PHILADELPHIA (-15.0) 27 Tampa Bay 13
Tampa Bay is starting to get better defensively after looking confused the first two weeks after years of playing a cover 2 scheme. The Bucs allowed 7.5 yards per play in their first two games, but just 5.2 yppl the last two weeks against the Giants and Redskins, who would combine to average 5.4 yppl against an average team.
I still rate the Bucs' defense at 0.5 yppl worse than average and the Eagles are 0.3 yppl better than average offensively with Donovan McNabb and RB Brian Westbrook back in the lineup. The big mismatch in this game is when Tampa Bay has the ball, as raw starting quarterback Josh Johnson is clearly a below average passer and his ability to run (56 yards on 8 rushes) doesn't come close to making up for his passing deficiencies (just 3.9 yards per pass play on 35 pass plays against teams that would allow 5.6 yppp to an average QB).
Philadelphia has yielded just 4.3 yppl in 3 games (against teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average team, so Johnson could be in a tough day if the Eagles don't fully letdown.
My math model favors the Eagles by 19 points, but it will be tough for Philly to play with full intensity against the winless Bucs. Tampa Bay applies to a 20-2 ATS subset of a 79-36-1 ATS situation that plays on bad teams and I don't want to buck that trend. With the math going one way and the situation favoring the other side it's best to pass on this game.
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