Washington Commanders vs Philadelphia Eagles (11/14 @ 8:15 EST)
Spread: Eagles -11
Money Line: Eagles -504 / Commanders +399
Overview and Betting
The Washington Commanders (4-5) are heading to Philadelphia for a prime-time Monday night matchup with the league-leading Eagles (8-0). The Eagles have won nine of the last eleven matchups between these two franchises, including the previous three. The Eagles currently lead the NFC East, 4.5 games ahead of the last-place Commanders.
Washington is 4-4-1 against the spread last year, but they’ve covered their last four games. They have gone under the point total six times, all coming in their previous seven games.
This season, Philadelphia is 5-3 versus the spread, including covering five of their last seven games. They have covered in each of their four home games this year. The Eagles have gone under five times this season, including four of their last five.
Taylor Heinicke will get another start for the Commanders with Carson Wentz on IR. While he hasn’t dazzled anyone in the stat sheet (629 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT), he has won two of his three starts this season. The veteran backup looked solid in his first two starts but struggled last week and threw an interception for the third straight game. Heinicke is supported by the receiving duo of Terry McLaurin (609 yards, 2 TD) and Curtis Samuel (455 yards, 3 TD). They rely heavily on these two, but we could see that change Monday against a great Eagle’s secondary.
The Washington run game has been among the most underwhelming in the NFL. Veteran Antonio Gibson has joined rookie Brian Robinson Jr. to split carries, but neither has had much success on the ground. Gibson is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, while Robinson averages 3.2. The most dangerous rusher for the Commanders is receiver Curtis Samuel who is suitable for a few carries per game. He’s made some big plays with his legs and is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. We expect him to see a few carries against a stingy Eagles defense this week.
The Commander’s defense is allowing 349 yards per game, primarily due to a porous secondary. The unit has given up the second most passing touchdowns (16) and is 30th in interceptions. The good news is that their run defense is solid, only allowing four rushing touchdowns (2nd in NFL). The line’s success can be attributed to a pair of defensive tackles in Daron Payne (5.5 sacks, 3 PD) and Jonathan Allen (4.5 sacks, 3 PD, 1 INT). Their play has been prevalent over the last five games, as the defense has improved by only allowing 17 points per game during that stretch. If they want to win Monday, they’ll need that line to keep pressure on Hurts to force him to make throws under pressure and give their secondary a chance to make some plays.
The Eagles own one of the best offenses in the NFL, averaging the third most yards (406) in the NFL. Their success is due to a breakout campaign from quarterback Jalen Hurts. He’s an elite dual threat with 2,042 passing yards, 326 rushing yards, and a combined 18 touchdowns. He’s been tough to defend, thanks partly to the addition of receptions-leader A.J. Brown. In his first year with the Eagles, he has 718 yards and six touchdowns. He joins Devonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert to dominate the passing game, with Miles Sanders being the only other player with double-digit receptions (11). While it’s not a deep receiving core, it is among the most talented in the NFL.
Miles Sanders is having a fantastic year in the backfield, combining with Hurts to form the most potent rush attack in the NFC. He has averaged five yards per carry for 656 yards and six touchdowns. Despite seeing less than 20 carries per game, he’s been fantastic and has scored in four of his last five games. Sanders and Hurts will be up against one of the tougher defensive lines in the league Monday, so we’ll see if their success can continue in prime time.
The Eagle’s defense is allowing 321.6 yards per game (3rd in NFL) and allows just 16.9 points per game (4th in NFL). They have been incredibly dominant against the pass. Much of this success is due to one of the league’s elite secondaries, which has allowed the third-fewest passing yards in the NFL. They are led by safety C.J. Cardner-Johnson (league-high 5 INT), cornerback James Bradberry (3 INTs), and Darius Slay (3 INT). They have been incredible and lead the NFL with 12 interceptions. They are helped by talented pass rushers in T.J. Edwards (6 sacks, 5 TFL) and Jason Hargrave (5.5 sacks, 5 TFL). In their first matchup, this unit dominated the Commanders, but that was against Carson Wentz. Heinicke isn’t better, but the team seems to play better with him on the field. We’ll see if that holds up against this unit on Monday.
Free Pick: Commanders +11
Before this season, four teams have started 8-0 since 2016. Three of those teams failed to make it to 9-0. The team that did make it (the 2020 Steelers) lost to the Commanders. We’re not sure if the Eagles will lose this one, but it will be closer than the eleven points Washington is getting. In fact, the Commanders haven’t lost by more than four points since October 2nd. They’ve only been allowing 17 points per game during this same span, which includes games against the Titans and Vikings. The Commanders will need to protect Heinicke and find a way to score some points, but we see this as a low-scoring battle decided in the fourth quarter.
We’re taking the eleven points to roll with the Commanders.