NFL Picks: Redskins To Destroy Eagles' Chances At NFC East Title

Jason Lake

Monday, December 21, 2015 7:17 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 7:17 PM UTC

Washington can make the playoffs this Saturday with a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFL odds like Philadelphia, but almost all the early bettors are on D.C. What's our pick?

Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 21: 49-47-3 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-32-1 Total

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Free NFL Pick: Washington +3½
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Don't look now, but it's entirely possible the NFC East will produce a winning team this year. After a wild and woolly Week 15, Washington (7-7 SU and ATS) was the only one of the four clubs to produce a victory, beating the Buffalo Bills (–2.5 away) 35-25 and frustrating sharp bettors in the process. Good thing we didn't have a dog in that fight here at the home office.

Sadly, we did have the Philadelphia Eagles for a small wager last week, and while they may have had some value as 3.5-point home dogs, they got steamrolled 40-17 by the Arizona Cardinals to fall to 6-8 SU and ATS. So much for that stout Eagles defense. Philadelphia has to beat Washington this Saturday (8:25 p.m. ET, NFLN) to stay in contention for the NFC East title; at press time, the Eagles are 3-point home faves on the Week 16 NFL odds board, down from –4 at the open.

D.C. Cab
Apparently there were a lot of people watching the Eagles get hammered on Sunday Night Football, because it took almost zero time for Washington supporters to move this week's spread onto the magic number three. Our consensus reports show 99 percent of first responders jumping on the D.C. bandwagon, with 98 percent of the money landing on the visitors. As always, the “small sample size” alert is in effect.

Be that as it may, the Eagles really did a bad job on Sunday. It wasn't just the lack of effort with their tackling on defense, or the injuries suffered by CB Eric Rowe (concussion) and CB Byron Maxwell (shoulder). Head coach Chip Kelly curiously decided not to use RB DeMarco Murray on a fourth-and-1 play, even though Murray is 12-for-12 this year converting shorties on third or fourth down. Ryan Matthews got the call instead and was stuffed for no gain. Murray finished the day with three yards on two carries.


Murray Was the Back That They Gave Me
So there's been plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth – including from a certain Mr. Snoop Dogg – about the way Kelly has handled Murray this season. Poppycock. Say what you want about the decision to sign Murray (3.4 yards per carry) to a big contract, but Mathews (5.3 yards per carry) has proved to be the better fit in Kelly's spread offense, fourth-and-1 notwithstanding.

Philly's bigger problem is the defense, which has deteriorated considerably after starting the season so well. Maxwell was due to have an MRI on Monday; results are pending as we go to press, but he could miss Saturday's game. Rowe is in the same boat after entering the league's concussion protocol. We're tempted to recommend the OVER for your NFL picks, but that 35-percent chance of rain over The Linc is scaring us away. Just give us Washington for another tiny wager instead, and may the prolate spheroid have mercy on the NFC East.

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