Eagles face big test as road favorites at Seattle on Sunday night

Leave a comment

This might be a week to expect regression from the Philadelphia Eagles, who are in rarefied territory in betting trends and in hostile territory on the field with a primetime road game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Eagles and quarterback Carson Wentz are listed as 5.5-point road favorites against the Russell Wilson-led Seahawks with a 47-point total for the NFL’s Week 13 Sunday Night Football  matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Philadelphia, which is on an 8-0 streak against the spread, is threatening to become just the fourth team in the last 10 seasons to notch nine covers in a row.

The favored team is 7-2 both straight-up and ATS in the last nine editions of this matchup, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but Seattle has some strong personal trends. The Seahawks, who are home underdogs for the first time since 2012, are 23-9-2 in their last 34 games as the underdog, as well as 21-5 ATS in their last 26 games in December.

The Eagles, who are an NFL-best 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS, can likely look forward to the Seahawks trying to force Wentz and his receivers to beat them with the pass. Philadelphia running backs such as LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi might see fewer opportunities than usual to get into the open field against a front seven strengthened by defensive tackles Jarran Reed and Sheldon Richardson, along with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Seattle will likely have free safety Earl Thomas back, but the secondary has still been prone to lapses in pass defense, so look for tight end Zach Ertz and the Eagles receiving corps to exploit some busted coverages.

The likelihood of the Seahawks, who are 7-4 SU and 4-6-1 ATS, coming through with a cover – or outright win – will be pegged on whether Russell Wilson’s ability to scramble can frustrate the Eagles’ sixth-ranked defense. Seattle is 10-3 SU and 9-4 ATS in December home games since 2012, when Wilson took over as starting quarterback.

While Seattle finally does have left tackle Duane Brown and left guard Luke Joeckel side by side, Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham usually play on the other end of the line and will have the chance to blow up a few plays. Seattle’s running game, which is just 23rd in the NFL in yards per rush, will likely struggle against an Eagles defense that is allowing the fourth-lowest yards per rush.

However, the Eagles haven’t seen a quarterback as resourceful as Wilson, so Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson are likely to get some big opportunities.

The total has gone under in three of the Eagles’ last four games against the Seahawks, while the total has gone under in 13 of the Seahawks’ last 18 games in December.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Baseball built sports foundation for Patrick Mahomes

Leave a comment

After leading Kansas City to five wins this season, there’s no doubt that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes can throw. But not every NFL quarterback got their start in an MLB dugout.

Mahomes’ father, former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes, had him on the diamond at Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets, in a custom toddler uniform at four years old. Like a typical kid, he ran around and threw some balls. Unlike a typical kid, Mahomes was diving for catches and impressing the pros.

“I started thinking to myself, I said a normal five year old does not do stuff like this,” Pat Mahomes says.

Growing up around professional athletes like A-Rod and Derek Jeter, Mahomes observed and picked up on how they prepared for games.

One such pro was former MLB pitcher Willie Banks. During a game of catch, Banks told Pat that Mahomes would be a quarterback. Pat saw his son’s future in baseball or even basketball. “You know, he’s just messing around with football,” Pat thought.

“And evidently I was wrong.”

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes finds home in Kansas City

Leave a comment

For a young Patrick Mahomes, a career as an athlete wasn’t a dream. It was the game plan.

Mahomes has had a breakout rookie season as starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. A first round pick in the 2017 NFL draft out of Texas Tech, Mahomes has led Kansas City to five wins with his first NFL loss coming against New England. His dominance as a younger player may have come as a surprise to the NFL world, but his family always knew he was destined to go pro.

A three sport athlete with deep roots in baseball before picking up basketball and football, Mahomes “was very competitive, even as a kid,” his mother, Randi Mahomes, says. “He wanted everything to be a ball. Wherever we were, he was going to try to toss something at you.”

Randi says she hoped he would end up somewhere that “felt like home,” and after leading the Chiefs to five back-to-back wins, she feels like Kansas City has become just that.

“To see your child get to live his dream and to know that he’s happy–that can’t be replaced,” she says.