Eagles Betting Preview: Can the Birds Cover a Big Number Against Washington?
Week 1 of the NFL regular season is finally upon us, so it’s about that time to fire up the grills, crack open the beers, set your fantasy lineups, and, of course, bet legally on football.
The Eagles kickoff their 2019 regular season schedule on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as a heavy favorite over the Redskins and fans in New Jersey headed to the game will once again have the ability to place legal bets on the Birds before crossing the bridge. And for the first time, they can lock in their plays while knocking back a few at the tailgate, or while watching the game in the stadium.
Sounds like a nice little Sunday, yes?
While I have historically been a proponent of letting bravado take over just before kickoff and blindly hammering the Eagles – something that I’m sure most of you out there are planning to do – it never hurts to have a little extra information, so let’s jump into this Eagles-Redskins matchup with a quick betting preview.
Here are the current Eagles-Redskins odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Redskins||+10 (-110)||+370||O 44.5 (-110)|
|Eagles||-10 (-110)||-480||U 44.5 (-110)|
Let’s say it plainly. Nobody around here wants to bet on the Redskins. Why would they? Do you have Case Keenum coming into Philly and pulling an upset as a double digit underdog? I don’t.
The Eagles have the better offense, the better defense, and the better coach. They should be ultra-motivated to come out hot and start the Carson Wentz comeback tour with an emphatic statement.
We need not get too cute here, so let’s keep things simple with a few matchups to watch.
- 100-year-old Donald Penn vs. Derek Barnett
Many thought Penn, 36, was going to retire, but here is he starting at left tackle for Washington in the opener against a defensive front that’s expected to be one of the game’s best. A less than ideal scenario, for sure.
But wait, there’s more!
- Ereck Flowers vs. Fletcher Cox
Next to him on the left side at guard will be Ereck Flowers. You may remember Flowers has a human turnstile with the Giants. The early reports on Flowers this summer haven’t been positive. In fact, it probably won’t be long before rookie Wes Martin takes over the starting job. Cox, meanwhile, is one of the game's elite interior defensive lineman and should dominate this matchup.
- Desean Jackson vs. His former teams
Jackson gave the Eagles fits after leaving Philadelphia. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make a couple of big plays against another one of his former teams in this one.
Eagles-Redskins Betting Trends
There are some trends that are potential red flags for a play on the Eagles. Dating back to 1993, the biggest Week 1 favorite is only 12-23 against the spread (ATS).
Here’s another problem: NFC East teams aren’t very good as big home favorites in division games. Since 2005, they are only 6-12 ATS when favored by eight or more points. They’re also 0-8 ATS when favored by nine or more points dating back to the 2007 season.
Still, the Eagles have been a decent bet as a big home favorite under Doug Pederson, going 3-1 ATS when favored at Lincoln Financial Field by seven or more points. They’ve also recently dominated this series, going 4-0 straight up. All four games were covers, with the Eagles winning each game by double digits (15.5 points per game).
As for the total, the under has hit in all three of the Eagles’ Week 1 games under Pederson. Moreover, the under is 18-8 at The Linc since Pederson took over and 13-5 when the total is 46 or less.
While trends aren't everything, these are some pretty strong ones worth considering.
I can't bet on the Redskins. Just can't do it. Still, the trends are an issue for me, so I'll probably stay off this game. Or, I'll let the bravado take over just before kickoff and find a way to get involved. I'm thinking about this game as maybe a six-point teaser or parlay option.
Eagles 26, Redskins 17