Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (10/29/23)
The Washington Commanders (3-4) play host to the Philadelphia Eagles (6-1) on Sunday (10/29/23) at 1 p.m. ET in Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season. The Eagles needed overtime to beat the Commanders 34-31 at home as -8.5 favorites in Week 4, and now they are -6.5 on the road. The over/under is currently set at 43.5.
This article provides Eagles vs. Commanders analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Eagles -6.5.
Eagles vs. Commanders Prediction & Best Bet
The Commanders have come closer to beating the Eagles this season than any other team besides the Jets, who actually completed the job. After handing the Eagles their first loss of the season last year, Washington nearly won in Philadelphia again, but their offense sputtered in overtime and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott won the game with a 54-yard field goal.
That was only four weeks ago, and since then these teams seem to be going in opposite directions.
The Eagles are back atop the NFC after their most impressive performance of the season, shutting down the explosive Miami Dolphins offense on Sunday Night Football in a 31-17 victory. Their offense has still looked shaky at times, but A.J. Brown has been dominant with an NFL record (tied with Calvin Johnson) five-straight games of at least 125 receiving yards. His best game during that streak came against the Commanders, whom he torched for nine catches, 175 yards and two touchdowns. Now he has a chance to break the record against them.
HURTS TO AJ BROWN. 59-YARD TOUCHDOWN.
— NFL (@NFL) October 1, 2023
Meanwhile, the Commanders continue to be frustratingly inconsistent. They followed up their strong performance against the Eagles by getting blown out at home against the lowly Bears. They bounced back with a solid road win over the Falcons in Week 6, only to follow that up with a clunker against the Giants last week, losing 14-7 on the road. Just ask star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen how frustrated they are with their performance so far this season (foul language warning).
Jonathan Allen is not happy after Commanders loss. “They whupped our ass, plain and simple.” pic.twitter.com/7BaGsfkDWg
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) October 22, 2023
Nobody really expected the Commanders to come so close to beating the Eagles last time, even after they ended their undefeated season last year. But it’s never really unexpected when a divisional game ends up being much closer than it looks on paper.
The question this week is whether that will happen again, or if the Eagles will assert their dominance for four quarters. There is a potential trap game scenario here as the Eagles are coming off the huge win last week while their first showdown with the Dallas Cowboys is looming next week.
Still, as surprising as the Week 4 game was, it would be even more surprising if it happens again. The Eagles have mismatches all over the field, and their two biggest mismatches (covered below) will be the biggest reasons why they win and cover this week.
Eagles vs. Commanders Prediction & Best Bet: Eagles win 27-16, Eagles cover -6.5
Eagles vs. Commanders Best Betting Odds
The 6.5-point spread is only two points different than it was in these teams’ previous meeting in Week 4. That’s about what you would expect given the change in venue, which indicates that sportsbooks view the relative strengths of each team as mostly unchanged since Week 4. Keep an eye on this line to see if it reaches the key number of 7, which is possible but would be unexpected.
The total is seeing pretty significant downward movement after opening at 45 at most sportsbooks. The last game saw almost the exact same movement and closed at 43.5. It’s unlikely to drop any lower than that this time, but it’s worth monitoring.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Eagles winning 25-18.
Eagles vs. Commanders Key Injuries
The biggest injury question in this game concerns Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is not on the injury report but is known to be dealing with discomfort in his knee that caused him to wear a brace for the second half of the Dolphins game.
Other than that, the Eagles are looking pretty good injury-wise at the moment, as the most important player that missed that game – safety Reed Blankenship – is expected to return this week, and no new injuries have cropped up as of Wednesday’s practice report. Slot corner Bradley Roby is expected to miss his 2nd consecutive game.
The Commanders have a few injury concerns to monitor. Both starting guards – LG Saahdiq Charles and RG Sam Cosmi – are questionable, as are starting slot receiver Curtis Samuel and their leading tackler, LB Cody Barton.
Eagles vs. Commanders Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Eagles vs. Commanders below.
Commanders offensive line vs. Eagles’ pass rush
The Commanders have been historically bad at protecting the quarterback this season. They have already allowed a league-leading 40 sacks (5.7 per game), which puts them on pace to allow 97 sacks on the season. That would be the second-most in NFL history behind the 1986 Eagles, who allowed 104 (6.5 per game).
The Giants had six sacks against the Commanders last week; they have five total sacks in their other five games. The week before, the Falcons had five sacks against them; they have eight total sacks in their other five games. In Week 5, the Bears sacked Sam Howell five times; they have five total sacks in the rest of their games. Those are three of the bottom 10 teams in the league in sacks so far this season, and they all wreaked havoc on the Commanders’ quarterback.
The Eagles are third in the league in sacks with 24 after leading the league with 70 last season. They are arguably the best in the league at getting pressure up the middle, led by sensational rookie Jalen Carter (3.5 sacks and PFF’s 3rd highest graded interior pass rusher). The Commanders could be missing both starting guards in this game, which will be a big problem against this defensive line.
The Eagles had five sacks against the Commanders in Week 4, which seems low all things considered. Sam Howell had his best game of the season that week, partly because the Eagles were not as dominant as they could be up front. If they can improve on that performance this week, that will make it very difficult for the Commanders to get anything going offensively. If they don’t, then this game could once again be much closer than expected.
Eagles wide receivers vs. Commanders cornerbacks
As noted above, AJ Brown absolutely torched this secondary in Week 4. Most of that damage came against Commanders rookie 1st round pick Emmanuel Forbes, who has since been benched after struggling for most of the season. The Commanders’ pass defense ranks 28th in yards allowed, 27th in net yards per attempt allowed, and 27th in DVOA and EPA.
They have not been appreciably better since benching Forbes and relying more heavily on veterans Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St. Juste. Since Week 4 they have allowed DJ Moore to go off for a career high 230 yards and 3 TD and also allowed Drake London to reach career highs in catches (9) and yards (125).
Brown stands a very good chance of breaking the NFL record with his sixth straight game of 125+ receiving yards. We also have our eyes on wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who has had a couple of quiet games in a row and seems due for his breakout game of the season. If the Commanders can’t slow down that dynamic receiving duo, then the Eagles should have no problem scoring more than enough points to cover the spread.