A nice victory to begin the week unfolded Thursday night as the Titans/Jaguars game unfolded just as was predicted in this column. Both teams struggled to move the football and the match-up ended up coming in below the posted total of 39 points. Today there’s a wide array of football to sift through, with the Bowl Season officially underway in the NCAA and two special NFL games to whet your betting appetite. We’ll focus first on a big clash for the Philadelphia Eagles as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on RG3 and the Washington Redskins. The Eagles are mired in a difficult battle in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys and it’s important that they take care of business against an inferior opponent today. Read on below for a full game breakdown in this divisional clash and our official wager.
Eagles vs. Redskins Betting Odds:
Philadelphia Eagles -7 (-125)
@ Washington Redskins +7 (+105)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Eagles vs. Redskins Pick:
Even though this line has hovered around the Eagles being favoured by roughly 8.5 points for the majority of the week, some recent movements have moved this line closer to a touchdown, greatly changing my mood on backing the favourite. While as of Saturday evening a lot of outlets are posting 7.5’s, lines of just 7 points are readily available if you buy the half point, which is exactly what i’d recommend for this match-up. The Eagles need to win this game to keep pace with the Cowboys in the competitive NFC East, and while the Redskins aren’t as bad as their record indicates, Philly possesses just too much speed and talent. Asking them to win by just a touchdown in a game of this magnitude isn’t too grand of a task for Chip Kelly and his versatile attack.
Mark Sanchez has struggled in recent weeks, but he is what he is. Sanchez is a back-up quarterback, but realistically that shouldn’t matter this week. The Redskins defense isn’t the greatest, and Sanchez is able to do just enough to make it work in Chip Kelly’s offense. Sanchez is also blessed with a talented array of playmakers around him, and that should help yet again this week. The Redskins secondary is very bad. They routinely blow assignments in pass coverage and have conceded 9.7 yards per pass attempt over their past four weeks. That’s the worst rate in the NFL over that span, and the high-flying attack of the Eagles will pose all sorts of problems for Washington. On the ground, LeSean McCoy will also be getting Evan Mathis back to block for him, something that should help in the run game. The Eagles won’t have any problem moving the chains come Saturday afternoon.
On defense for Philly, the Eagles are facing a pretty dysfunctional offense led by Robert Griffin III. It’s clear that RG3 and his head coach Jay Gruden aren’t seeing eye-to-eye right now, and he’d much rather have Colt McCoy under centre. That’s not happening this week and as a result the Redskins’ offense seems to be in trouble. Even though Philadelphia has some issues in their own secondary, the amount of pressure they put on opposing quarterbacks will spell doom for Griffin. For all of his athleticism, he’s proven to be atrocious at reading defenses, and with a dominant pass rush, the Eagles will leave their mark on Saturday. Philly enters tied for the league lead in sacks, and with the Redskins’ current issues in pass protection, RG3 could easily be forced into a couple of bad mistakes and turnovers. Even on the ground, the ‘Skins are slated to struggle. Philly has a stout run defense. The Eagles only concede 3.61 yards per carry to the rush and Alfred Morris won’t be able to get it going.
This spread may seem high for a divisional match-up, but given how the Eagles match-up vs. the Redskins and the magnitude of this game for Philadelphia, I’m firmly backing them to win big on Saturday afternoon. There’s all kinds of big issues in Washington among key personnel, and look for Philly to take full advantage with a solid aerial attack. I urge you to shop around and ensure you can get the Eagles minus seven points with some added juice. Most books are offering that, and it looks like a winning wager come Saturday.
PICK = Eagles -7 (-125)