Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (12/18/23)
The Seattle Seahawks (6-7) play host to the Philadelphia Eagles (10-3) on Monday Night Football (12/18/23) in a pivotal matchup for both prospective playoff teams. Betting odds have the Eagles as road favorites at -3 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 47.5 total points.
This article provides Eagles vs. Seahawks analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the over.
Bettors are awaiting word on the status of Eagles starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts, who has been battling an illness, flew to Seattle on a flight separate from teammates so as not to get anyone else sick. He is listed as questionable, hopes to play Monday night. If he is unable to go, Marcus Mariotta will start.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction & Best Bet
All eyes are on the Philadelphia Eagles entering this matchup to see how they will respond after back-to-back beatdowns against their two biggest competitors in the NFC.
The Seahawks are not the same caliber of team as the 49ers or Cowboys, but they are still another big test for the Eagles, especially playing at home in front of one of the most raucous crowds in the NFL. They will also be playing with desperation after losing four games in a row and five of their last six. They are currently on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture and cannot afford another loss if they want to stay in contention for a wild-card spot.
The Eagles’ franchise has lost its last seven games against the Seahawks; the last time the Eagles beat the Seahawks, Donovan McNabb was still their quarterback! To put it as simply as possible, if the Eagles don’t play significantly better than they did against the Cowboys and 49ers, it’s going to be eight wins in a row for Seattle.
So the question becomes whether Philadelphia can turn things around this week. It’s not as simple as just playing an easier opponent. They need to clean up several key areas of their recent performance, namely third down offense, third down defense, red zone offense, red-zone defense and turnovers.
That’s a lot to ask a team to fix in just one week, and while they don’t need to see dramatic turnarounds in all of those areas, they do need to see a significant improvement in at least some of them. We have our doubts about how possible that will be, so we have a hard time betting on the Eagles in this game.
At the same time, they are still the far superior team to Seattle, and they are still eigthth in the league in DVOA and 12th in net EPA, while Seattle is outside the top 15 in both categories. The Eagles should win and cover if they play the way they are capable of playing, so we can’t confidently pick the Seahawks either.
Instead of betting the spread, we’re focused on the over as the best bet in this game. It’s interesting to compare these teams’ recent performances because they faced the same two opponents over the last two weeks, with the only difference being the Seahawks faced San Francisco on the road (and in a different order, obviously). Over those last two games, both defenses were similarly awful.
The Seahawks’ offense has been much better recently. They gained over 400 yards and scored 35 points against an excellent Cowboys defense, and they looked competent against the vaunted 49ers defense with backup QB Drew Lock.
On the other hand, the Eagles’ offense last week failed to score a touchdown for the first time in 109 games (going back to week 17 of the 2017 season, a game when they rested their starters). However, they are still a dynamic offense with some of the best playmakers in the league, and they should have no problem moving the ball against Seattle’s struggling defense.
Considering the state of these offenses and especially the defenses, the total of 47.5 is way too low, and we love the over as the best bet in this game.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction & Best Bet: Eagles win 31-27 | Best Bet: over 47.5 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds
The spread in this game opened just over the key number of 3 with the Eagles favored at -3.5. Early in the week it moved to -4 at most sportsbooks, but it’s now come back down to -3, which could be a reaction to optimism that Geno Smith will be ready to go.
The over/under has moved 0.5 points in either direction from its opening line of 47.5, but is currently at that number across the market.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Eagles winning 25-22.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Key Injuries
Seattle has a long list of injury concerns, but the most important player to monitor in this game is QB Geno Smith, who missed their last game with a groin injury. While he is trending toward playing this week, he likely won’t be 100%. The Seahawks also have several defensive starters who are worth monitoring, including CB Devon Witherspoon, S Jamal Adams, LB Jordyn Brooks, DE Leonard Williams, and NT Jarran Reed. Those are five of their best players on defense, which could be a big concern if a few of them miss this game.
Other than Hurts, the Eagles’ injury concerns are all on defense, with starting safety Reed Blankenship, top CB Darius Slay, and top LB Zach Cunningham hurting. Blankenship has a chance to clear concussion protocol given the extra day this week, while Slay is out and Cunningham is expected to play.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Eagles vs. Seahawks below.
Seattle Seahawks’ receivers vs. Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerbacks
This is the biggest mismatch in this game. The Eagles’ pass defense is 28th in yards allowed (259.9 per game), 23rd in DVOA and 29th in EPA allowed. Their aging cornerback duo of Darius Slay and James Bradberry is especially concerning, as they have allowed the most receptions (15.8) and second-most yards per game (193.8) to opposing wide receivers this season.
The Seahawks have a very talented trio of wide receivers in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Metcalf in particular has torched the Eagles in the past. He has 20 catches for 372 yards and one touchdown in three career games against the Eagles. He has also been red-hot recently, with 23 catches for 410 yards and five touchdowns over his last five games.
DK. METCALF. 73. YARDS. pic.twitter.com/3ztN3eSAIQ
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 1, 2023
If the Eagles can’t find a way to slow down the Seahawks’ passing attack, it’s going to be another long day for the defense. That is the Seahawks’ best chance at winning this game.
Philadelphia Eagles’ pass catchers vs. Seattle Seahawks’ secondary
In a game in which our best bet was the over, it should come as no surprise that both passing attacks are the two key matchups in this game. Notice a subtle difference in how we framed this matchup though: pass catchers vs. secondary rather than receivers vs. cornerbacks. That’s because the most important matchup here might be Eagles TE Dallas Goedert against Seahawks S Jamal Adams.
Adams has been brutal lately. He has allowed six receptions on eight targets for 127 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games, per Pro Football Focus. He allowed passer ratings of 146.3 and 149.3, respectively, when targeted in each of those games. He’s also letting his frustration boil over off the field with some pretty despicable attacks on the media.
— NFL (@NFL) December 1, 2023
Dallas Goedert was quiet last week in his return from a fractured forearm, catching all four of his targets but gaining just 30 yards. He has a better matchup this week against a Seahawks defense that is bottom 10 in both receptions and yards allowed to opposing tight ends.
The WR/CB battles should also be very competitive in this game. Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen might be the best young CB tandem in the league, but they have a tough matchup against A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Jalen Hurts only targeted three pass catchers last week against Dallas – Brown, Smith, and Goedert – so it will be interesting to see if/how he distributes the ball this week if he plays.