Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preview and Pick

Washington Redskins (3-1) +5 , 43 at Philadelphia Eagles (2-2), 1 pm Eastern Sunday, FOX
by Zman of Predictem.com

One team coming off an inspiring upset of supposedly the best team in the NFC takes on a division rival coming off a very tough road loss when the Washington Redskins hit Quaker City to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFC East battle Sunday afternoon.

NFL bookmakers are listing Philadelphia as 5 1/2-point home favorites for Sunday’s game, with a total of 43. The Eagles are also listed at right around -240 on the various off-shore moneylines, with Washington getting around +200 as the road underdogs.

The Redskins opened this season, and the Jim Zorn era, with a lackluster 16-7 loss on the road to the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. But since then Washington has won three straight games, by scores of 29-24 over the New Orleans Saints, 24-17 over the Arizona Cardinals and, last Sunday, 26-24 over the Dallas Cowboys in Texas.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia opened the season with a 38-3 rout of the St. Louis Rams, then lost that 41-37 shoot-out in Dallas. The Eagles came back with a tough 15-6 win over Pittsburgh, but got stuffed on a goal-line situation late in the game in a 24-20 loss to the Bears Sunday night.

So going into this weekend’s action, Washington sits in a second-place tie in the NFC East with Dallas at 3-1, a half-game behind the division-leading Giants, while Philadelphia is in last place at 2-2.

The ‘Skins got outrushed by the Giants on opening night by 70 yards. But Washington has out-grounded its next three foes by an average of 77 yards.

Philly, meanwhile, has outrushed all four of its opponents this season, by an average of 35 yards per game.

In his first season running Coach Zorn’s version of the West Coast offense, Redskins QB Jason Campbell has completed 65% of his passes for a 7.1 yards-per-attempt average and a 6/0 TD/INT ratio.

On the other side of this QB match-up, Donovan McNabb is looking good again this season, completing 65% of his throws this season for a 7.5 YPA average and a 6/2 TD/INT ratio. And McNabb is 10-4 in his career as a starter vs. Washington.

These two division rivals split their two meetings last season. In September, Washington won 20-12 as six-point road underdogs in Philly. And the Redskins nearly had the season sweep, leading the second game at home in November by five points with four minutes to go. But the Eagles scored two touchdowns in the next two minutes and left Landover with a 33-25 win as three-point road dogs.

Last season, Washington went 7-7-2 against the spread, 4-3-1 ATS on the road, and 4-2 vs. the numbers when dogged by more than a field goal. And the totals went 7-9 in ‘Skins games last season, which averaged 40 total points. This season, Washington is 3-1 against the spread, 1-1 ATS as underdogs. And the totals are 2-2 in Redskins games this season, which have averaged 42 points.

Philadelphia went 8-8 vs. the lines last season, but just 2-6 ATS at home, and 3-3 against the spread when favored by more than a field goal. Also, the totals went 7-9 in Eagles games last season, which averaged 40 total points. This season, Philly is 3-1 vs. the numbers, 2-0 ATS when chalked by more than a field goal. And the totals are 2-2 in Eagles games this season, which are averaging thanks to that Dallas game three weeks ago 46 total points.

Bettors should keep an eye on the status of Philadelphia RB Brian Westbrook, who missed Sunday’s loss in Chicago with a sprained ankle. In his place, Correll Buckhalter managed 90 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches vs. the Bears.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank Philly 2nd at 30.1, Washington 6th at 26.6. Sagarin’s current NFL home-field advantage figure is 2.6.

Philadelphia opened up as six-point favorites for this game, with a total at 44. But early action has pushed the line down to 5 at most outlets, and the total has dropped to 43.

Zman’s Pick: This should be a very GOOD game. I usually almost always have a feel or an opinion on a game, but I will openly admit that I am baffled on this one! The Pick: 12 pack of Bud, bag of Doritos and a Dominos Pizza!