GAMBLING RECAP

Week 14: Eagles fans, Wentz in pain

Carson Wentz will no longer be on the field for the Eagles. Philadelphiaeagles.com

Wince verb- To flinch as if in pain or distress. To make a face indicating disgust or dislike.

First and goal, just inside four minutes left in the third quarter, the Eagles illusion of a Super Bowl title quickly descended.  On a play that will never show up on the box score due to a penalty, it inevitably showed up in Vegas. Immediately after the confirmation of the season-ending injury, Philadelphia plummeted from a 4-1 Super Bowl favorite to  10-1 at most places. But just how significant is the drop off from Carson Wentz to the new play-caller Nick Foles?

In 2013, Foles was spectacular. By now, we all have heard about the 27-2 touchdown to interception season. The question is how did he achieve such phenomenal numbers? Was it a product of the overly fast-paced offensive schemes of Chip Kelly that the NFL had yet to adjust to? Foles would go on to finish the season with an astounding 119.2 passer rating while averaging a career-high 9.1 yards per pass attempt. So how did others fair in Chip Kelley's high octane offense? Let's just use Mark Sanchez for example. Following his record-breaking 2013 campaign, Foles went down to an injury and was replaced by Sanchez. The backup quarterback would go on to throw 14 touchdowns in 8 starts while averaging a career-high 7.1 yards per attempt. That pace would have given him 28 touchdowns on the year, also a career high. So, were the numbers from the QB position inflated by the system in which they worked within?

The ability to improvise when the pocket breaks down and extend plays is what separates Wentz from the field. The problem that comes with Foles having to do the same is he has had numerous injuries in his career causing him to miss time.

 


Can Nick Foles stay healthy enough to lead this team to a playoff run?

Week 14 was pretty leveled out regarding wagering. Favorites and home teams both went 9-7 ATS. Again, as we have seen all season, of the seven underdogs that covered the number, five won outright.

The number that does stick out is Unders went 10-5-1 in week 14. High scoring affairs is what Vegas and bettors anticipated last week. Instead, we saw many contests start slow making it impossible to catch up to the number; take the Raiders vs. Chiefs, for example: they only put up 3 points combined in the first quarter but ended with 41.

Biggest Underdog to Cover

Dolphins +11.5 (Moneyline +450)

The Patriots have been on the road four of the last five weeks with a trip to Mexico in their itinerary. With one eye on this week's showdown with the Steelers, the Patriots struggled to find energy all night. Throw in the fact that Brady owns a 7-9 record at Miami while throwing 15 interceptions.

Biggest Favorite to cover

Chargers-6

A wire to wire winner, the Bolts defense dominated once again. In the last three contests, they have allowed opponents to score a scarce 9.7 points per game. After starting the season 0-4 straight up and 1-3 ATS, the Chargers have reeled off four wins in a row while going 7-2 ATS since the pitiful start. With the defense playing lights out, the under is 7-1 in their last eight contests.

Most Bet Teams

1) Packers 76%

2) Seahawks 74%

3) Cowboys 73%

4) Steelers 74%

5) Bills 70%

Play action or Pass went 3-4-1 bringing us to 33-27-1 in 2017

Eagles +2.5 WIN

Giants +4.5 LOSS

Cardinals +4 WIN

Jaguars-2.5 WIN

Chiefs vs. Raiders over 48 LOSS

Teasers 7 point

Eagles+9.5/ Oak-KC over 41 PUSH

Teaser 10 point

Patriots-1/Eagles+12.5/Steelers+5 LOSS

Patriots-1/Eagles+12.5/Oak-KC over 38 LOSS

Super Bowl  Current Odds

New England Patriots    9-4

Pittsburgh Steelers         3-1

Minnesota Vikings         8-1

Philadelphia Eagles       10-1

Atlanta Falcons              12-1

New Orleans Saints       12-1

Jacksonville Jaguars     12-1

Los Angeles Rams         14-1

ESPN Power Rankings

Steelers

Patriots

Eagles

Rams

Vikings

Saints

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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