Things tend to go back to the way they were in sports – not counting all of the amazing social progress made by women and LGBTQ athletes of course. It’s just that in Las Vegas, teams aren’t viewed as what they were yesterday or the day before or the day before, but rather as bumps on a wavelength that always goes back to center.
That’s why “reversion to form” is such a big deal in betting circles. Jeff Tedford’s Fresno State Bulldogs routinely crushed the point spread for much of the past several years. If there was a secret or a formula to always out-playing expectations, the Bulldogs had it. But let Fresno beat that (-6.5) spread time after time after time…the bookie knows that it’s impossible to do it forever. Sho’nuff – Fresno State is a paltry 2-4-1 ATS in 2019.
Can an entire league go through a “reversion to form?” Allow me to nominate the National Football League in 2019. This is supposed to be the year parity goes out the window as dominant teams like New England and San Francisco lord over the have-nots like Miami, Washington, and New York (the Jets and Giants apply). But there are lots of tightly-handicapped games in Week 9. And Over/Under totals are slowly starting to inflate more-often again.
There’s even some NFL betting markets that appear upside-down if you’ve happened to not be paying attention for a weekend or 2.
Chicago would never have been an underdog vs Philadelphia after winning 3 in a row in September, but an autumn skid has the Bears marked as a point-spread underdog at Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday afternoon.
Who: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles
When: Sunday, November 3rd, 1 PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Lines: CHI (+4.5) at PHI (-4.5) / O/U Total: (41.5)
Just when it looked like the Bears were going to snap out of the funk they have been in since losing to Oakland, kicker Eddy Pineiro missed a 41-yard FG as time expired to allow the Chargers to hold on to a 17-16 victory. Pineiro had been solid up to that point, having made 12-of-14 on the season including 2-for-2 from 50+ yards, but couldn’t put it through with the game on the line.
After months of wondering how Chicago might use last April’s 3rd-round draft pick David Montgomery, the question was finally answered last week. Fantasy owners who spent a high pick on Montgomery after his explosive preseason were rewarded, as the rookie ripped off 135 yards on 27 carries, his maiden career 100-yard game. The only bad news is that Philly has a pretty good run defense, and gambling action is partially based on the Eagles’ chances to stop the Bears’ strength.
A once-feared Bear defense is struggling to get a grip. The loss of Akiem Hicks has left a huge hole in the front 4. Latavius Murray of the Saints had his way with Chicago 2 weeks ago, emphasizing that the Bears’ run defense has been softened. Murray ran for 119 yards and 2 scores, and the 36 points allowed by the Chicago defense was the team’s highest points-against total of the season by a large margin.
Doug Pederson’s Eagles were able to bounce-back from consecutive losses to the Vikings and Cowboys last week. Philadelphia traveled to Buffalo and hammered the Bills 31-13, rushing for over 200 yards as a team. On top of the success rushing, the Philadelphia run defense remained a brick wall, and Buffalo got most of its success on the ground through a scrambling Josh Allen.
Jordan Howard continues to be an effective back for the Eagles, averaging 4.3 YPC with 5 TD’s on the season, and last years 2nd-round pick Miles Sanders is emerging as the perfect lightning to Howard’s thunder. Sanders has battled minor injuries all season long while being brought along slowly, and while his # of touches is conservative, he ripped off his longest run of the year last week with a 65 yard touchdown jaunt.
It also appears that DeSean Jackson could be on the way back by Sunday:
Doug Pederson seems to think DeSean Jackson will play Sunday against Chicago. The Eagles head coach told reporters that Jackson would “work in” today at practice while saying he was “optimistic” the speedy receiver would play Sunday. Jackson, who has been nursing a nagging abdomen injury since Week 2, was seen working out on a side field last week but never participated in team drills. On Wednesday, Jackson was out on the practice field running routes and having fun with teammates for the first time since Week 2. He didn’t participate in all the drills, but enough to warrant the hope that he’ll play against Chicago.
Running well and stopping the run is a formula for success, but I believe gamblers are prone to underestimating Mitch Trubisky because it’s so fashionable to trash him.
I’d be ready to take the Bears on the ML…except the Lincoln Financial Field setting will probably boost Philly’s defense and make things too hard on Chicago.
That’s the “NFL reversion” I’m most interested in – now that the Eagles could go 5-4 with a win at home, home turf will be rocking and rolling even if the weather is unfriendly.
Take Philly to cover (-4.5).