Seattle, you might draw the conclusion that the Cowboys are a virtual lock to move to 6-1 on the year with a victory this Sunday.

The first thing you need to remember is that there is no such thing as a "lock" when it comes to the NFL or any sporting event for that matter. The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that other than Seattle, the Cowboys other four wins have come against teams with a combined record of 8-14. In reality, Dallas should win this game, but given the heated rivalry between these two teams, New York's ability to play really well when it puts its mind to it, and the Cowboys tendency to shoot themselves in the foot at the worst possible time, I would not bet on it.

For a look at all three of my divisional trap games this week please go to Sporting Charts at the following link:

Key Stats for NFL Week 7 Matchups: Divisional Trap Games

Saturday, October 11, 2014

NFL Week 6 NFC East Preview & Pick

Quite a few football experts are questioning the validity of Philadelphia being a legitimate contender for this season's NFC title and a possible run to a Super Bowl Championship despite being tied for the best record in the conference at 4-1. I will have to admit that after the Eagles almost blew a 27-point lead over St. Louis last Sunday, I have a few questions in my mind as well, but you are what you are in this league and this team is still 4-1.

The rubber meets the road this Sunday night at the Linc with the 3-2 Giants coming to town. If the Birds go on to win this game in some kind of convincing fashion then it will once again be standing room only on this bandwagon. If they lose this game, the stock in this team will sink like a lead balloon. That is the way it goes in a league where you live and die on a weekly basis. The fact of the matter is that a win on Sunday would be huge, but a loss would not be devastating.

Think back to last year at this time. Through the first six weeks of the season the Eagles had lost as many as games as they won and by the time Week 8 was said and done they would fall to 3-5 through the first half of the season. With a bye week on the horizon and road games against Arizona and Houston to cap-off the first half of this season, they are already guaranteed to have a better record no matter what happens. There is also a good chance that they wrap things up with a record of 6-2 or possibly even 7-1. It is all matter of how you view things with this team and you all know that I have my rose-colored glasses on right now.

The biggest difference between this season and 2013 so far has been the health of the offensive line. The same five starters played every game together last season, while this year it has been a revolving door at a number of spots in the front five. The good news is that eventually Philly will have all five of its starters back in the lineup barring any further injuries. LeSean McCoy is still one of the premier running backs in the NFL so it is just a matter of time before he starts piling-up the rushing yards and Nick Foles has simply showed that he is human after his ridiculous run last season.

I reserved my spot on this year's bandwagon just minutes after last season's loss to New Orleans in the playoffs and I have no intention of giving-up my spot. As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, be careful about drinking the cool-aid for either New York or Dallas. While right now it is standing room only on those bandwagons, something tells me there will be plenty of room on both as the long, grueling NFL regular season wears on!

As far as this week's games in our favorite division in the league, the following is a link my weekly preview and pick for the NFC East as part of an ongoing series for Doc's Sports.

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 6

Saturday, October 4, 2014

NFL Week 5 NFC East Preview & Pick

The Eagles may have lost last week but I stayed perfect on the year at 4-0 with my NFC East "Pick of the Week" for Doc's Sports after Philly covered with the 5.5-point spread. The Birds should have won that game by scoring on that final drive, but they probably did not deserve to after the way the offense played for the first 55 minutes of that game.

Much of the blame for the Eagles' offensive no-show last week in San Francisco has to be attributed to a banged-up front five. The offensive line will get a boost this Sunday against St. Louis with the return of right tackle Lane Johnson, who missed the first four games due to a league suspension. The biggest hole remains at center with the loss Jason Kelse to an abdominal injury until mid-November at best. Starting left guard Evan Mathis is also out of the lineup for Sunday so it will still take some time until the Eagles get completely healthy up front.

None the less, Sunday's game against the Rams takes on a world of importance given the recent resurgence of both the Cowboys and the Giants. Both of these bitter division foes stumbled out of the gate this season, but a few wins have turned things around and they now appear ready to seriously challenge Philly for this year's NFC East title.

As part of my ongoing series for Doc's Sports, the following is a link to my Week 5 preview of all the games in the NFC East as well as my "Pick of the Week".

Expert NFL Betting Picks: Weekly NFC East Predictions Week 5