The Eagles-Falcons game is the most fascinating matchup this weekend for a number of reasons, most notably because no one knows what to expect from arguably the best team in football this year. The Eagles opened as a three-point home underdog and have stayed there all week despite upwards of 80% of public bets coming on the Falcons side of things.
Sports Insights has 64% coming on the Falcons, while Evan Silva says it’s closer to 80%:
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) January 12, 2018
I’m inclined to believe the former, but the point remains the same. As such, you would expect for most of the money to be on the Eagles, since the line has stayed the same.
77% of the money is landing on the Falcons, according to the Action Network.
This is… odd.
For those who don’t know, Vegas wants equal action on both sides. While obviously they could make bank with 80% of bets falling on the losing side, that’s not a sustainable proposition. Their money is in the 10% or so fee they take on each bet, not on the house winning. Which is why it’s so strange to see so much of the action on the Falcons and yet the line not moving at all. The only thing I can think is that Vegas expects the big money to come in on the Eagles. Bob thinks it’s a trap and that Vegas likes the Eagles (encouraging bettors to be on the Falcons), but I can’t tell if that’s wishful thinking or conspiracy theory.
But with this much action on the Falcons, you would have expected at least a little line movement in their direction. That hasn’t happened.
The over-under, however, is a different story.
It has moved from 43.5 to 41.5. As Sports Insights explains:
Unlike the spread, the total has actually seen some rather interesting movement.
With 63% of dollars on the under, we’ve seen the total drop from 43.5 to 41.5 since opening. This could rival the Jags – Steelers game for lowest total of the weekend if this action keeps up.
In my opinion, a lower scoring game favors the Eagles. They are going to be the worse offense in every possible matchup except for the Jaguars, and so a lower scoring game certainly keeps thing contested for longer.
But as was the case when we looked at odds and probabilities, not even the numbers tell a story with the Eagles. No one knows what to expect and, thus far, even Vegas seems to be confused.
UPDATE: Perhaps that headline is misleading. What I meant to say was that such a large percentage of the money coming on the Falcons doesn’t make me feel good. Usually you like to see the money trending in the opposite direction of the bets to explain the contradiction. The flip side is that Vegas is holding firm on the line despite so much action on the Falcons. So that is actually a good sign.