NFL Week #16 Betting Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 4:30 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Opening Line: Philadelphia -8
Current Line: Philadelphia -7 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 50 1/2
Current Total: 50 1/2
Opening Money Line: Eagles -260 / Redskins +215
Current Money Line: Eagles -330 / Redskins +260

The Eagles face a must win game against the Redskins with playoff implications for Philadelphia.
The Eagles face a must win game against the Redskins with playoff implications for Philadelphia.

With six teams with 9 wins or more in the NFC and only five spots available because the champion of the terrible NFC South taking one of the spots, a good team is guaranteed to be shut out of the playoffs. Right now that unenviable position would fall to the 9-5 Philadelphia Eagles. Three weeks ago the Eagles led the NFC East by a game over the Dallas Cowboys after routing Dallas on Thanksgiving. Home losses to the Seattle  Seahawks and Cowboys have put the Eagles in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. They no longer control their own destiny and could even miss the playoffs with an 11-5 record. With games left against the lowly Washington Redskins and New York Giants left 11-5 seems likely. Philadelphia travels to the 3-11 Redskins Saturday. The Redskins have lost 6 straight games and are a mess because  of infighting.

Since 2001, Philadelphia  leads the series 18-9 against Washington. The Eagles have won 3 straight games in the series including 37-34 in Philadelphia September 21.

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Philadelphia is coached by Chip Kelly. The Eagles have road losses at the San Francisco 49ers 26-21, Arizona Cardinals 24-20 and the Green Bay Packers 53-20, along with  home losses to the Seahawks  24-14 and Cowboys last week 38-27. Philadelphia has home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17, Washington Redskins 37-34, St. Louis Rams 34-28, New York Giants 27-0, Carolina Panthers 45-21, and Tennessee Titans 43-24, plus road wins at the Indianapolis Colts 30-27, Houston Texans 31-21 and Cowboys 33-10. The Eagles are 8-6 ATS and the total is 9-5 this season. Philadelphia was a 3.5 point favorite against Dallas and the total was 54.5.

Washington is coached by Jay Gruden. The Redskins have home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-10  and Tennessee Titans 19-17, along with a road win at the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 in overtim. Washington has road losses at the Texans 17-6, Philadelphia Eagles 37-34, Arizona Cardinals 30-20, Minnesota Vikings 29-26, San Francisco 49ers 17-13, Indianapolis Colts 49-27 and last week against the Giants 24-13. The Redskins have home losses to the Giants 45-14, Seattle Seahawks 27-17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-7 and Rams 24-0. Washington is 4-10 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season. The Redskins were 7 point underdogs at New York and the total was 46.5.

Philadelphia is outscoring teams 30-25 this season. The Eagles are #4 in scoring and #22 in points allowed. Philadelphia is averaging 388 yards per game on offense including 267 passing and 121 rushing yards. The Eagles are #8 or better in all offensive categories. On defense, Philadelphia is allowing 371 yards per game including 257 passing and 114 rushing yards. The Eagles are #18 or worse in all three categories. Philadelphia is 94/216 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 82/217. The Eagles have forced 47 sacks and allowed 25 this season. The Eagles have 10 defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed 4 this season. Philadelphia is -8 in turnovers.

Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles broke his collarbone earlier in the season. He is out indefinitely. Mark Sanchez will be the starter until Foles returns.  Foles threw for 2,163 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and rushed for 68 yards. Sanchez has thrown for 1,752 yards with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, plus he also has a rushing touchdown.

Running back LeSean McCoy has 274 carries for 1,132 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 24 catches for 112 yards. Darren Sproles has 52 carries for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 331 yards. Sproles also has 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Chris Polk has 3 rushing touchdowns and a kick return for a touchdown. Receiver Jeremy Maclin has 78 catches for 1,207 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jordan Matthews has 56 catches for 709 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Tight end Zach Ertz has 39 catches for 531 yards and three touchdowns. Riley Cooper has 48 catches for 487 yards and a touchdown. Five defensive players are out for the season for the Eagles.

Washington is being outscored 26-18 this season. The Redskins are #28 in points allowed and #26 in scoring. Washington is averaging 359 total yards per game including 252 passing yards and 106 rushing yards. The Redskins are #12 in total offense and #10 in passing. Washington is allowing 339 yards per game on defense including 238 passing and 101 rushing yards. The Redskins are in the top ten in total and rush defense.  Washington is 60/190 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 81/188. The Redskins have 28 sacks and have allowed 45 this season. Washington is -9 in turnovers. The Redskins have allowed 4 defensive touchdowns and 2 special teams touchdowns.

Kirk Cousins took over at quarterback against Jacksonville for an injured Robert Griffin III. Cousins was benched in the Tennessee game in favor of Colt McCoy. McCoy led the Redskins to a come from behind victory against the Titans and also started the upset of the Cowboys. Griffin returned for a couple of games but was benched for being ineffective. McCoy took over as the starter but is out for the season with a neck injury. Griffin is the starter again. Cousins has completed 61.8% of his passes for 1,710 yards with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Griffin has completed 69.3% of his passes for 1,138 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 27 carries for 146 yards. McCoy has completed 71.1% of his passes for 1,057 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions along with 66 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Running back Alfred Morris has 232 carries for 948 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 136 yards. Roy Helu has 34 carries for 174 yards and a touchdown, plus 38 catches for 436 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a toe injury Receiver DeSean Jackson has 50 catches for 957 yards and 5 touchdowns. Pierre Garcon has 62 catches for 638 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tight end Niles Paul has 37 catches for 488 yards and a touchdown. Andre Roberts has 34 catches for 432 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Jordan Reed has 39 catches for 390 yards. Darrell Young has only 9 catches but two touchdowns. Ten defensive players are listed on the injury report for Washington.

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Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 against teams with losing records, 7-3 in Saturday games, 4-9 against teams with losing home records, 4-10 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 2-8 in December, 3-13-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, and 0-6 after a double digit home loss. The road team is 11-4-1 ATS in this series recently. The favorite has covered 6 of the last 8 games in this series. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to Washington.

Washington is 5-2 ATS in week 16, 11-24-6 after scoring less than 15 points, 3-7 against NFC East teams, 2-5 in December, 2-6 after failing to cover, 1-4 against NFC teams, 1-5 overall, 1-6 on grass, 1-7 after accumulating more than 350 total yards, 1-8 after a straight up loss, 0-4 in Saturday games  and 0-5 at home.

This is a must win game for the Eagles against an inferior division opponent. Philadelphia is now a game behind Dallas in the division. Washington looks like they are done and the coach has made it clear he isn’t a RG3 fan. I think the Eagles win and it shouldn’t be close.

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