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Opening Line Report - Week 13

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Editor’s Note: Stephen Nover is currently listed as the No. 1 NFL handicapper (+1,755) on VegasInsider.com. Don’t miss out on his winning selections. Click to win!

Maybe Donovan McNabb should work in a bakery. That way he’ll get paid for making turnovers. Plus he won’t be quizzed on how overtime in the NFL works.

McNabb has been terrible the past couple of weeks, in a tie to Cincinnati and a loss to Baltimore turning the ball over seven times during the last seven quarters.

But Andy Reid made the right decision in sticking with McNabb Thursday at home against Arizona, at least according to oddsmakers.

The oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants were prepared to send out an opening line recommendation of Arizona as a one-point favorite Monday morning if Reid would have made the quarterback switch from McNabb to Kevin Kolb.

Instead they sent out Eagles minus 2 ½ following Reid’s announcement that McNabb would remain the starter. The problem for Reid is that Kolb looked terrible, too, against the Ravens.

McNabb could bounce back versus a Cardinals secondary that has yielded 22 touchdown passes and may be missing star safety Adrian Wilson, who is dealing with a shoulder injury.

It’s the Eagles’ first home game on Thanksgiving since 1940. There are several trends working against the Cardinals. Arizona has lost 16 of its last 17 non-division road contests and is 2-16 in Eastern Time Zone games since 2003.

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West Coast teams going from the Pacific Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone have yet to win in 15 tries this season. The Cardinals do catch one scheduling break in that this is a night game. The other two Thanksgiving games are day matchups.

“I couldn’t make the Eagles minus three,” said Mike Seba, a senior linesmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants. “Anybody who wants to lay three with the Eagles can be my guest.”

The Indianapolis Colts are coming on, but LVSC may have opened them too high at minus 6 ½ on the road against Cleveland. Bookmakers on Monday were showing the Colts at either minus four or 4 ½.

“I’d rather be high on the Colts than too low where the books could get steamed,” Seba said. “Cleveland looks like it has packed it in. We don’t want to be in the position of having to need Cleveland.”

The Colts seem like the right side, but weather could end up factoring. Indianapolis is a dome team traveling for the third time in four weeks. Weather this late in the year in Cleveland could be bad.

The Browns have lost their last three home games, but are still 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 home matchups. They also have covered in 14 of their last 17 versus teams with winning records.

How much has Jacksonville slipped? The Jaguars were seven-point home favorites at home versus Houston in Week 4. Since winning that game 30-27 in overtime, the Jaguars have gone 2-5 with their only wins coming versus Denver and Detroit during this span.

Jacksonville’s defense misses its former coordinator, Mike Smith. He’s doing wonders as Atlanta’s head coach. The Jaguars still haven’t been able to fix their offensive line problems, which has slowed their bread-and-butter ground game.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Jaguars are three-point road underdogs to Houston on Monday night. The Texans are close to becoming 3 ½-point favorites as those laying three on Monday with Houston had to lay extra juice. LVSC’s number on the matchup was Texans minus 3 ½.

“It shows you just how far Jacksonville has dropped,” Seba said.

  
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