For the second time in a three-week span, the Washington Football Team is set to clash with the New York Giants.
On Oct. 18, Washington ventured to East Rutherford, NJ, for a 20-19 loss that was the result of a failed two-point conversion in the game’s final seconds.
After WFT quarterback du jour Kyle Allen engineered a 75-yard drive for a touchdown, head coach Ron Rivera rolled the dice. The two-point conversion failed, but Rivera was unapologetic afterward.
“I was going for it, he said. “The intent is to learn how to win football games.”
Unfortunately, WAS failed to gain any winning knowledge in the loss to the NY Giants. However, the following game, they cruised to a victory and snapped a five-game skid. In fairness, though, the win came over the Dallas Cowboys. It’s one of the few teams ranked worse than Washington.
Still, progress is progress, and Washington (2-5) now takes a little momentum into its rematch with the NY Giants (1-7), whose only victory of 2020 remains that first meeting with the WFT.
Sunday’s game (1 p.m., Fox) at FedExField gives Washington home-field advantage. Can the team get some revenge with it?
Washington vs. New York Total and Odds
As of Thursday afternoon, no game on the NFL Week 9 slate had drawn less betting interest than the WAS vs. NYG matchup.
But what about us hardcores who know damn well we’re going to wager on the game anyway?
Well, don’t expect a barnburner.
The Washington vs. Giants rematch opened with one of the week’s lowest totals. The over-under debuted at 43 and has remained relatively steady there. Perhaps Sunday’s weather – it’s gonna be gorgeous in Landover, MD – is one reason that public money is favoring the over in this matchup.
As for the spread, the Giants, who are 5-3 against the spread this season, opened as three-point favorites. However, it was down to 2.5 points at most sportsbooks by Thursday afternoon.
Bettors are clearly willing to overlook very recent results. Washington (4-3 ATS) is coming off a bye week and should be well-rested. New York, meanwhile, is coming off a short week after losing to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Monday Night Football.
Yet, bettors aren’t forgetting the two teams’ first meeting last month, and the total overall betting dollars have heavily favored the Giants.
WFT vs. NY Giants Breakdown
Perhaps surprisingly, despite being two of the season’s biggest flops, WAS and NYG are still very much alive in the division hunt.
The NFC East sports an NFL-worst .364 winning percentage, and the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles have a losing record (3-4-1).
However, that’s clearly good news for Washington and New York, who could easily take control of the division if either can catch a hot streak during this middle part of the season.
As for Sunday’s game, Giants QB Daniel Jones looks for his fourth straight win over Washington – the only team he’s beat more than once. However, he needs the Giants’ offensive line to provide him some protection. So far in 2020, they’ve struggled to accomplish that feat (the first WAS-NY game notwithstanding).
Plus, with Jones’ turnover struggles in 2020, Washington’s defense should have some opportunities to put some of its own points on the board.
As for the Washington offense, QB Kyle Allen is starting to settle into his role after recently taking over for benched Dwayne Haskins Jr.
Additionally, rookie RB Antonio Gibson is coming off a career-best performance (128 rushing yards). And second-year wide receiver Terry McLaurin (577 yards, 2 TDs) is becoming a veteran presence on one of the NFL’s youngest teams.
Other Week 9 Games of Note to Virginia
Here’s what NFL Week 9 offers for Virginia football fans’ other favorite teams:
Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Indianapolis Colts
The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) head to the Hoosier State as road favorites for a game against an Indianapolis Colts (5-2) squad that’s recently found its stride.
Heading into Sunday’s game (1 p.m., CBS), Baltimore is feeling the sting of last week’s 28-24 loss to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Indianapolis, meanwhile, has won five of six, and the team is coming off a season-high 41 points in last week’s victory over the Detroit Lions. The Ravens’ usually-steady defense will have to contain Colts QB Philip Rivers, who’s coming off two of his best performances of 2020.
Bettors really targeted this game in early-week wagering, though the betting has been relatively balanced and the line hasn’t moved much. The total, though, has climbed from an opening of 45 to 46.5/47 at most sportsbooks.
Carolina Panthers (+10.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Carolina Panthers (3-5) have a tall task this week as they hit the road for a game against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs (7-1).
Look, after three straight losses, the Panthers are reeling as they head into Sunday’s game (1 p.m., Fox). But there’s some good news. Christian McCaffrey is set to return from an ankle injury. He rushed for nearly 1,400 yards last year but hasn’t played since Week 2 of this year. If he’s back in form, he could exploit a Chiefs defense that’s struggled to stop the run.
Bettors have every reason to wager against the Panthers. After all, they’re on the road, they’re big ‘dogs, and they’re coming off a loss. But contrarian sharps apparently see opportunity and have been siding with Carolina to pull off the upset with a double-digit spread.
Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans (-6)
The Tennessee Titans (5-2) need a victory and some stability. Unfortunately for them, they’re meeting the totally unpredictable Chicago Bears (5-3) during Sunday’s matchup (1 p.m., Fox).
Tennessee was riding high and sitting 5-0 before a 27-24 loss to the Steelers and then last week’s 31-20 defeat to lowly Cincinnati Bengals. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry remain sharp. However, the Tennessee defense has struggled to slow down opposing quarterbacks, which is good news for Bears QB Nick Foles, who – like all of the Chicago squad – has struggled with consistency.
The spread on this game has been stable all week with the Titans as 6-point to 6.5-point favorites. The total has also held steady at 46.5.