Sunday Night Football Picks And Predictions: Washington at Eagles

Written By Esten McLaren on December 31, 2020

The 2020 NFL regular season wraps up on Sunday Night Football with the Washington Football Team (6-9) visiting the Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1) at Lincoln Financial Field for an 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff. Washington will take the NFC East title and “earn” the conference’s fourth playoff seed with a victory and 7-9 record, regardless of what happens earlier in the day between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants (1 p.m. ET kickoff). Below, we’ll break down the Washington-Eagles SNF matchup with betting picks for the moneyline, spread, and over/under based on the odds and lines at the top US sportsbooks.

Washington stumbles into the regular-season finale off of back-to-back home losses but remains in control of the division. QB Taylor Heinicke is in line to start the decisive game following the team’s release of former first-round pick QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. earlier this week. Veteran QB Alex Smith (calf) remains a major question mark after missing the last two games. The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention last week with a 37-17 loss at the Dallas Cowboys.

Betting advice will be provided as either a “pick” or a “lean” for each bet type. Picks are actionable with a high degree of confidence in matchup advantages and the listed odds. Leans are reserved for further injury news or may hinge on the lines shifting in a more desirable direction. Washington comes in as a 2-point road favorite with an Over/Under of 43.5.

My Sunday Night Football Betting Preview at TheLines dives deeper into the Washington-Eagles matchup to help you prepare for your Week 17 betting picks.

Washington at Eagles odds

Washington at Eagles picks: Moneyline

The injury concerns for Washington loom large over this matchup. Smith has completed 66.4% of his passes for 1,420 yards but with four touchdowns against six interceptions. Still, he has gone 4-1 as the starter and led Washington’s mid-season resurgence which put it in control of the division. WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) missed last week’s game – a 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers – but still leads his team with 1,078 yards.

If Smith sits, WFT would turn to the former undrafted free-agent in Heinicke. He has played in a total of eight NFL games with his lone start coming with the Panthers in 2018. He made his Washington debut last week and went 12-for-19 for 137 yards a touchdown.

The Eagles turned to second-round rookie QB Jalen Hurts to replace an ineffective Carson Wentz in Week 14, and he’ll end the season with his fourth start. The Oklahoma product completed 54.87% of his passes for 847 yards with five touchdowns against two interceptions in those previous three starts. He has 238 yards and a score on the ground.

Washington used eight sacks of Wentz in a 27-17 home win in Week 1. While Hurts’ mobility figures to be an advantage against a pass rush ranked third by ESPN’s win rate, he has taken nine sacks in his last two games. Eagles TE Dallas Goedert – the team’s co-leading receiver with 524 yards – is at risk of missing the finale due to a calf injury. Philadelphia’s secondary has also been ravaged by injuries for much of the season and ranks 26th by Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA. It’ll help make life easier for either Smith or Heinicke, especially if McLaurin plays.

WFT is a modest moneyline favorite while laying the 2 points. They’re worth backing regardless of the starting quarterback, as it will be the defense and Gibson needing to do the heavy lifting.

The pick: Washington (-125 or better)

Washington at Eagles picks: Against the spread

The better value lies in taking Washington on the spread, where it’ll need to win by at least 3 points. The Eagles had won six straight games in the head-to-head series prior to Washington’s Week 1 win. Washington had won five straight from Dec. 2014 through the 2016 season. The season series has been split just twice since 2008.

Fifty-three percent of ATS tickets are on Washington at FanDuel Sportsbook as of Thursday. Sixty-two percent of the ATS betting handle is on the potentially playoff-bound visitors, suggesting a higher share of the sharper money is on Washington. WFT is 9-6 against the spread for the season while covering by 4.0 points per game. The Eagles are 5-10 ATS and fail to cover by 3.8 PPG.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson returned from injury last week to rush for 61 yards, but he missed Wednesday’s practice due to a toe injury. He has 961 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns through 13 games in his rookie season. He’ll lead the way for Washington against an Eagles team ranked sixth by Run Stop Win Rate but just 17th by FO’s total defensive DVOA and 12th by rush DVOA.

The lean is to Washington covering the -2 but only if it sticks at the current number. The betting splits and potential news of Smith returning from injury could widen the gap, so act early.

The lean: Washington (-2 or better)

Washington at Eagles picks: Over/Under (total)

The projected total of 43.5 is one of the lowest figures on the 16-game Week 17 slate. Eighty percent of the money and 66% of tickets are on the Over. Philadelphia is 7-8 against the O/U while topping projections by 1.7 PPG. Washinton is 5-10 on the line and falls an average of 2.4 PPG shy of the number.

The two teams topped a projected line of 41.5 in Washington’s Week 1 win. The Eagles come into Week 17 with three straight Overs, all led by Hurts at quarterback. The Football Team has hit four straight Unders, with the last two most-heavily influenced by the poor QB play of Haskins, but also absences of both McLaurin and Gibson. The Week 17 Over/Under matches the Eagles’ third-lowest total line of the season while Washington has had four shorter lines.

Again counting on Washington’s defense to contain Hurts, we’ll take the Under 43.5. Word of Smith returning to the lineup would surely add a few points, especially if McLaurin is able to join him in the starting lineup. Wait this out in hope of a higher number on the closing lines.

The lean: UNDER (43.5 or better)

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Esten McLaren

Esten grew up on a golf course and made the switch from real-life trunk slammer to the daily fantasy realm as soon as the game was launched. He's been betting golf regularly for the better part of the last 10 years, most memorably winning big on Rory McIlroy's 2014 Open title, but a trip to Carnoustie for the 2018 Open and a walk around St. Andrews share the honor for best golf highlight. He has written about all major sports at FNTSY Sports Network, theScore, and SportsBookWire.

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