Monday Night NFL Odds & Preview – Commanders need defense, ground game to upset Eagles
We’re not going to be so bold as to predict that the Philadelphia Eagles can get through the NFL season undefeated. But they are unscathed as we get ready to turn the corner at the halfway mark. And they have a better-balanced offense than the one that captured a Super Bowl title when Doug Pederson was head coach, and Frank Reich was offensive coordinator.
At 8-0, they are very much in control in the NFC East. In “command,” if you will. And on Monday night, they will hope not to slip up as they take on the Washington Commanders in a game that begins at 8:15 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field. BetOnline customers can see this game on ESPN.
The Eagles are incredibly efficient; on defense, they lead the league in creating turnovers on defense. On offense, they are very balanced, thanks to the front office going out and making major improvements to the receiving group, most notably bringing former Tennessee Titan AJ Brown aboard. Brown is a game-breaker and is averaging 16.7 yards per catch. And there is the continuing development of Devonta Smith, who won a Heisman Trophy at Alabama but had an underwhelming rookie season.
Smith blew Washington away in the first meeting between these squads, with 169 receiving yards in a 24-8 victory. That was still early in the campaign when people didn’t realize that the Eagles could be dangerous throwing the ball. But Jalen Hurts went to work in the off-season and got more accurate. He has thrown for over 2000 yards already and is one of the prime candidates for the MVP award.
Even with all that, Philly runs the ball 51% of the time. And Miles Sanders continues to be steady, with a five-yard average. Hurts, of course, and chips in a great deal in that area (326 rushing yards).
Here are the Monday Night NFL odds as they are posted at BetOnline:-
Philadelphia Eagles -11 (-114)
Washington Commanders +11 (-106)
Over 43 Points -107
Under 43 Points -113
These teams met on September 25, and the Eagles hammered the Commanders by a 24-8 count, sacking Carson Wentz NINE times. That can’t happen again. Well, it won’t happen again to Wentz anyway, as he is out with a broken finger.
Washington has found some more spirit since Taylor Heinicke took over at quarterback. We’re sure there is a direct correlation between that and Carson Wentz being out of the lineup, but we would not be surprised if that were the case.
It’s really the defense that has kept this team in games. Over these last three games, in which they’ve been double-tough, they have allowed 286 yards a game. And it’s not as if Philadelphia ran all over the field in the first meeting between these two.
The Eagles are coming after the quarterback; there is no doubt about that. They were able to control and intimidate Wentz the first time around. And with Heinicke, they are facing a guy who takes 2.96 seconds to get rid of the ball. That’s high by NFL standards; in fact, it’s the fourth highest of the starting quarterbacks in the league, and fans might experience a rare scenario of odds at some top NFL betting sites.
We would also be lying if we said the Commanders are a team that really stretches the field. Heinicke’s average Intended Air Yards per attempt is just 6.4 yards, which places him right down near the bottom of the league.
Clearly, it will have to take some execution in the ground game for Washington to control the ball and move the chains. In three of the last four games, they have gone over the 100-yard mark in rushing. But Antonio Gibson is averaging just 3.7 yards a carry.
Maybe they get some help from the Philadelphia defense, which has allowed 5.2 yards per carry to the opposition. If that happens, they can kill the clock, shorten the game and cover the number. Last week’s 20-17 loss to Minnesota, which they could have won, looks a little better after the Vikings went to Buffalo and upset the Bills.
Yes, Washington is capable of covering this. However, our primary play is to go UNDER on the total.
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