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Commanders vs. Eagles prediction: Bet on a shoot-out between Hurts, Wentz

Philadelphia’s current starter and former starter face off Sunday in what promises to be a high-scoring affair.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on January 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on January 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)Read moreTodd Olszewski / Getty Images

Two years after losing his starting job to then-rookie Jalen Hurts, Carson Wentz will face his former backup for the first time in a divisional clash with major implications.

Hurts’ Philadelphia Eagles are near-touchdown favorites in Sunday’s matchup with the Washington Commanders, who will need an inspired effort from Wentz in his first contest against his former team if they want to keep pace with one of the NFL’s hottest teams.

Here’s how we’re betting Sunday’s contest, which kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.

  1. Learn more about the BetMGM Promo Code

  2. Check out more of the best sports betting sites

  3. You can bet the Eagles at the best price on BetRivers

  4. Check out BetMGM if you’d prefer to wager on the Commanders.

Commanders vs. Eagles Prediction

  1. Over 47.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Commanders vs. Eagles Prediction: The Analysis

In the lone year that Wentz and Hurts split quarterback duties in 2020, the Eagles ranked 24th in the league in yards and 26th in scoring. So it’s a little ironic to see this game featuring the fifth-highest total of the week — and I’d still bet the over, anyway.

As skeptical as I was of Philadelphia’s offense coming into the year, it’s clear that the formula is working. The Eagles lead the NFL in yards per game (470.5) behind a lethal rushing attack that ranks second in yards (189.5) and first in touchdowns (6). That shouldn’t come as a surprise behind this stout offensive line, which is arguably the best in football.

» READ MORE: Jalen Hurts owns third-shortest odds to win NFL MVP after stellar start to season

The bigger surprise has been Hurts’ effectiveness as a passer after two shaky seasons through the air. He looked steady as ever in last week’s 24-7 win over the Vikings, when he threw for 333 yards and set a new career high in completion rate (83.9%). The final score undersells just how efficient this offense was. Hurts and co. scored 24 points in the first half and finished with 486 yards and 25 first downs but saw the ball just four times in a clock-draining second half.

That score also gives a little too much credit to this Philly defense, which hasn’t been nearly as impressive as the offense through two weeks. The Vikings had plenty of chances to score on Monday. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. dropped a surefire touchdown, and Kris Boyd had an easy touchdown on a blocked kick before getting caught from behind. Kirk Cousins also threw three interceptions inside the Eagles’ 30-yard line, including a lame duck in the end zone to Darius Slay.

It’s not as though Wentz doesn’t have turnover issues of his own, but he’s been a key reason why the Commanders rank sixth in yards per game (393) and eighth in points per game (27.5) through the first two weeks of the season. Surprisingly, the former Eagles starter leads all qualified passers in red-zone completion rate (77.8%) with a sterling 4:0 TD-to-INT ratio through Week 2, and he ranks second in overall passing yards (650) with a share of the lead in TDs (7).

» READ MORE: Eagles Super Bowl odds continue to improve after Week 2 win over Minnesota

Fittingly, Washington’s defense has also been a disappointment to start the year, surrendering 22 points to the Jaguars and 36 points to the Lions thus far. This group has been especially vulnerable on the ground, allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game (157) against a pair of rushing offenses that ranked below average in 2021.

That’s a miserable reality ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the run-happy Eagles, who should be able to score at will in this divisional clash. I’d expect a similar effort from the host Commanders, especially if Philly’s defense can’t generate the same pressure up front that it did on Monday. The storyline of Wentz vs. Hurts will dominate headlines, but it’s a matchup that will likely pay dividends for over bettors, too.

Commanders vs. Eagles Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Eagles -6.5 (-110), moneyline -275

  2. Commanders +6.5 (-110), moneyline +220

  3. O.U 47.5 (-110)

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