Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) walks to the field for the start of the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins replaced Smith for the start of the second half. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
- Washington Football Team can clinch the NFC East title with a win when they visit the slumping Philadelphia Eagles as betting favorites
- NFL season betting record: 10-12-2; -3.24 units
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of the season finale of Sunday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field
The Washington Football Team will be looking to clinch their first NFC East divisional title since 2015 when they visit the Philadelphia Eagles in the season finale of Sunday Night Football as 3.5-point favorites. Washington remains poised to clinch the division despite riding a two-game losing streak, while the Eagles enter Week 17 out of playoff contention after falling to defeat in six of their past seven contests.
Wet weather is forecast for the Philadelphia area throughout the day on Sunday, with rain likely for game time at Lincoln Financial Field.
Washington Football Team vs Philadelphia Eagles Odds
|Washington Football Team||-3.5 (-115)||-205||O 44 (-110)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||+3.5 (-105)||+172||U 44 (-110)|
*Odds taken from FanDuel on 01/03/2021.
Line Movement And SNF Trends
Washington has had all the momentum at the sportsbooks since opening as underdogs by as many as 1.5 points. It has been a turbulent week in the nation’s capital, marked by the departure of quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. However, in the wake of Alex Smith’s return to practice this week, the odds have tilted squarely in Washington’s favor. Conversely, there has been little movement on the point total, which has held steady at 43.5.
Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) is expected to start and he should have all of his weapons. Source said RB Antonio Gibson (toe) WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) are both preparing to play. WFT should be close to full strength in a must-win game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2021
Sunday night’s contest marks Washington’s first primetime appearance of the 2020 NFL season. The Football team have struggled badly playing under the lights in recent years, posting just one win in eight overall appearances since September 2017. That run features six road losses, in which Washington has averaged just 16.5 points per game.
With 1 week left, @WashingtonNFL has the lead in the NFC East 👀
Will anyone catch them?? pic.twitter.com/xF2JCTEeGO
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 1, 2021
The Eagles will be making their fifth primetime appearance of the season on Sunday night. Philadelphia has posted wins in three of their four previous appearances, including home victories over division rivals Dallas and New York. Low scoring has prevailed when Philadelphia plays in primetime, with the UNDER paying out in each of its four appearances this season. The Eagles have also dominated Washington in recent meetings under the lights, going 5-1 in their past six clashes, with the total going OVER in four of their past five.
Washington Offense Hobbled by Injuries
After averaging over 26 points per game during a 4-0 SU run that lifted them to the top of the division, the Washington offense has fallen flat during a two-game slide, scoring just 28 total points. With both Alex Smith and Kyle Allen sidelined by injury, Haskins reclaimed the role of starting QB. But the former first-round pick turned in a forgettable performance in last week’s loss, and was subsequently cut by the team, leaving Taylor Heinecke as the team’s only remaining option under center if Smith is unable to go.
Washington WR Terry McLaurin has a significant high ankle sprain but intends to try to play Sunday in Philly, per sources. Could be limited in what he’s able to do out there — high ankle sprains usually take a min. 6 wks — but this is McLaurin. Knows the importance of this game.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 2, 2021
On a positive note, receiver Terry McLaurin looks set to return after missing last week’s contest with an ankle injury. McLaurin leads the team with 1078 receiving yards, but has averaged just 19 yards per game in his past two road appearances. The status of Antonio Gibson remains uncertain after the rookie rusher missed practice all week as he struggles through a toe injury.
Eagles Expected to Sit Regulars in Season Finale
Fortunately for Washington, the Eagles gain little from a win on Sunday night, but could improve their position in the upcoming NFL Draft with a loss. Accordingly, the team has opted to sit several regulars, including Miles Sanders, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert, along with Jordan Mailata, Derek Barnett, and Fletcher Cox.
#WashingtonFootball will be facing a severely shorthanded #Eagles bunch on #SNF w NFC East crown at stake
Several Philly starters already ruled out and WFT’s defensive front has to be licking their chops
Eagles O-line situation from Philadelphia Inquirer: pic.twitter.com/Y8Ch6QIDtl
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) January 2, 2021
Those absences further weaken an Eagles lineup that has been outscored by a 70-43 margin over the past two weeks, and tallied 17 or fewer points on five occasions during a 1-6 run. With both these teams dealing with health issues on both sides of the ball, and weather looking likely to play a role, expect a sloppy, low-scoring affair on Sunday night that ends with a Washington victory.
The Pick: UNDER 44 (-110)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.