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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins Point Spread - Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting Odds: PHI pk/WAS pk
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The Philadelphia Eagles come to FedExField to take on the Washington Redskins in week one NFC East action on Sunday. Both teams look to start the season well. Each squad has realistically high hopes for the season, but also a lot of questions that need to be answered in the affirmative if 2017 is to be a success. The Redskins look to put a rough offseason behind them, which followed a tough season where they lost 4 of their last 6 games despite being in contention for a playoff spot. The Eagles are also looking to improve on a 7-9 season that saw them go into a midseason swoon that ruined their chances. Still, hopes are high in head coach Doug Pederson's second season at the helm.

The Eagles spent a lot of their offseason efforts bolstering their line and adding playmakers to aid the growth of second-year QB Carson Wentz. There are some things to like about the direction of the line, with C Jason Kelce and tackles Lane Johnson and Jason Peters. Guards Brandon Brooks and Allen Barbre fill out the line, which also offers depth with Isaac Seumalo, T Halapoulivaati Vautai, Chance Warmack, and Stephen Wisniewski. Out of all those bodies, a very serviceable line should form.

It was probably wise for the Eagles to shake the etch-a-sketch as it pertains to their receiving crew, a humdrum group from 2016 to say the least. The added a good one with the signing of Alshon Jeffery and also bring aboard Torrey Smith, who looks to reignite his career in Philly. They have a useful tight end in Zach Ertz, along with rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Running back LeGarrette Blount was added to a backfield that needs a lot of help. Veteran Darren Sproles and rookie Donnel Pumphrey (questionable) look to aid the cause. Let's just say it's a better-looking group than what they looked like to start 2016.

The Eagles' defense was more or less a middling group in 2016. An outstanding issue is a secondary that wasn't good last season and lost its top two corners. Rookies Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones are a pair of good young corners and we'll see how that plays out. They acquired Ron Brooks, traded for Ronald Darby and hope for more from Jalen Mills. They are strong at safety with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Hopefully, the depth will lead to better results. The second level features a good run-stopper in Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks is the best thing they have going for them in the middle. Rookie Nate Geary, a converted safety and Mychal Kendricks need to over-perform to make this a team strength.

Eagles' Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes to be aggressive and get after quarterbacks and with an iffy middle, he needs the line to be tip-top. The additions of free agents Chris Long and Timmy Jernigan, along with first-round draft pick DE Derek Barnett should help. They already have a good run-stopper in Fletcher Cox, along with improving Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry. This will be a key part of the team, especially with the back-seven looking potentially dicey.

With the way the Redskins finished the season looking flat, combined with the public firing of their GM with the draft coming up and more contract-wrangling with Kirk Cousins, a good start to the 2017 would really go a long way. Kirk Cousins lost his two favorite targets in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, For a team so dependent on the aerial attack, that would seem to be a really bad development. And maybe it is. But they added a rising commodity at the position in Terrelle Pryor. Jamison Crowder is still there and is also a game-changer in the return game. Former first-rounder Josh Doctson could contribute this season if his health ever cooperates. A pair of impactful tight ends in Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed really helps out too.

The Washington run-game lags behind the aerial component, but Rob Kelley showed some good signs in 2016 as an undrafted free agent in his first season of action. They have a good third down back in Chris Thompson. And while Samaje Perine is not the most-ballyhooed rookie, he could make an impact. Making it all come together is a an offensive line that returns all five guys from a unit that allowed the 4th fewest sacks in 2016, while helping the offense gain the third-most yards in the league.

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New Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky hopes greater focus on this side of the ball in the offseason will help. The additions of rookies Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson from defense factory Alabama should help, as will the drafting of corner Fabian Moreau from UCLA. The middle also added a good linebacker in Zach Brown from Buffalo, who along with Anderson and Ryan Kerrigan, should make for a good second level. Allen boosts a front that also acquired Terrell McClain. Nose Tackle Stacy McGee is still in there, but the loss of Trent Murphy hurts. Corner Josh Norman starts his second season with the 'Skins along with Bashaud Breeland and DJ Swearinger. If Moreau can come around, it would help this secondary.

We see with the Redskins that some clever personnel moves have set them up decently to make up for a bad ending to 2016 and an offseason that looked to be getting them sideways. They have a wide range of possibilities for this season, but they could be better. For Philly, they made upgrades up-front and in the playmaking department on offense, but still lack difference-makers overall and their defense looks shaky in the back seven. Wentz really needs the run-game to somehow surface. For Philly, their special teams might be their saving grace.

We see a hard-fought division game between two teams eager to get their season off to a good start. A reasonable case can certainly be made for either side of this bet. Call it a silly hunch, but we just see the Eagles as the slightly-stronger candidate to get this season off to a quick start. We're taking the Eagles in a pick-'em.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Philadelphia Eagles at pick 'em. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet on the Philadelphia vs. Washington game at home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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