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The ‘Underdog’ Eagles Have Not Been Thriving in Their New Role as Favorites

One of the least surprising storylines of 2018 is the NFC East being an absolute gong show. The Eagles (5-6) are desperately clinging to slim playoff hopes (+250 odds of making the postseason) less than a year removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Redskins (6-5) are all but finished after a promising start to the season and the Cowboys (6-5) look like they’re going to run away with the division – just as we all predicted.

Philly will host Washington in the Week 13 Monday nighter in a “winner goes home” type of game in which the Eagles opened as 7-point favorites. That would be the defending champs’ second biggest spread of the season if it closed there and it’s going to be an uncomfortable one to back with Carson Wentz and company going 2-8 against the spread over their last 10 games.

The Redskins, on the other hand, have been one of the best bets in the NFL of late, going 5-2 ATS over their last seven games, and they nearly snuck in the backdoor against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving despite losing Alex Smith for the season.

With these teams combining for a 9-13 O/U record, you’d expect bettors to be on the UNDER in this spot but the public is hammering OVER on a relatively low opening number of 43.5 and this total could climb a couple of points.

Let’s take a closer look at this one and break down the biggest betting angles to try to find the surest bet possible.

SHARK BITES
  • The Eagles are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games as favorites.
  • The Redskins are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in Philadelphia.
  • The last 4 Monday Night Football games have gone OVER and the underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last 7.

Redskins vs Eagles Game Center

Best bet for Redskins vs Eagles: OVER 44

There is no way I can trust either of these dumpster fires against the spread but especially not the Eagles given their struggles as favorites and inability to cover when hosting the Redskins. So I’m going to go ahead and take the OVER – a bet that’s hit in four of the last five meetings of these teams (avg. combined score of 52.6).

The Eagles and Redskins both rank in the bottom six in net yards per play over the last three weeks and that’s because they’ve both been getting gashed on defense. Washington has gone OVER in two straight weeks, with the Redskins giving up 23 and 31 points to the Texans and Cowboys, and the Eagles have gone OVER 44 in all of their last three contests (DAL, NO, NYG).

My main reason for liking the OVER, though, is that neither team can defend the pass. Ranking 28th and 23rd respectively in passing yards allowed, the Eagles and Redskins could have a tough time stopping each other through the air on Monday and I’m expecting a bit of a duel between noted gunslinger Colt McCoy against a decimated Eagles secondary and a Philly offense that hasn’t committed to the run all season.

No, Carson Wentz has not been sharp since other teams figured out the *Pass it to Ertz* play and, yes, the Redskins defend tight ends extremely well but this could be something of a breakout game for Golden Tate if Wentz lets go of his security blanket.

This play depends a lot on the offensive game plan from Doug Pederson and Mike Groh but if Colt comes out and fires like I’m expecting him to, the Eagles will be forced to go over the top and I’m confident that will tip this contest OVER its closing total.

Eagles were Better Suited as Underdogs

Thriving in the underdog role last season, the Eagles flew to the tippy top of the NFL, exceeding expectations at every turn. This season is a very different story, however. With expectations now sky-high for the Eagles, they’ve been extremely disappointing – especially against the spread.

At 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games as favorites, the Eagles have been a bookie’s dream with Carson Wentz at the helm and I find it odd that they’ve been pegged as such big favorites in this spot.

The 6.5-point line is especially fishy. After opening the line at 7, books almost immediately dropped it to 6.5 when an influx of Washington money came in. Now that it’s at 6.5, bettors are clamoring to bet on Philly and the action has balanced out.

To reiterate, I do not like either side of this game but if you put a gun to my head, I would take the ’Skins at +6.5.

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