NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/24/2015
I'm liking these Saturday NFL games! Last week I previewed the NY Jets at Dallas and recommended giving the 2.5 points to the Cowboys and going under the total of 42. The Jets won 19-16 to officially eliminate Dallas from the postseason and give me a profitable sweep.
So we stick with the lone Saturday game this week and it's another important one in the NFC East as Washington visits Philadelphia. It's now crystal clear that the East winner is going to be the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. And I expect that champion to get housed at home in the wild-card round by raging Seattle, which should be the No. 5 seed. If the Vikings were to grab the No. 5, then the East champion can win that game. But that's a story for another day.
So here are the scenarios for winning the NFC East.
Washington (7-7) can make Week 17 anticlimactic with a victory here as that clinches the division. The Skins haven't won the East since Robert Griffin III's amazing rookie season, which now seems like ages ago (especially to RGIII). Philadelphia (6-8) wins the East with a victory here and then next week at the New York Giants. And the G-Men (6-8) win the division with a victory Sunday in Minnesota (not super confident that happens) and then next week over Philadelphia while also having Washington lose twice.
There is one scenario where Philly wins the division with a victory here and loss next week. The Eagles would need Washington to lose Week 17 in Dallas and the Giants to lose Sunday in Minnesota. That would make all three teams 7-9 after next week and the Eagles would beat the Redskins on better division record (3-3 vs. 2-4) and beat the Giants by having the best record against common opponents (7-7 vs. 6-8). Washington can still win the division with a loss here, win next week in Dallas, a Giants loss Sunday and then New York win over Philadelphia.
That all clear? I hope so because I doubt I can repeat it. Bovada has the Redskins at -140 favorites for the East, the Eagles at +160 and Giants at +700.
Redskins at Eagles Betting Story Lines
Washington completed its home regular-season slate at 6-2 with a 35-25 win over Buffalo last week. And that game followed what has been a major trend all season: quarterback Kirk Cousins was excellent in his own stadium. He completed 22-for-28 for 319 yards and four scores without a turnover, a near-perfect 153.7 rating. DeSean Jackson caught six for 153 and a TD.
It's almost amazing how different Cousins is at home compared to the road, where Washington is 1-5. Cousins has a passer rating of 117.0 at home, which is second in the NFL. He is completing 74.7 percent of his throws there with 16 touchdowns and only two picks. On the road, his rating is 74.6, which is 30th in the league. He has completed 64 percent with six touchdowns and nine picks. You see this with dome guys a lot when they play outdoors, but the Redskins obviously don't play in a dome.
The schedule has been a factor. Washington's six road opponents so far have a .630 winning percentage and they include the Patriots and Panthers. Only two road teams the Skins have played currently have losing records. Four of the road foes have Top-10 pass defenses. At home, Washington's opponents are a combined 19 games under .500 right now. Three home foes have bottom-10 pass defenses.
Might this be the final home game for Chip Kelly as Eagles' coach? He's not going to be fired, but ownership might demand he give up personnel power if the team misses the playoffs again. Kelly might say no and request to be released from his contract or traded (to Tennessee?). I can't figure the Eagles out. Thought they had a pretty good shot of beating the visiting Cardinals in Week 15 but Philly was clobbered 40-17. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis is under fire again after his unit allowed 28 first downs and nearly 500 yards. The Eagles also turned it over four times. It was Sam Bradford's fifth game with at least two picks this year. Philly is 2-3 in those five.
Two key Eagles defenders were hurt last week and might miss this one: nose tackle Bennie Logan and cornerback Byron Maxwell. Two starting Redskins offensive linemen suffered minor injuries last week but should play.
In Week 4, the Eagles went to Washington as 3-point favorites and lost 23-20. Cousins threw the game-winning 4-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon -- capping a 90-yard drive -- with 26 seconds left. He threw for 290 yards on the day and wasn't picked off. Bradford threw for 270 and three scores (all in second half) without an interception. Philly did lose two fumbles and kicker Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point and 33-yard field-goal try. So do the math there and see how important those misses were.
Redskins at Eagles Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Philadelphia is a 3-point favorite (-115) with a total of 47.5. On the moneyline, the Eagles are -165 and Redskins +145. On the alternate lines, Philly is -2.5 (-140) and -3.5 (+110). Washington is 7-7 against the spread (2-4 on road) and 7-7 "over/under" (4-2 on road). Philadelphia is 6-8 ATS (3-4 at home) and 6-8 O/U (3-4 at home).
Washington is 4-12 ATS in its past 16 after a win. The Redskins are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 following an ATS win. The Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their past five vs. the NFC. They are 0-8 ATS in their past eight following a double-digit loss at home. The over is 5-1 in Philly's past six after a double-digit home loss. The over is 9-2 in Washington's past 11 following an ATS win. The Redskins are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings.
Redskins at Eagles Betting Prediction
From purely a fan perspective, I am rooting for the Eagles here as that makes Week 17 all the more interesting. And that's how it should be. But I have no clue which team shows up. That said, the Eagles haven't lost back-to-back games Bradford has started since Weeks 1-2. So I'll give the 2.5 points here. Go under the total as it looks to be rainy/foggy.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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