Tonight's longshot wager: Eagles as +235 moneyline underdogs to upset the Buccaneers parlayed with UNDER 52.5 offers a +550 payout
I never bet parlays.
Well, almost never.
There's actually some value to CORRELATED parlays and tonight's NFL game between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia offers an intriguing possibility.
First, let's look at the latest odds on this game starting at 8:20 EST.
PARLAY: PHILA TO WIN GAME / UNDER 52.5 (vs. Tampa Bay)
We are getting +550 odds on the prospect of Philadelphia upsetting Tampa Bay and the game landing on UNDER 52.5. Several factors line up in the Eagles' favor, which provides an excellent value if you like betting longshots.
First, let's be clear. The Eagles are nowhere in the Bucs' class. It's not even close. Tampa Bay should win the game. However, as every bettor knows, outcomes don't always break according to the best team on paper or who's favoured.
Tonight, I like the Eagles in this game, which comes on a short week – four days since both teams played on Sunday. The home team always enjoys advantages in a Thursday night game. Philadelphia played a solid game last week upsetting Carolina and at now with a 2-3 record is playing a huge game at home. If they somehow pull off an upset, they're back to .500 and very much in the NFC East race.
An Eagles' win is also correlated to a lower scoring game than is predicted. It's doubtful Philadelphia can win in a shootout. Look for the Eagles to try and grind the clock and keep the Bucs offense on the sideline as much as possible.
The key will be the player we all know, respect, and fear – Tom Brady. Obviously, we need Brady to have an uncharacteristically bad (or average) game. Betting against Brady is always risky, but betting against him with Tampa Bay in primetime games has produced a 4-1 record versus the spread (he's only covered the spread in 1 of 5 games). Brady's stunning passing numbers are much lower in night games, and on a short week, coming off an easy win, the Bucs could be lazy.
Reportedly, Tom Brady is also nursing a sore thumb. He missed two days of practice this week. Of course, Brady doesn't need practice, but it's some indication that the G.O.A.T. might not be at 100 percent. That favours the Eagles.
It's scary that Brady leads the NFL in passing with 353 yards per game. However, tonight should be a tougher test. It hasn't been easy for teams to throw on the Eagles as Philadelphia is surrendering just 194 yards per game through the air, which ranks third in the NFL. Let's hope the Eagles' corners come up with a big game tonight.
Shocking Stat: The Buccaneers enter tonight's game with the NFL's worst passing defense, surrendering 314 yards per game. That doesn't bode well for the UNDER 52.5, but it's some indication the Eagles can win by exposing these vulnerabilities.
I was tempted to play PHILA +6.5, which with the UNDER 52.5 on a parlay pays 2.6-1. However, I think if this game plays out according to suspicion/hope, it goes UNDER and the Eagles are very much live to win outright.
So, that's our play for Thursday night. Eagles in an upset and UNDER 52.5, which pays 5.5 to 1.