What do you get when you combine the Washington Football Team (2-6) with the Detroit Lions (3-5).
A football game that even bettors seem to have little interest in.
Heading into Sunday’s clash (1 p.m., Fox) at Ford Field in Detroit, all other NFL Week 10 games have had received more betting action and media attention.
But here’s the thing: Even if other football fans aren’t digging the Washington vs. Lions matchup, local football fans are. After all, Washington is just one win behind the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1), with the Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1) and Dallas Cowboys (2-7) awaiting. (For now, let’s just try to ignore that game with the mighty and undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers that follows them.)
Anyway, long story short: Washington’s postseason hopes are somehow, someway miraculously still alive. However, they simply can’t give away games to fellow sub.-500 teams, which they did last week against the New York Giants (2-7).
WE WON HOT POTATO! 🔥🥔
— New York Giants (@Giants) November 8, 2020
That also means this week is a must-win game against Detroit, which is reeling after back-to-back blowout losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.
Washington vs. Detroit Lions Total and Odds
Washington has held steady as 3.5-point to 4.5-point underdogs through the first half week of betting. Wagering has been pretty even on each side.
Both teams have been losing propositions against the spread (ATS) this season with Washington 4-4 and Detroit 3-5.
The moneyline favors the Lions, who are available in the neighborhood of -190 with the comeback on Washington at +170.
The total, meanwhile, opened at 46.5 and has remained steady. However, some books have pulled over-under betting due to uncertainty over the weather (expect rain and high winds) and the status of injured Lions receiver Kenny Golladay. Here’s one reason Golladay can affect a total so much:
How did Kenny Golladay hold on?? 🤯
— PFF (@PFF) October 25, 2020
Another reason the total could tick down as we approach kickoff? All of the question marks surrounding the two starting quarterbacks.
WFT vs. Detroit Lions Breakdown
Alex Smith should be back under center for the WFT this week. Head coach Ron Rivera benched Dwayne Haskins Jr. earlier this season. Then, last week, Kyle Allen was forced out of the game with a nasty injury.
Here’s the clip of the dislocated ankle and fracture.
Here's what happened to Kyle Allen, awful looking injury.
Alex Smith comes in.pic.twitter.com/ZyLfQ28b8y
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 8, 2020
Allen’s 2020 season is obviously in doubt with a pending surgery, so Smith has his time to shine.
Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, missed the entire 2019 season due to a horrific leg injury. Now, at 36, this may be his last best chance to remain a starter.
Last week Smith completed 24 of 32 passes with one touchdown and three interceptions. Expect running back Antonio Gibson to get a little more work this week against Detroit. The Lions give up 148.1 rushing yards per game (third-worst in the NFL). Last week, for example, the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook rushed 22 times for 206 yards against the Lions.
The Lions, meanwhile, aren’t sure what they’ll get from Matthew Stafford. The Detroit QB suffered a possible concussion during last week’s 34-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Ultimately, this game could come down to the Washington defense, which – perhaps surprisingly – is fifth-best in the NFL by allowing just 314.3 yards per game to opposing teams.
Other Week 10 Games of Note to Virginia
Here’s what NFL Week 10 offers for Virginia football fans’ other favorite teams:
Baltimore Ravens (-7) at New England Patriots
The good news is that the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) couldn’t have picked a better time to hit the road to face the skidding New England Patriots (3-5). Heading into Sunday Night Football (8:20 p.m., CBS), the Tom Brady-less Pats are now in a 1-4 skid, and it only ended because New England squeezed by the winless New York Jets by three points last week.
The Ravens, meanwhile, have lost just twice all year – to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) and Pittsburgh (8-0). Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is fresh off an impressive win over the Colts. Dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson was exceptionally efficient in the victory and showed streaks of his 2019 NFL MVP form.
Baltimore opened as 6.5-point favorites. However, bettors are overwhelmingly in favor of the Ravens, who are now full-touchdown 7-point favorites at most sportsbooks. However, as of Thursday morning, books hadn’t posted a total because Sunday night’s weather in Foxborough looks like it’ll be downright frightful with rain and heavy winds.
Tampa Bay at Carolina Panthers (+5.5)
It’s do-or-die time for the Carolina Panthers (3-6), who host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) on Sunday (1 p.m., Fox). The Panthers look to halt a four-game skid while also keeping their postseason hopes alive in this NFC South matchup.
The Panthers aren’t necessarily struggling to score points. After all, they rank 15th in the NFL with 25.1 points per game. However, as in a heart-breaking 33-31 loss to the Chiefs last week, Carolina has also struggled to hold opponents’ scoring in check. The Carolina defense will have to step up this week against the Bucs and Tom Brady, who are surely fired up after an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.
Carolina opened as 6.5-point underdogs. However, public money has come in against the Bucs, and the spread has shrunk to 5.5 points. The public also loves the over, and the total has moved from an opening of 47 all the way to 50.5 by Thursday morning.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (PK)
A battle for the AFC South is the focus of Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m., Fox) as the Tennessee Titans (6-2) try to cling to their division lead. They host the second-place Colts (5-3) at Nissan Stadium.
The Titans’ offensive line must protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill – something they struggled to do last week in a narrow win over the Chicago Bears.
The Colts’ defense, though, is among the NFL’s best in sacks, as well as fewest passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed. In fact, Indianapolis has neutralized Titans running back Derrick Henry over their past dozen meetings and kept him from topping 100 yards in five of their past six meetings.
The game opened with Tennessee as 1-point favorites. However, the line has danced from Tennessee -2.5 to +1 throughout the week, and on game day, it is a pick’em at most sportsbooks. The total, meanwhile, has dropped from an opening of 49 to the current 48.5 as Nashville expects a cool and clear night with minimal wind.