It might feel like Washington’s season is over since Alex Smith is out for the year but they could still win the NFC East if they take advantage of a seemingly soft schedule down the stretch.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are somehow still alive in the division race despite being 4-6 just a few days ago. Whether the Cowboys beat the Saints on Thursday Night Football or not, Philadelphia can take the NFC East lead by first beating Washington and then conquering Dallas in Week 14.
It’s certainly fair to wonder if the Eagles can beat Washington. The reigning Super Bowl champions have failed to win back-to-back games all season long. And it’s not like the Eagles looked super impressive in a mere 3-point win over a bad Giants squad.
Despite the reasons for reservation, the Eagles are viewed as big favorites heading into this week’s MNF matchup. SB Nation’s odds page shows the Eagles opened as 7-point favorites against Washington. Keep in mind that if these two teams were viewed as equals, the Eagles would be standard 3-point favorites.
There should be some level of confidence the Eagles can win this game. They’re playing at Lincoln Financial Field, which certainly helps. The Eagles are 10-8 against the spread and 14-4 straight up as home favorites since the Doug Pederson/Carson Wentz era began in 2016. Those are the 10th and seventh best rates, respectively. Since the dawn of the Jay Gruden era in 2014, Washington is 15-14 against the spread and 10-19 straight up as road underdogs. Those are the 17th and 14th best rates, respectively.
You also have to feel good about the Eagles having the edge in the quarterback department. Carson Wentz is much better than Colt McCoy, who threw three interceptions against Dallas. McCoy will have more time to prepare for this game than he did on a short week. Still, he’s eminently beatable.
But losing to McCoy wouldn’t be the first disappointment to take place during this Eagles season. With that in mind, it’s still hard to fully trust this team. Barely beating the Giants doesn’t inspire unshakable confidence. It’s hard to just assume the Eagles can comfortably beat an opponent at this point.
I’ll repeat what I said heading into last week’s game: It’s entirely possible the Eagles beat Washington on Sunday. But to bet they’re just going to dominate them seems like irrational confidence. If I was betting on this line, I’d take the points.
Which bet do you like more?
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