The Eagles are riding a nice wave of momentum into a matchup Sunday afternoon with the Washington Commanders, and a familiar face will be the one trying to temper their early season optimism.
It will be Carson Wentz behind center for the Commanders in his third game with his third team in the last three years. Washington is 1-1 with him running the offense, while Philadelphia is 2-0 using the quarterback who replaced him in 2020, sudden NFL MVP contender Jalen Hurts.
With the Eagles coming off a dominating 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings Monday night, Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks have installed them as a touchdown favorite on the road at FedEx Field. On paper, Philadelphia clearly has the better team. On the field though, anything can happen, especially if a key player for the underdog is intent on proving he had a lot of game left in him when dismissed as the Eagles’ starting QB.
Point spread stands at 6 to 6.5
Philadelphia was a 6.5-point favorite Friday morning at many sportsbooks, but an Eagles backer only had to give 6 points (but with extra vig of -115) if wagering on DraftKings, Betway, or one of the sites using Kambi odds, such as BetRivers, Unibet, and betPARX.
DraftKings and Betway were also the best sites for a moneyline wager on the Eagles, at -255, with BetMGM not far behind at -275.
The over/under for the game generally ticked lower by a point or two during the week, landing at 47.5 with most sportsbooks. An “over” bettor, however, could take advantage of the 47 number offered by Caesars Sportsbook and Betfred. With the Eagles averaging 31 points in their two games and the Commanders 27.5, that’s certainly something to consider.
The Eagles excelled on both sides of the ball in their 24-7 win over the Vikings with a national audience watching. The day before, the Commanders lost to the Detroit Lions (whom the Eagles beat 38-35 in Week 1) by a 36-27 score after falling behind 22-0 in the first half.
One difference for the two teams is how balanced the Philadelphia offense can be. With Miles Sanders his old self after injury troubles last year and Hurts seemingly able to scamper at will, the Eagles amassed 163 yards on the ground Monday night to complement Hurts’ 333 passing yards.
Wentz threw for 337 yards himself, but the Commanders gained just 88 yards on the ground, and starting running back Antonio Gibson was held to 28 yards on 14 carries.
Philly a big favorite to win division
A year after the Eagles traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for draft picks in the offseason, the Colts turned around this March and did the same by dealing him to the Commanders. The early returns are good in Washington, as he is tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns with seven after two games and second in passing yards with 650.
In Hurts, however, the Eagles have a dual threat whose strong early-season performance has him tied at FanDuel with Justin Herbert for the third-shortest league MVP odds at 11/1. (Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are ahead.)
For their passing yardage totals Sunday, DraftKings lists the over/under on Hurts at 240.5 and on Wentz at 238.5.
With the New York Giants starting out a surprising 2-0, the Eagles may need to avoid a letdown Sunday in order to keep themselves at the top of the divisional race. FanDuel considers Philadelphia the clear favorite, at -210, with Washington last among the four NFC East teams at +850.
If there’s a shakeup in those odds come Monday morning, don’t be surprised if a certain former North Dakota State quarterback who spoke positively this week about his time in Philadelphia is somehow responsible.
Carson Wentz on his time with the #Eagles: “It was a lot of fun. We had a lot of success there. Winning the Super Bowl was really special. It's quite the city, quite the fan base, quite the experience, and I definitely cherish my time there.” pic.twitter.com/VZrj21NCM9
— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) September 21, 2022
Photo: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY