Betting on Big Imbalances in the Pointspread

After a disastrous 6-unit loss in Week 12, we took off for the holiday and skipped Week 13. Now we’re back with two 4-unit power picks. Over the past 2 seasons, our largest wagers topped out at 4 units. We stand at 4-1 with those 4-unit selections against the spread. Not coincidentally, nearly all those wagers occurred either in playoff games or regular season games involving two likely playoff contenders. Here we go again….

Seahawks at Eagles
Official Line: Eagles –1.5
LazyLine: Seahawks –7. Seahawks are a 4-unit play.

Yes, you read that right. We see the ‘Hawks as 7-point favs on the road! Philly doesn’t have a strong home edge to begin with. Additionally, odds-makers and bettors mistakingly believe West Coast teams suffer by traveling east. Consider also how strongly the Philly boo birds will start attacking home QB Mark Sanchez as he struggles vs. a tough Seattle defense. The official line bakes in about 4 points in home advantages for Philly. The real advantage, after you look more closely, rings up as zero.

The misaligned home edge lays a nice betting opportunity in our laps, but it might not even be the largest edge in the Seahawks ledger.

The resurgent Seattle defense is likely to force Sanchez into mistakes, just as the Packers did a few weeks ago. In Green Bay, Sanchez fumbled 3 times and threw 2 INTs in a 53-20 drubbing. A few weeks before that, against a hard-hitting 49ers defense, the Eagles turned the ball over 4 times. On the season, the Eagles are in the bottom 10 in turnover ratio, with a minus 6, while the Seahawks are in the top 10 and rising.

That last stat points not only to the huge edge the Seahawks have on defense in this matchup against a historically mistake-prone QB, but also to the enormous advantage the Seahawks own at the QB position. Wilson seldom turns the ball over, while Sanchez frequently coughs up the rock.

The Eagles enjoy lots of respect from bookies and bettors alike. However, a 2-3 record vs. teams likely to finish above .500, an inability to protect the football and the lack of a top-notch QB all stamp this team as second-tier. Good but not great. And that’s not nearly good enough this week.

Quality will rise to the top in this game, which gives Seahawks backers plenty of points to spare.

Patriots at Chargers
Official Line: Patriots –3.5
LazyLine: Patriots –3. Patriots are a 4-unit play.

The Pats deserve billing as a top-3 team. They might even be the top NFL team right now. The Chargers rank 4 to 6 notches lower. And if you saw Tom Brady’s reaction to the Pats loss in Green Bay, you should have no doubt the Patriots will be out for blood this week. We like the talent advantage of the Pats and the motivational superboost that propels that talent to play its best this week.

Lazy Line results for the year: 11 wins and 17 losses against the spread, with 21 winning units vs. 28 losing units.