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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NFL Betting Preview 2014 Week 16: Eagles Vs Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Washington Redskins

Market Watch

Last week Westgate listed the Eagles as -8.5 point favorites. It reopened at -8, and it's moved down to -7.5.  None of this line movement means anything since there is no significant difference between -8.5 and -7.5. Both remain in the teaser window, and no key numbers are involved.  At midweek, it looks like bettors are firmly on the road favorite here, with 81% of the bets on the Eagles.

Bottom Line

When we take a closer look at this matchup, it becomes crystal clear that the only side worth considering is Philadelphia.  The Redskins are near the bottom of the league in virtually every important category, and the team is headed for big changes in the offseason.

We could analyze specific matchups, but how much does it matter if Washington is going to mail in the final two weeks? Does it make a difference if they are on national TV?  I doubt it. In fact, the Eagles might win this game on special teams alone, where they still rank 1st in the league. Washington are dead last in that area, just like they were a year ago. And I wouldn't worry too much about the Eagles defense after last week. Washington's OL is one of the worst in the league, so the Eagles front should be able to give their secondary the kind of support they need.

Yet, there are things that are holding me back from picking the Eagles to cover this spread. First, it's more than a touchdown. I rarely like taking a road favorite at anything more than -7, no matter who the opponent is. Second, how about Mark Sanchez?  Now that we've seen him for a few games, can we trust him?  He faced a pretty average defense last week, and was still missing wide open receivers all over the field. Third, how motivated will the Eagles be? They still have a shot to make the playoffs, but losing to Dallas was a tough blow.

I think Philly is a great option for a teaser this week, but I'm not going to get involved in the side unless we get a -7. Even then, I'd probably have to pass.

Read more: Week 16 picks.
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