Monday Night Football Betting Trends (Week 9)

It's Brees vs. Vick - for the start at least. See what we have to say about the game inside!

Raise your hand if you thought these two teams would have five combined wins heading into this game. Outside of a few bitter Cowboys or Giants fans, I'm not expecting much Usher-style hands in the air action going on.

At the very least, numberFire's computers aren't raising their robotic arms. At the beginning of the season, both the Eagles and the Saints had playoff odds above 50% and sat #11 and #3, respectively, in our preseason power rankings.

But time changes all. With their current 3-4 record, the Eagles held only a 17.2% chance of making the playoffs entering this weekend. The Saints' odds were only 3.9%. And both teams are in the bottom half of the league at our current power rankings, with Philadelphia at #20 and New Orleans at #25.

For the gambling crowd, though, those low records mean a certain element of unpredictability... unless you have math on your side. That's why we do what we do. And we're here to help you out once again.

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-2.5)

If anybody has a death wish, I strongly urge you to walk into the Saints' locker room (come on, New Orleans security can't be that tight) and scream, "Hey, you guys are just like the 2011 Titans!" I'd be curious whether you would be laughed at or just severely beaten in a controlled space by 300-pound men.

However, since I have the benefit of sitting behind a computer screen and being 1,000 miles from Louisiana, I am more than eager to say it. numberFire analytics peg the 2011 Tennessee Titans as the current Saints' biggest match with a 93.23% similarity. Because whenever you can compare late-in-life Matt Hasselbeck to Drew Brees, you should jump at the opportunity, I say.

Since the 2012 Eagles currently hold numberFire's sixth-best opponent-adjusted defense, I took a look at how the 2011 Titans did against defenses in the top third (top 12) of the league. But the results are not pretty.

Week Line Result ATS
Week 1 (-1) vs. JAC L, 14-16
Week 2 (+5.5) vs. BAL W, 26-13
Week 4 (+1.5) vs. CLE W, 31-13
Week 5 (+3) vs. PIT L, 17-38
Week 7 (-2.5) vs. HOU L, 7-41
Week 11 (+6) vs. ATL Push, 17-23
Week 16 (-8) vs. JAC L, 23-17
Week 17 (-2.5) vs. HOU L, 23-22

After picking up a big win against Cleveland (first time that's been said in a while) in Week 4, Tennessee would not win a single game against the spread for the rest of the season when facing a top defense. Overall, they finished 2-5-1 on the season in those matchups. Beware what these means for the Saints because of the similarities between the two.

Moneyline: Philadelphia +130

The Vegas currently has the Saints as a favorite, but the Eagles winning isn't out of the realm of possibility. With a current moneyline at +130, Vegas gives the Eagles a 43.5% chance at winning this game. They must really have faith in Nick Foles.

If Vegas looked at the math rather than functioning as a money-gobbling uber-entity, though, they might change those percentages a bit. One of the key things the numberFire formula looks at is comparable games. In a matchup between teams with similar profiles (in this case, high-octane offense vs. smothering defense), which came out on top more often?

From the past 12 seasons, the most comparable game to this current match-up actually has the Eagles winning this game, as the similar-to-Philadelphia 2010 Rams beat the Broncos by 3. But the next highest comparable has the Saints winning. And the next one. And the next one. And the next one.

Of numberFire's eight highest comparable matchups (all with a similarity above 86.97% to tonight's game), the Saints won six of them. They won every single one of games two through six. And most of those games weren't even close - the New Orleans-comparable team won by a touchdown or greater in five of those six victories.

Total TD Passes for Michael Vick: Under 1.5 (+150)

Michael Vick has been bad. He's been "Oh wait, the Eagles have Koy Detmer under center again?" bad. He's been "Cheesesteak not from Philly" bad. He's been "Facilities at Veteran's Stadium" bad. And yet, here he remains.

That's not just hyperbole, either. numberFire's analytics say Vick has only added 13.87 Net Expected Points (NEP) to his team so far this season, meaning that if the Eagles had run a league-average play every single time on the field, they would have scored less than two touchdowns fewer than their current season output. Among starting quarterbacks, only Philip Rivers, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Tannehill, John Skelton, and Blaine Gabbert are less efficient this season.

So even if Vick is facing the Saints' dead-last opponent-adjusted defense tonight (and by golly he is), don't expect him to magically turn into Superman. Although Vegas only gives him 40% odds to throw one TD or less in this game, numberFire projections have Vick at 1.65 passing TDs. He may be our #3 fantasy QB this week, but the odds are not necessarily in your favor of a multi-passing TD game. And when in doubt, play the odds.

Seen enough?

In case you couldn't tell, we're pretty confident that we know what we're talking about. History doesn't lie - if you were a subscriber to our Premium package, you would have known to take the Seattle/Minnesota over line (a four-star selection) and the Bucs to beat the Raiders outright (another four-star selection). In fact, we're returning a ridiculous +18.2% ROI on picks just like that all season - so sign up today and pad that wallet!