Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at Washington Redskins (0-0)
The Eagles are one of my favorite sleeper teams for 2017. Their 7-9 record last season was largely the result of a 1-6 record in games decided by a touchdown or less. Their +36 point differential was 10th in the league, ahead of playoff teams like the Raiders and the Eagles. This season, they get top offensive lineman Lane Johnson back from suspension (with whom they were 5-1 last season) and they addressed needs at wide receiver and cornerback in a big way with Alshon Jeffery and Ronald Darby. This looks like a 10-win team with the upside for a lot more if #2 overall pick quarterback Carson Wentz can step it up in his 2nd season in the league.
Despite that, I don’t love them week 1 because I don’t think we’re getting much line value. The Eagles are favored by a point and a half here in Washington, which is about where this line should be. The Redskins are also an underrated team. Many people are down on them because they lost Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson this off-season, but they added Terrelle Pryor, they could get a breakout year from slot receiver Jamison Crowder, and they get Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed back healthy.
They have a lot of room for improvement in the red zone on offense (they ranked 30th in red zone touchdown down percentage) and could be much improved in that area now that they have taller receivers, so they could score more points this season even if they end up with fewer yards. Meanwhile, their defense should be improved with the additions of Jonathan Allen, Zach Brown, and DJ Swearinger this off-season. I’m taking the Eagles in this one, but I’d need an even line to consider putting money on them.
Philadelphia Eagles 23 Washington Redskins 20
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -1.5