Betting On Football in Week 3 – The DeSean Jackson BowlJosh Bailey
Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will look to lead Washington to victory when they visit a rejuvenated Darren Sproles and the high-scoring Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 3 NFC East divisional battle that is offering as much value as any matchup on the schedule.
Dubbed as the DeSean Jackson Bowl, this is the first game that new Washington WR will play against his former team who cut him the off season. He did some light work on the side as his teammates practiced on Thursday, but it was progress as he attempts to battle back from a shoulder injury.
Jackson remains questionable for Sunday’s homecoming against the Eagles. (Jackson also missed Wednesday’s practice.) Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he was hopeful that Jackson could participate fully in Friday’s practice.
“We are going to push him a little more tomorrow,” Gurden said. “He’s still a little sore, but he’s getting better. A couple more days will do him a lot of good. . . . A lot of it is pain tolerance and the big thing I think is getting his range of motion (back).”
Gruden said Jackson would be re-evaluated before this Sunday’s game at Lincoln Financial field.
— Eagles Shows (@EaglesShows) September 18, 2014
Washington at Philadelphia
Time: 1:00 PM
Spread: Philadelphia -6.5
Football in Week 3 Betting Preview:
One week after getting smacked around by Houston in its 17-6 season-opening loss as a 3-point road dog, Washington (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) bounced back nicely to rout Jacksonville 41-10, thanks to a fine performance by Cousins.
Washington’s backup signal-caller will make his fifth career start on Sunday while trying to stop Philadelphia from getting off to their first 3-0 start since 2004.
Cousins replaced starter Robert Griffin III in last week’s win over the Jags after RG3 suffered a dislocated ankle. Cousins completed 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns despite being without starting wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed.
Washington head coach Jay Gruden said his team is taking the change at quarterback in stride.
"We were trying not to make this about Robert when Robert was the quarterback," Gruden said. "We’re going to try not to make this about Kirk now that Kirk’s the quarterback. We’ve got to make this about the Redskins moving forward."
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 18, 2014
Washington ranks fifth in total offense (410.5 ypg), 10th in passing and third in rushing (161.0 ypg) and have been even better defensively. Washington is ranked first in total yards allowed, third against the pass and fourth against the run (70.0 ypg) and points allowed (13.5 ppg).
Philadelphia (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS), has won each of its first two games by storming back from sizable halftime deficits. The Birds trailed lowly Jacksonville 17-0 at the half before scoring 34 consecutive points to close out the contest.
In their Week 2 30-27 win against Indianapolis, the Eagles came storming back from a 17-6 halftime deficit to win 30-27 as Sproles led the team to victory with a stunning performance.
The veteran back that Philly got in free agency this past offseason, rushed the ball just four times for 26 yards with one touchdown, but the still fleet-footed former Saints superstar did the majority of his damage by catching passes out of the backfield.
Sproles nabbed seven passes for a whopping 152 yards and continually made the Colts pay for trying to guard him with a linebacker.
Quarterback Nick Foles completed 21 of 37 passes for 331 yards with one TD and one interception, but talked about his team’s need to get off to a better start than they have so far.
"We really need to get things going," Foles said. "There’s a lot of stuff that, even though we won like we did, there’s a lot of stuff to improve on. That’s the exciting thing for us, we need to improve."
Defensively, Philadelphia has some work to do, even though they’ve played fantastic football in mostly shutting down their first two opponents in the second half of both of their games this season. Philly is ranked 13th in total yards allowed, 11th against the pass and 17th in points allowed (22.0 ppg).
Philadelphia leads the NFL in total offense while ranking second in passing (303.0 ypg) and first in scoring (32.0 ppg). Still, the Birds know thy need to get off to a better start in the first half before it comes back to bite them.
"No one should be patting themselves on the back anywhere," said coach Chip Kelly, whose team has totaled six first-half points. "We’re fortunate to be 2-0. We’ve done a great job of coming back in both games, but there is a lot of work in every aspect of the game that we need to work on. So that’s the great thing about this group, they understand that."
For this contest, I like Philadelphia to get the home win and narrow ATS cover, mostly because of their offensive prowess.
Washington has gone 1-5 ATS in their last six games against their NFC East division rivals and a discouraging 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games.
Philadelphia is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 3 and the favorite in this series is 6-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.
In addition to playing Philly to win and cover the spread, I also like the Over to play out for Over/Under Total bettors in this contest.
The Over is 4-1 in Washington’s last five games against a team with a winning record and 5-2 in Philadelphia’s last seven games overall