The Philadelphia Eagles host the Indianapolis Colts in an intriguing cross conference battle. Both teams are poised to make the playoffs, but each could use a win.
The Eagles opened as 2 ½ point favorites and the NFL lines has seen a little reverse action. Most books are now listing the game at 3 points despite the public siding with the Colts at 3:1. The squares are definitely leaning one way and the sharps are moving the line in the opposite direction, so we can follow the wiseguys to a solid play.
Philadelphia is in a pretty good position. They get Michael Vick back from injury, and in the meantime, Kevin Kolb got some good experience. Kolb did a nice job in relief. In the team’s last three games – the games Kolb started – the Eagles went 2-1 and the offense still averaged better than 25 points per game. That means Vick is coming back to an offense that continued to progress in his absence.
Joining Vick should be DeSean Jackson, who’s listed as probable after his concussion. It’s a big deal for the Eagles to get Jackson back. He’s easily their best deep threat and has been Vick’s primary target. So with Vick and Jackson back, the offense should be clicking.
They’ll be taking on an Indy team that has had some devastating injuries, especially to their receivers. Recently, Dallas Clark went down for the season. Austin Collie, who had been one of the top receivers in the League, is out indefinitely with a thumb injury. And Anthony Gonzalez also might be out for the game. Joseph Addai has been downgraded to miss the game, and Mike Hart might miss it, too. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, but not having those weapons on offense will certainly limit his effectiveness.
They’re going against a Philly defense that has been pretty good this year. The rush defense is giving up 109 yards per game and less than 4 yards per carry. In their last 3 games, they’ve given up less than 100 yards to the Titans, Falcons, and 49ers. With Addai and probably Brown on the shelf, the Eagle D has a definite advantage. The pass defense has been pretty good, giving up just over 200 yards for a grand total of 315 total yards per game.
Another reason to like the Eagles in this match up is that they’re coming off their bye. Since 1992, the Eagles are 17-6 against the spread when coming off a bye. They’ve had some injuries, so the bye helped for that. But also, the Eagle coaching staff does a good job with extra time to prepare for a team.
The Colts are usually a public favorite, and this week is no different. But Indy is an underdog for a reason, and sharps have been siding with the home favorite. The line still isn’t too bad at 3, and see if you can grab it at 2 ½ points. If not, don’t be afraid to lay the points. The Indy rush defense will have trouble containing Vick, and the Colts as a team are hobbled by injuries.
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