Week 13 of the NFL season concludes with another NFC East divisional matchup as the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles play host to the 6-5 Washington Redskins. Both of these sides have had their troubles this season, however they’re very much in contention in a crowded NFC East. The Eagles have found things much more difficult this season and are still yet to win consecutive games. Washington started strongly but have faded with consecutive losses after QB Alex Smith suffered a season-ending injury. In a game where both teams have plenty to play for, let’s take a look at our 3 best bets on the board.
Where to Watch: ESPN, 7 Mate or NFL Game Pass Tuesday 12:20 pm
Things definitely haven’t been as easy for the Eagles after their Superbowl season as they enter this one 5-6. QB Carson Wentz has still been largely good in his injury recovery, a poor performance against New Orleans his only mishap. Rookie RB Josh Adams has added a new dimension to the offense of late, averaging 5.2 yards per carry on his very powerful style. Tight End Zach Ertz continues to be one of the best in the NFL, hauling in 84 catches for 895 yards and 6 scores this season. Receiver Alshon Jeffery has regressed somewhat this season but still remains an excellent wideout option.
Whilst the Eagles haven’t been bad defensively, they haven’t been nearly as good as they were last season. They had a horror show in New Orleans a fortnight ago where they gave up 48 points, but this is the only time this season that they’ve allowed 30 or more. The Giants did have some success running the ball on them last week, with Saquon Barkley averaging a shade under 8 yards per carry. The pass rush still anchors this Eagles defence and I expect another strong display here against Colt McCoy and Co.
The Redskins have had a mixed season so far, yet they currently sit right in contention at 6-5 in the NFC East. QB Alex Smith has been ruled out for the season and his replacement Colt McCoy struggled immensely in last week’s loss to Dallas. McCoy was sacked 3 times and threw 3 interceptions in a costly performance. RB Adrian Peterson has faded in recent weeks after is very strong start, failing to rush for more than 3.6 yards per carry or 68 total yards in the past month. Tight End Jordan Reed remains an excellent pass catcher but the rest of Washington’s receiving options are rather limited.
Defensively, the Redskins had an excellent start to the season, holding their opponents to 17 or less in their 6 early wins. They have faded in recent weeks, allowing an average of 27 points in each of their last 2 losses. With the offence struggling to play complementary football, a lot of extra pressure has been placed on this unit. Their front seven has been very strong this season, with Jonathan Allen, Mason Foster and Zach Brown showing flashes. Josh Norman and the newly acquired Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix have also provided a much-needed boost to the secondary.
Despite their middling start to the season, the Eagles have actually been favoured in 10 of their 11 games this season. Whilst their schedule hasn’t been all that difficult, this suggests that bettors are still confident in the talent this team has. Merely 3 weeks ago, they were favoured by a similar number at home to the Cowboys. With their poor performances in recent weeks, I believe that there is some line value on Philadelphia here.
What I saw from Colt McCoy last week is that he just isn’t a starting calibre QB in the NFL. This game also features an incredible mismatch with the Redskins decimated offensive line coming up against the Eagles ferocious pass rush. As you all know, football is won in the trenches and Philadelphia has the huge advantage here. Under a touchdown, I’m taking Philly all night long.
This is another solid total from the bookies based on the respective performances of both sides this season. That said, I don’t think it accounts for Washington’s dip in recent weeks due to injuries and poor play from the offence. With Carson Wentz continuing to deliver solid performances and Josh Adams providing a boost in the rushing game, I expect Philly to have no trouble putting up points in this one.
As this leads to more of a shootout, the Redskins will be forced into more of a pass-oriented offence. With more possessions and more chances for impact plays, I’m expecting this one to go over the relatively low total of 44 points. These offences have more than enough talent to combine for 5 or more touchdowns here. With the playmakers on defence, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a defensive score here. All of this makes betting over 44 points excellent value.
Eagles 1st Half -3.5
I’m doubling down on my Eagles -6.5 bet by taking them in the first half here. When you really like a spot, these correlated bets can be a great way to increase your ROI. I expect the improving Eagles offence to get off to a very strong start in this one. Carson Wentz is still one of the better QBs in the NFL and I can see him picking apart this Redskins defence. He also has a significant advantage over his opposite number; Colt McCoy. This Redskins offensive line won’t be able to contain the Eagles ferocious front as they cruise to victory here.
Score Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 30-17 Washington Redskins