Each week Mike Angelina will share his picks on the Eagles and three NFL plays for the week. The games are in increasing order of confidence, with Game #1 being the top play. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeAngelina
Game #3: Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) vs. Miami Dolphins
Not many were high on the Minnesota Vikings coming into the season, and understandably so. Even less were high on them when the Adrian Peterson news broke. Among those not high on them this season has been the odds makers in Las Vegas. Minnesota started out the season struggling, they didn’t really have a quarterback and Teddy Bridgewater was not quite settled into the job. In fact, he was kind of thrown into the fire earlier than expected. In the second half of the season this year, he has a passer rating of 91.8. Minnesota plays teams tough, like the Lions and Packers whom they each lost to by a field goal or less. Having been underdogs much of the season, playing teams close has been getting the job done for gamblers going with the spread. Over the last eight games, they’ve covered seven times. The Dolphins meanwhile have nothing to really play for, as a 41-13 loss last week pretty much sealed their fate as a non-playoff team. Since the end of 2008, Miami has only won a December game by 7 or more points three times and none of them were against a team with more than five wins. They’re 0-for-5 in their last five December games against the spread. They may win this game, but it won’t be by more than a touchdown. Take the points.
Pick: Vikings +6.5
Game #2: Kansas City Chiefs (+3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a dog fight for a playoff spot in the toughest division in the AFC, and maybe all of football. Them, the Bengals and the Ravens are all in playoff position, but at the same time neither can afford to lose with the Bills and Chiefs knocking on the door. I think the Steelers are a better team than the Chiefs, and will outscore them. Roethlisberger, ever since the Jets game, has been very sharp and has been on a mission. Le’Veon Bell very well may be the best back in football and the Steelers put up an NFL-best 425 yards per game. The Steelers are 6-0 against the spread when facing a team with a winning record. Kansas City won’t be able to keep up.
Pick: Steelers -3
Game #1: Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) vs. Washington Redskins
This feels like a Chip Kelly run-up-the-score type game. The Redskins are terrible and have absolutely quit, as evidenced by the way they responded to the overturned call in the game last week against the New York Giants. They’re also struggling to defend the pass, as they are allowing 66% of passes to be completed, and have only five interceptions on the season. With that in mind, this seems Sanchez-proof for him to ruin. The Eagles are 4-1 against the spread against teams with a losing record, and are 5-1 against the spread when coming off a loss. The Eagles will score early and often, and will likely roll in this game. At the very least, they will win this one in the ballpark of 30-20.
Pick: Eagles -7.5