Mims' Thursday Night Football Picks: Eagles vs Texans, Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown props. Q&A: Borgata's Tom Gable
The Thursday Night Football Game has the Philadelphia Eagles against the Houston Texans. The Eagles are 7-0 while the Texans are 1-5-1. The Eagles are favored by 14 and the total is 45. The money line is -800 for the Birds and +550 for the Texans.
I had the chance to connect with Tom Gable, Director of Race and Sports for the luxurious Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. These are some of the questions I asked Tom about Borgata and the game tonight.
What percentage of action is on the Eagles this week?
Gable: We opened the Eagles at 13½ point favorites with a total of 43½. We’ve been taking action to the over and the total is now 45. It’s been mostly all Eagles money. Over 80% of the tickets and money is on the Eagles. I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets to 14, which is obviously a key number in football.
What prop bets. are getting the most action on the Thursday Night Game?
Gable: The player props are always the most popular. Whether it’s a quarterback passing yards prop or a receiving yards prop for a wide receiver, that is usually where the bettors gravitate to. We’ve also seen the growing popularity of first touchdown scorer for each game. This is a prop that in previous years we wouldn’t put up for each regular season game and only would put up as part of the Super Bowl prop menu but we started doing it this year for every regular season game and it’s become rather popular. AJ Brown and Jalen Hurts are getting the most action on them.
Are there any props that are connected to the TNF game and the World Series Game 5?
Gable: Well, originally Game 5 was scheduled for Wednesday night and Thursday was going to be a travel day but now with both the Eagles game and Game 5 taking place on Thursday, we can get a little creative with some cross-sport props. The fact that both games are Houston vs Philadelphia makes it even more intriguing with the possibilities. We will put these up on Thursday morning as we need to see who is announced as the starting pitchers before we can price anything out.
Since Borgata is close to Philadelphia is there a great deal of action on the Philly teams?
Gable: We always get action on the Philadelphia teams due to our proximity to Philadelphia. We also see the same thing when it comes to the New York teams. This is first time since sports betting was legalized in New Jersey where a Philadelphia team is playing for a championship (Phillies in the World Series), so it’s been great to see the response from the local fans coming out to the sportsbook for each game and the increase in handle we have seen. The Eagles are always a popular play for local bettors and this year with the way they have started out, some weeks, it gets a little expensive for us.
What did the Philadelphia Eagles odds to win the Super Bowl open at? What are they presently?
Gable: The Eagles opened at 40/1 to win the Super Bowl and they are now down to +550. Only the Bills have shorter odds right now (at +225). The Eagles are our biggest liability to win the NFC and our second biggest liability to win the Super Bowl. We know with their easy schedule, they have a very good shot of being the #1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs. But regardless of the quality of their opponents, they have looked impressive this year so far. Jalen Hurts’ MVP odds have dropped from 25/1 where we opened him, to +350 as of today.”
Is there anything you want to make the audience aware of as we approach the 2nd half of the NFL season & the holidays?
Gable: If you haven’t done so yet, there are still plenty of weeks left to get into our “Beat the Book” pro football promotion that runs every week through the regular season. Each week, Borgata will post their picks for each Sunday NFL game and every customer with a MGM Rewards card can make their picks as well. It’s a straight pick ‘em contest with no point spreads involved, so you only have to pick the winners and it’s free to play each week. If you have a better record than Borgata did for that week, you share in a $15,000.00 weekly prize pool and receive your prize in Freeplay in the casino. But the great thing is, each week you enter (you don’t even have to win), you receive one entry into the grand prize drawing at the end of the season where the winner will receive a trip to Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and there are lots of other great prizes including MGM gift cards that can be used at Borgata or any of MGM’s properties around the country, including Las Vegas.
I want to thank Tom for his time and his insight. Tom participates in a weekly podcast with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher called The Lombardi Line. Check it out on IHeart Radio.
Now for the breakdown of the game.
Head Coach Match Up: Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni and Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith. Smith has the edge. Smith won the Coach of the year award in 2005 and has led his Chicago Bears team in 2006 to a Super Bowl appearance. Sirianni has been impressive with his overall game management and his evolution from a play caller to involvement with all aspects of the gameplan with input from his coaching staff.
Player Props: Jalen Hurts over 36.5 yards longest completion. Hurts showed he had improved this season with his long ball accuracy. He completed a 43-yard pass and a 39 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown in the Eagles 35-13. The price is -123. Take Hurts over. A.J. Brown as an anytime TD scorer. The price is +112. Brown is on a pace for 95 catches and 12 TDs this season. Take him to score a touchdown.
The Selection: The Eagles are undefeated and playing better every week. . The Texans are staying in games and have a 3-3-1 record against the spread. They did not cover in their last two games against the Las Vegas Raiders and the Tennessee Titans. The Eagles played well in their prime-time game against the Dallas Cowboys and should handle the Texans. Go with the Eagles minus the points and the over.
Follow me on Twitter during the second quarter of the game. I will be back on Monday after a two-week hiatus from Monday Night Football. Get my preview of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New Orleans Saints. My record on Monday Night is 13-16 with 5 prop bets,4 team (ATS) and 4 over/under wins.