Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Odds, trends, picks for Seahawks-Eagles
The Seahawks (7-3) travel cross-country to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Eagles (3-6-1) in the penultimate Week 12 battle. An important contest for the playoff positioning of both NFC franchises, this game pits two squads at or near the best health reports of their respective 2020 NFL seasons. The Seahawks are -6.5 road favorites (-305 ML), and the over/under sits at 49 total points as of Monday morning.
Despite losing three of its last five games, Seattle remains almost a weekly favorite thanks to its dynamic offense and its 5-3 record against the spread this season. The Seahawks will need a win tonight to stay atop the NFC West, or else the Rams will usurp the throne at least temporarily thanks to their head-to-head tiebreaker. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has just three total victories entering Week 12, yet has the best odds to win the dreadful NFC East, listed on most betting sites as +150 thanks to its Week 3 tie with the Bengals.
As always, you can visit BetQL.com 24/7 for all updated lines, odds, spreads, and expert picks for this and every NFL game of the 2020 season. We can tell you right now that the BetQL NFL Best Bet Model slightly prefers the OVER on the 49-point total for this one, but its pick against the spread might surprise you. For now, keep reading to see BetQL’s full betting preview and predictions for this crucial Monday Night showdown.
Seahawks-Eagles Betting Preview
A month and a half ago, the Seahawks looked downright untouchable. They started the 2020 NFL season 5-0, and averaged a robust 34.25 points through the first half of their schedule. Quarterback Russell Wilson looked like the unanimous choice to win his first MVP award, and his top play-makers served as beacons of offensive consistency. However, a 37-34 overtime loss to the division-rival Cardinals in Week 7 shook Seattle to its core, and injuries began to mount. After a turbulent start to the second half of its season, many pundits questioned if even the most heroic version of Wilson could survive the struggling Seahawks defense.
A strong 28-21 win over Arizona in a rematch at home last week went a long way toward answering that question. The Cardinals had been playing superb offense to that point in the season, with second-year standout QB Kyler Murray looking like an MVP candidate in his own right. But the Seahawks defense showed up, and Wilson and company once again balled out. The QB completed 23-of-28 passes, with one touchdown strike going to each of his two favorite wide receivers, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Metcalf, who caught three passes for 46 yards in last week’s win, has emerged as the most physically dominant receiver in the game. He ranks third in the NFL with 18 yards per catch and fourth in the NFC with 86.2 yards per game. Lockett, who caught nine targets for 67 yards, ranks third in the conference with 6.7 catches per game. This dynamic tandem has been a huge reason for Wilson’s electrifying stat line this season, which includes a 73.5-percent completion rate (second in the NFL), 298.6 passing yards per game (fourth), and 8.2 average yards per completion (fifth). If Wilson throws for three or more TDs tonight, which he has done six different times this season, he will at least tie Aaron Rodgers with an NFL-leading 33 TDs (he’s currently tied for second with Patrick Mahomes at 30.
But things haven’t been all sunshine and roses for Wilson since Seattle’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Arizona in Week 7. After throwing just three interceptions in the Seahawks’ first five games, he has seven picks across their past five. He has been sacked 14 times in their past three contests, and he has not eclipsed 261 passing yards in three of their last four. Wilson and Seattle coach Pete Carroll are likely ecstatic to have starting running back Chris Carson back tonight, after a foot injury sustained in that infamous Week 7 matchup kept the fourth-year back sidelined the past four games. In the six games he has played this season, Carson averages a team-best 4.9 yards per carry. He has caught 22-of-25 targets (88 percent), and he’s scored three times on the ground and three times through the air. His backup Carlos Hyde is good, but not as effective as Carson.
Seattle’s success has been mainly attributed to its offense this season, but last week may have been the first time all year that its defense got them the win. Sure, it helped that they committed no offensive turnovers all game, but they also held a high-flying Cardinals offense to a season-low 314 total yards (257 passing, 57 rushing). They got to Murray three times (tied for Arizona’s season high in sacks allowed), and held them to 21 points (tied for the Cards’ season-low).
That’s a breakthrough for the team ranked dead last in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and first downs surrendered. Former All-Pro and first-year Seahawks safety Jamal Adams finally seems to have his bearings in Ken Norton’s oft-criticized system, and defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been huge in the pass-rush as of late. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright remain one of the better linebacker tandems in the league, with Wagner once again flirting with the league lead in combined tackles with 96. If Seattle’s secondary can perform like it did last week, this Seahawks team could be a Super Bowl contender after all.
Whereas the Seahawks started the 2020 NFL season as a beacon of offensive consistency, the Eagles started as a comedy of errors and misfortunes. They opened the season losing to a divisional rival, the Dwayne Haskins-led Washington Football Team. Then they got destroyed by the Rams at home 37-19 and tied the Bengals in a game neither team looked terribly interested in winning.
Eight weeks and three wins later, that tie could be the reason Philadelphia somehow prevails in the historically bad NFC East. Going into tonight’s contest, the Eagles have one fewer win than the Giants and Washington, but they also have one fewer loss thanks to the stalemate. Thus, if Philly pulls off the upset this evening, the Eagles sit in first place in a division that very well could send a six-win team to the playoffs.
At this rate, the Eagles have as good a chance as any of the four teams in the NFC Least. They have a better offense than the Giants and Washington when QB Carson Wentz stays focused and executes. And unlike the Cowboys, they look to finally be returning to relative health for the first time all season. If a run is going to happen with Wentz and coach Doug Pederson, it likely has to be now or never.
Wentz, one time considered the future of the franchise, currently leads the NFL with 14 interceptions (three more than any other QB). He also has the second-worst completion percentage (58.4) among starting QBs and the third-worst QB rating (73.3). He has been sacked 40 times, seven more times than the next-most sacked QB (who happens to be his counterpart this evening, Wilson).
So, that’s bad. And even worse, Philly has dropped its past two games to the Giants and the Browns while scoring just 17 points in each game. The Eagles have only passed for 167.3 yards in their past three games. But let’s look at the bright side, as there are many reasons for Eagles fans to be optimistic.
Thanks in large part to its strong defensive line, the Eagles defense has improved drastically since the beginning of the season, only giving up 177.6 passing yards over Philly’s past five games. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s squad actually serves as the seventh-best third-down defense and sixth-best fourth-down defense. They have surrendered the third-fewest passing TDs, the sixth-fewest passing yards, and the 10th-fewest points.
Running back Miles Sanders, who missed two games toward the halfway mark of the season with a knee injury, returned two weeks ago and has been making plays all over the field. Tight end Dallas Goedert, one of Wentz’s favorite targets the past two years, returned from the IR a few weeks ago after recovering from a tibia fracture and high-ankle sprain. Goedert caught five passes for 77 yards and a score in Philly’s loss in Cleveland last week.
Also cause for optimism has been Philly’s youthful offensive weapons. Wide receiver Travis Fulgham emerged as a huge playmaker earlier in the season, and he leads the team with 65.5 receiving yards per game and four touchdowns. Fellow receiver Greg Ward, who has caught 72.7 percent of his targets and scored three times, has also filled in nicely. This 25-year-old tandem had to be thrust into starting roles with the continued absences of veterans DeSean Jackson (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (calf). Richard Rodgers has similarly benefited from the misfortunes of others, as the tight end hauled in some big catches with Goedert and Ertz sidelined. And backup RB Boston Scott has made tremendous impacts when Sanders isn’t on the field.
Still, this is a JV squad compared to Seattle’s high-flying offense. Wentz makes far too many mistakes, and his offensive line lets him down far too frequently. Not to mention, the Eagles have only three wins despite playing a schedule featuring only four teams with winning records. If you subtract the loss to the run-heavy Browns in nasty Cleveland weather last week, Philly has allowed 35 points per game to teams currently in playoff spots (LA Rams, Pittsburgh, Baltimore). This Seahawks offense is better than any offense the Eagles have faced all season, so Schwartz better have his guys ready or else things could get out of hand early.
Unless you’re a die-hard Eagles fan, you probably don’t have the intestinal fortitude to roll with the Eagles plus-230 on the moneyline. But we can find plenty of value with Philly plus-6.5. In fact, the BetQL Best Bet Model puts a four-star rating on the Eagles against the spread, projecting them to lose by more like five points. The Model also puts two stars on the Eagles covering plus-3.5 at the half, and another two stars on the UNDER (24) hitting at the half. It also puts one star on the OVER for the full game (49). However, the Model agrees that the Seahawks should emerge as the moneyline winner at the half (-195, three stars) and the end of the game (-305, one star).
There’s not a ton of value to be had at -305, so consider rolling with the home team against the spread, maybe even buying a point for added confidence. Looking back at the upset-heavy slate of Monday Night Football games this season, it would not be surprising if Philadelphia at least kept this one to within a touchdown. Seattle wins its sixth straight matchup with Philly, 30-24.
You can find all updated lines, odds, spreads, and NFL picks at BetQL!