2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks
December 15, 2008
Cleveland at Philadelphia
Monday 12/15 08:35 PM Eastern
2 units on Cleveland +16 (-110) (risk 2 to return 2) RESULT: LOSS
At 7-5-1, the Eagles are on playoff life support. They can likely blame a tie in a lackluster performance with the lowly Bengals for their very precarious situation. They are now chasing three teams with identical five-loss seasons with just two games to play. But, those teams have nine wins each. The Browns have had a very disappointing season. Optimism was in the air after a good 2007-08 season in which they posted ten wins and fell just short of the playoffs. But this year Cleveland has faltered. The Eagles have not gotten the double-digit nod from the books all season. But all of a sudden are supposed to win this one by over two touchdowns? The must-win nature of the game has added points to this line, but didn't this team also need the game against the Bengals? The reality is that the talent difference here, while big, is not that big. The Browns have played some inspired football against some of the better teams in the league this season, as they are 3-1 ATS as a 7+ dog. The lone loss came against the Titans last week on a late meaningless TD run from 25 yards out that blew the cover. While the offense has vastly underperformed expectations, the defense has come up with some big efforts this season. They have held more than half the teams on their schedule to 17 points or less. The solid defensive efforts have come to some good teams. They held the Giants to just 14, the Colts just 10, and the Steelers to just 10 points. The Eagles just came off their game of the year vs. the Giants, and another big game before that in their win vs. Arizona. Looking ahead on the schedule, they have divison games vs. Washington and Dallas to close the season. If there's a game in the second half of the season that Philly can take off, this is it. I'm sure they look at this Browns team as a team they can walk through and get a win without too much effort. Cleveland is coming in off a loss and under Romeo Crennel, the Browns are 23-12 ATS in that situation. Also, the NFL has long produced spread winners when teams have lost on the road, and hit the road again the following week. One of the best in this situation has been the Browns under Crennel, posting a perfect 7-0 ATS mark in that situation. I'm pretty certain the Eagles will win this game, but I'm also pretty certain they won't be completely focused coming off of the two big games, with two very big games on deck. Cleveland has played well in this kind of a spot all year, and if their defense comes even close to the seven games where they have 17 or less, an Eagles cover of this monsterous number is very unlikely. This one has been driven up by the "need" factor, and is now loaded with value on the dog side.