“Drew from Yonkers, Ga’head”
Let me just recap my numbers on the season for you real quick: 10-2 against the spread on the Monday night games, a 5-game hit streak currently going, and absolutely zero sign of ever slowing down. MFW I’m making everyone money and I don’t even get to wet the beak:
On Make Up for It Monday Week 13 edition, we got the Washington Redskins travelling up to Philly for a date with the Eagles. The Redskins are six-point underdogs over at Oddsshark in this matchup of NFC East rivals, but don’t count them out just because they’re down a starting quarterback. The Eagles are every bit as bad their 5-6 record suggests. In fact, they may not even be worth that many wins. Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy is nothing more than a career backup, but have you been watching this Eagles defense lately? That secondary would get torched by a group of practice squad players. At the very least, trust in the Redskins defense to give Colt a chance at making this a close game. Take the Skins and the six points.
Can’t Stop the Real McCoy
Alex Smith’s leg snapping in half might have seemed like it doomed the offense, but in his first NFL start since 2014, Colt McCoy had that unit looking competent. The Redskins put up 23 points against Dallas on Thanksgiving, more points than they scored in any of the previous five weeks. Not too shabby when you also consider that the Cowboys’ defense held the Saints to just 10 points this past Thursday.
Unfortunately for Washington, they couldn’t win that crucial Turkey day game thanks, in large part, to McCoy’s three interceptions. Instead of trying to hit him in the mouth, which can be countered with quick routes, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had his guys play opportunistic ball. They sat back, gave McCoy some room to work with, and then capitalized on the inevitable lapses in judgement that he would make. Washington’s defense is giving up less than 21 points per game. If Philly is going to make this a two-possession outcome, they’ll have to do the same and use McCoy’s lack of in-game experience to their advantage.
About that; Philadelphia has forced just eight turnovers this season, the fourth fewest in the league. Struggles like that can rarely be attributed to just one reason, but having six defensive backs on the injury report is probably playing a factor. It’s getting so bad they’re starting to run out of anonymous cornerbacks to pick up off the street. As one might expect, third string defenders aren’t too adept at creating turnovers, and that lack of talent has led to just two takeaways in Philly’s past five games. Colt McCoy will get some leeway in this game to operate a little more freely. He doesn’t need to be perfect, just good enough to let the defense do its thing.
Quarterback concerns aside, the Redskins are still a 6-5 team and they’re sitting just half a game outside of the top of the NFC East following Dallas’ Thursday night upset of New Orleans. That didn’t happen because of Alex Smith, who was posting his lowest passer rating since 2010 before that gruesome injury. This is a defensive-minded Redskins team, and they’ve been feasting on weak offenses. In five games this season against opposing teams that are in the bottom half of the league in scoring, Washington is 4-1. Philadelphia, averaging just 20.9 points per game, fall into that category of struggling offenses.
If someone can explain to me what’s going on with this Eagles offense, please let me know. Quantum physics makes more sense than dissecting what’s happened to a team that was third in points scored just a year ago. Other than the injury to running back Jay Ajayi, they’ve been relatively healthy on that side of the ball. Carson Wentz is playing comparable to his 2017 performance, when he was in the MVP conversation before going down with a torn ACL. Most of last year’s top receivers stuck around. They even added pro bowl wideout Golden Tate at the deadline. And still, they only team they’ve been able to score 25 or more points against is the New York Giants. Eleven games are a large enough sample size to write them off. They’ll have a tough time hanging with Washington’s defense.
The trends are a little tricky here. When two divisional rivals are going head-to-head, the initial reaction is to check how they’ve played against one another in their bi-annual meetings. Over the past decade though, these teams have fought to a 10-10 straight up record. Against the spread, Washington holds only a slight advantage at 12-8. The games have also been fairly competitive during that span; thirteen of the contests have been decided by one possession.
Hate to do it to you Philly fans, but looking for relevant betting trends comes down to how the Eagles have performed against the spread this season. For the seventh time this season, Philadelphia is favored by Vegas on their home turf. The previous six instances they played as home favorites, Philly went just 1-5 against the spread. The only time when they did cover was their opening game matchup against Atlanta, when they were favored by a single point. They’ve been a bad bet all season long. Six points are a lot to take away from a team like that.
Without their $94 million QB out there, the Redskins are probably going to stumble down the final stretch of the season and lose out on the NFC East. But even with no Alex Smith, are the Eagles that much above Washington’s talent level? Now that I think about it, that’s kind of a stupid question, because the answer is a resounding yes. The Eagles won a fucking Super Bowl last year and certainly didn’t look like they were going to be worse off coming into this season. They run laps around the Redskins on paper. Thing is, that has never translated to a matching on-field product at any point this season.
Three-quarters of the way through the season, Philly is dealing with more injuries than a metropolitan area emergency room and it doesn’t look as though they have any shot at reclaiming form. They still have something to play for (they’re not mathematically eliminated from the divisional race), and the Redskins aren’t a glowing picture of health themselves, but the Eagles are just too far gone into the mediocrity. Maybe they sneak out a win at home, but Washington covers.