Washington vs. Philadelphia Week 17 Odds & Picks

Date: 
January 3, 8:20 PM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
WAS -3.5/ PHI +3.5
Total: 
43.5

In the wild and yet embarrassing NFC East where nobody wants to claim the division, Sunday’s week 17 outcome between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles will ultimately decide the fate of the division. Washington had a chance to wrap up the division last week against the Carolina Panthers. Instead, the Panthers snapped a 3 game losing streak in a game where I predicted the Panthers would prevail. Ironically the Eagles, at just 4-9-1 SU entering week 16, also had a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive within the division. Instead, the Eagles fell to the 5-9 Cowboys which eliminated any hopes at the postseason.

As this Sunday’s week 17 match-up approaches, there are still plenty of scenarios that could unfold to shape out the division. To put it simply, Washington needs a victory over the Eagles to seal the NFC East. If Washington were to falter again, they could still clinch the division with some help by way of a Giants win over Dallas. The Cowboys, at 6-9 SU, are alone in 2nd place in the NFC East. Due to Washington’s two wins over the Cowboys, Dallas needs to beat the Giants and hope for a Washington loss to steal the top spot in the division. Needless to say, this Sunday’s Washington vs. Philadelphia regular season finale at Lincoln Financial Field will have a lot riding on the line!

QB Jalen Hurts to remain starter in Philadelphia

If you caught my preview last week where I broke down the Philadelphia vs. Dallas match-up in week 16, I made several comments surrounding QB Jalen Hurts breakout performances and my doubts that he could sustain the elite level success going forward. Boastingly, I was right in backing the Cowboys which yielded a 37-17 outcome which featured two interceptions by Hurts. In many ways, the prediction was perfect for the situation. However, I want to be very clear that Jalen Hurts starting role is not going anywhere. Despite the two picks, Hurts still threw for 342 yards and rushed for another 69 yards. Hurts even hit WR DeSean Jackson on an 81 yard bomb which was one of the first truly explosive plays we have seen from the Eagles’ offense in recent memory. Either way you dice the performance, Hurts still has far more upside than former starter Carson Wentz and his dual threat ability will give the Eagles another solid opportunity against Washington.

Washington vs. Philadelphia Week 17 Betting Analysis

The good news for Washington is that the defense has been good enough to keep them competitive in nearly every game this season. The former Redskins rank 4th in total defense allowing just 312 yards per game and are 3rd against the pass allowing just 200 yards per game. Washington’s defense has held opponents to 20 points or less in their last 6 games which is truly impressive considering the subpar performances from the offense. Speaking of the offense, Washington has a lot of questions and fewer answers going into week 17.

Last week starting QB Alex Smith was sidelined with a calf injury. Former starting QB Dwayne Haskins got the start but hit just 14 of 28 passes for 154 yards with two picks. There is early optimism that Smith could return under center this week. However, there was also optimism going into the match-up with the Panthers. Smith’s calf injury is on his surgically repaired leg that nearly ended his career. In a rather shocking turn of events, Washington released QB Dwayne Haskins on Monday which is mind-boggling with Smith’s health in question. QB Taylor Heinicke looked solid in relief of Haskins last week. The 4th year journeyman has played just 8 games in his 4 year career but completed 13 of 20 passing for 137 yards with a touchdown which was far more impressive than Haskins under center. There is no doubt that Heinicke’s performance contributed to Haskins’ early release but there are still questions around which QB will be under center on Sunday.

Even if Smith is behind center, it’s not like Washington’s offense has been very successful. Despite the success of the defense, Washington has been held to just 18.5 points per game over the last 4 outings. With Hurts and the Eagles emerging success on offense, Washington will have to create more scoring opportunities in order to pull out the victory. Washington’s best weapon comes by way of RB Antonio Gibson and WR Terry McLaurin. McLaurin has been wildly inconsistent due to the quarterback play and missed week 16 with an ankle injury. While Gibson continues to prove he is a top-tier rushing threat, Philadelphia’s defense has played extremely well against the run over the last several weeks.

Washington vs. Philadelphia Betting Trends

  • Washington is 5-1 ATS in the last six games.
  • Washington has hit the "under" in 5 of the last six games.
  • Washington is 4-1 ATS in their last five games on the road.
  • Philadelphia is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games.
  • Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in their last five games at home.
  • Philadelphia has hit the "under" in six of the last nine games.
  • Philadelphia is 5-2 ATS in the last seven games against Washington.

Washington at Philadlphia Week 17 Prediction

As you can see from my analysis above, there are far more concerns for Washington in this week 17 match-up. The availability of Smith will be very important towards improving those concerns mainly because Smith has been much better at protecting the football. The turnover battle will be extremely important in this match-up and could determine the outcome. However, I simply see far more realistic possibilities for the Eagles pulling this victory out. Washington has seemingly more motivation for this game and that seems to overvalue the public’s betting perception towards Washington’s favor. In reality, the Eagles have the more probable paths to victory with Hurts at quarterback and I think that is the play here.

Free Pick: 
Philadelphia +3.5
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