Washington Opens as 1.5-Point Underdogs Against Eagles in Week 17

Dwayne Haskins throwing pass

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) makes a throw during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
  • The Washington Football Team (6-9) are 1.5-point underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1) in the opening odds for their Week 17 meeting
  • Washington will win the NFC East if it beats Philadelphia, but WFT benched starting QB Dwayne Haskins in a 20-13 loss to Philadelphia
  • See opening odds, team overviews, and a prediction about how the line will move

The Washington Football Team (6-9) still controls its own destiny when it comes to the NFL playoffs. However that cannot be said about its former starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Even though Washington fell 20-13 to Carolina Sunday, it still can win the NFC East if it defeats the Philadelphia Eagles in its season finale on Jan. 3 (1pm EST). But neither Washington fans or oddsmakers are confident of that happening. Washington is a 1.5-point underdog because there is uncertainty about who will be Washington’s starting quarterback.

Washington vs Eagles Opening Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Washington Football Team +100 +1.5 (-110) N/A
Philadelphia Eagles -118 -1.5 (-110) N/A

Odds taken Dec. 27 at FanDuel

It seemed as if Haskins was on his last chance to prove he could be Washington’s difference-maker and he was pulled from the Carolina game. Washington replaced him with Trevor Heinecke. Coaches undoubtedly are hoping Alex Smith can return from his calf injury.

Washington Season Rests on Smith’s Calf

Haskins could have played his last game for Washington. The hope was that Smith would be able to play through his injuried calf muscle in Week 16.

Smith practiced Friday, but wasn’t ready for Sunday. Social media was alive with fans saying Haskins, a first-round draft pick, has run out of chances in Washington. There was considerable joking about the need for prayer vigils over Smith’s calf muscle.

The fact that Smith practiced Friday and there was hope he might have played would suggest that there is also hope he can play Week 17. Smith is 4-1 this season as Washington’s starting quarterback with a 66.4% completion rate. By contrast, Haskins is 1-5 as a starter with a 62.9% completion percentage.

If Smith isn’t ready, Washington might go with Heinecke, who had not thrown a pass since 2018 before replacing Haskins against Carolina. Heinecke looked impressive, completing 12-of-19 for 137 yards.

Eagles Playing Spoiler in Week 17

The Eagles are officially eliminated from the NFL playoff race after a 37-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. This marks the first time in four years the Eagles won’t be playing in the postseason.

Philadelphia’s defense gave up more than 500 yards against Dallas, and the team has now lost six of its last seven. This is Philadelphia’s worst season since 2012.

But Washington has to be concerned about how dangerous the Eagles have looked since Jalen Hurts took over as starting quarterback. He threw for 342 yards and ran for 69 against the Cowboys. Unlike in Washington, fans in Philadelphia are pleased with their young QB. Despite the loss to the Cowboys, the Eagles look much better offensively.

McLaurin’s Injury Status

While Smith’s injury will receive most of the media attention, Terry McLaurin’s injured ankle warrants significant concern. He has been bothered by it for weeks and wasn’t able to play against Carolina.

McLaurin has had seven or more catches eight times this season. He has 1,078 receiving yards on the year.

Based on his history, McLaurin will make every effort to play against the Eagles even if he is not 100%.

Injury News Critical to Washington Bettors

The Washington-Philadelphia line could fluctuate this week as bettors ride the wave of uncertainty regarding Smith’s health and any news about who will start at quarterback for Washington. All quarterback injuries impact betting, but this situation may be more volatile because Washington plays so much better with Smith in command.

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