The Redskins have beaten the Eagles in five straight contests and Washington performed a major defensive overhaul this offseason. The Week 1 line does not exactly show that.
Bovada.lv installed the Redskins as a 2.5 point favorite over the Eagles for the September 10th contest at FedEx Field. Remember, NFL home field advantage is worth roughly three points to oddsmakers. That means if the Eagles played the Redskins on a neutral field, the Eagles would actually be slight half-point favorites.
The five-game win streak Washington has enjoyed over Philadelphia is great for fans, but it's not worth basing much from a point spread perspective in 2017. Eagles QB Carson Wentz only played in the last two games, and that provides more insight.
The Redskins beat the Eagles twice last year, with Wentz at the helm for Philly, by a combined 12 points. That included a 27-20 win at home in October when the Eagles were still considered one of the NFL's best teams after a hot 3-0 start. In December, Kirk Cousins guided the 'Skins to an important 27-22 road win at Lincoln Financial Field that kept Washington in the playoff race. Ryan Kerrigan made a dramatic strip-sack to end the game as Wentz tried to drive the Eagles down field for a game-winning TD.
That was 2016, however, and both teams will look different in 2017.
DeSean Jackson had a habit of hurting the Eagles while with the Redskins. Jackson made clear he enjoyed showing the Philly faithful that the organization was wrong to cut him in the 2014 offseason, but this fall, Jackson will be playing in Tampa.
While the Redskins will have a number of new pieces this fall, so will Philadelphia. The questions will remain if the franchise improved their defensive backfield enough to take a step forward in the NFC East, but they certainly added more weapons for Wentz. Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith signed with the Eagles in free agency, addressing a serious need at wide receiver from 2016.
Washington's overhauled defense should be much improved in 2016. First round draft pick Jonathan Allen should bolster the defensive line, Zach Brown should be an instant boost at linebacker, and D.J. Swearinger should provide some stability at safety.
Still, offseason additions are just projections until the team's get on the field in August. Much can change between early May and early September. The 2.5 point spread seems a little odd for the Redskins vs Eagles contest, but maybe that's to ensure split action until oddsmakers have a better feel for both teams.
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