NFC East rivals collide as the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles play what amounts to a postseason elimination game. The Football Team and Eagles are among five teams that are tied for the final playoff spot in the conference, so the loser will likely be left with too much to do.
Game: Washington Football Team (6-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
Location: Lincoln Financial Field
Day/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
|Washington||+9½ (-110)||+320||44 (-110o)|
|Philadelphia||-9½ (-110)||-400||44 (-110u)|
Washington swept a pair from Philadelphia in 2020 to halt a six-game series slide. The Football Team was a 5½-point road underdog in defeating the Eagles 27-17 in Week 1. The over 41½ in the NFL odds was achieved on Dustin Hopkins’ 40-yard field goal with 3 minutes, 25 seconds remaining. Philadelphia covered as a 6½-point dog in a 20-14 Week 17 setback. The over hit in three straight meetings before the season finale stayed under.
Washington Football Team
Next game: at Dallas Cowboys
Washington saw its NFC East title hopes virtually dashed with a 27-20 loss to first-place Dallas. The Football Team trailed 24-0 and nearly pulled off a classic backdoor cover as a 6½-point underdog when betting online. Washington made it 27-20 on linebacker Cole Holcomb’s 31-yard interception return with 4 minutes, 31 seconds remaining, but Brian Johnson’s line and total-deciding extra point was blocked. The Football Team lost a fumble on its final possession. The total was 48.
COVID-19 is running rampant through the Football Team as some 18 players appear on the list, including nine potential starters and five of their top six defensive linemen. Defensive lineman Montez Sweat could play Sunday, but without the benefit of a practice. He hasn’t played since Oct. 31 because of a jaw injury. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke was a full participant in practice Wednesday after sustaining elbow and knee injuries against Dallas. Two of Heinicke’s weapons – wide receiver Terry McLaurin and running back J.D. McKissic – did not practice Wednesday as they recover from concussions. Linebacker Cole Holcomb (ankle) was limited.
Rivera said Taylor Heinicke practiced full today and “didnt seem to have any issues” with the knee or elbow. All signs point to Heinicke starting Sunday
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) December 15, 2021
Next game: vs New York Giants
Philadelphia avoided losing back-to-back games at MetLife Stadium with a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets on Dec. 5 as a five-point favorite. The Eagles were covering for good when Jake Elliott kicked a 31-yard field goal to make it 24-18 with 19 seconds left in the first half. The 44½ total was exceeded as Philadelphia took a 27-18 lead on Elliot’s 32-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts (ankle), and running backs Miles Sanders (ankle) and Jordan Howard (knee) were all limited in practice Wednesday, but it appears all will play. Howard missed the first seven games of 2021 and the last two. Cornerback Steven Nelson (shoulder) was a full participant.
Betting on the Game
As is the case with several games this week, COVID-19 will decide who plays and what the Las Vegas odds will be. Philadelphia’s favoritism has more than doubled since the spread opened at four points. The real move was in the money line while the total has increased one point. The Football Team is 6-7 against the spread after their four-game win streak ATS was narrowly snapped last week. Eight of their 13 games have stayed under, including three straight and seven of the last eight. Several other trends indicate the low could be the way to go, including Washington being 7-1 in unders in its last eight as an underdog. Also, Philadelphia is 13-3 in the under in its last 16 at home against a team with a losing road record. The Eagles are 7-6 ATS with seven of 13 going over. Philadelphia has won three of its last four ATS. NFL predictions are hard enough, let alone when it’s unclear who will play.