The Washington Football Team hopes a change in quarterback from Dwayne Haskins to Kyle Allen can help end its three-game skid when the Los Angeles Rams come to town.
The two NFC teams meet this Sunday, Oct. 11 (1 p.m., FOX) at FedExField in Landover, MD as part of NFL Week 5.
Washington (1-3) hasn’t tasted victory since a Week 1 triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles. Meanwhile, the LA Rams (3-1) recently rebounded from a narrow 35-32 loss to the Buffalo Bills with a grueling Week 4 win over the New York Giants.
The opening NFL wagering odds favored the Rams by 9 to 9.5 points. However, even before the announced quarterback change to Kyle Allen, the line was beginning to shrink. As of Thursday morning, it was down to 7 to 7.5 points, depending on the sportsbook.
Virginia sportsbooks won’t open until January. However, if you’re heading to a legal NFL betting location this weekend, what do you need to know about the Washington Football Team vs. Los Angeles Rams?
Let’s take a look at the Week 5 matchup.
Washington vs. LA Rams odds with Kyle Allen at QB
Although the Washington vs. LA line has been active, the bettors’ preference has not been. The majority of the total bets and total betting dollars have favored the Rams.
In the NFL, it’s rare to be a road favorite, and it’s even rarer to do so by a full touchdown. However, despite LA having to travel across the country to the East Coast for the third time in four weeks, NFL bettors aren’t big on Washington.
On the moneyline, Los Angeles is available in the neighborhood of -350 at most sportsbooks. The comeback on Washington is +285.
At those odds, a winning $100 bet on the Rams would net you $28.57. A successful $100 bet on Washington, meanwhile, would earn you $285 in winnings.
The total for the game has danced a bit between 45 and 46. However, Sunday’s weather forecast, which shows the possibility for rain and wind, could impact that over/under line as we get closer to kickoff and possibly push the total to the low 40s.
How will a losing skid and an early-season quarterback change affect Washington? Should LA really big such favorites?
Let’s jump into the matchup.
Washington vs. Los Angeles breakdown
Washington undoubtedly could have one of the easiest roads to the NFL playoffs. After all, the NFC East has been a total letdown so far in 2020. In 16 combined games, Washington, Philadelphia, the NY Giants and Dallas Cowboys have combined for just three victories.
Someone is going to win the division and move into the postseason, so why not Washington? That could be one reason Washington head coach Ron Rivera – perhaps a bit rashly – made a quarterback change this week.
Dwayne Haskins, Washington’s No. 1 draft pick in 2019, was coming off a season-high 314 yards passing and 71.1% completion percentage before the demotion. Kyle Allen, who went 5-7 as a starter with the Carolina Panthers in 2019, will take the helm at QB this week.
Washington rookie RB Antonio Gibson has been finding his rhythm both rushing and receiving, so don’t be surprised if Allen finds him often this week.
However, the story of Sunday’s game could be LA’s offense, not Washington’s. Through four games in 2020, the Washington defense is giving up 130 yards rushing per game (ninth-worst in the NFL). The Rams, meanwhile, are seventh-best in the NFL with 142.3 yards rushing per game.
LA’s Darrell Henderson (222 yards, 5.2 yards/carry) and Malcolm Brown (183 yards, 4.1 yards/carry) should again get most of the carries. They were both relatively quiet in the near-disaster against the Giants last week, but expect a healthy workload against the WAS defense.
Additionally, expect Cooper Kupp (297 yards, 12.9 yards/reception) and Robert Woods (229 yards, 12.1 yards/reception) to be among LA quarterback Jared Goff ’s favorite targets. The QB is coming off a season-low 200 yards passing and 57.6 QB rating, but the Pro Bowler almost always rallies after a down week.
Washington could still salvage this season thanks to a weak NFC East. But Allen and the rest of the WFT need a statement win, and the favored LA Rams offer a perfect opportunity.
Other NFL Week 5 matchups of note to Virginia
Here’s what NFL Week 5 offers for Virginia football fans’ other favorite NFL teams:
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-12.5)
All eyes will be on rookie quarterback Joe Burrow as his Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1) head into Sunday’s AFC North matchup (1 p.m., CBS) with the Baltimore Ravens (3-1). The Ravens are rightful heavy 12.5-point home favorites, especially in light of the Bengals’ struggles to stop the run. As a result, expect Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson to hand off frequently to Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram when he’s not running it himself.
However, the Baltimore defense must be ready for a surging Burrow, who’s passed for 300+ yards in three straight starts. Additionally, Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon will look to build off a 151-yard performance against Jacksonville last week. The total for the game opened at 52 and now sits at 51.
Carolina Panthers (+2) at Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers (2-2) look for their third straight victory when they head to Georgia for a road game with the winless Atlanta Falcons (0-4). Sunday’s NFC South clash (1 p.m., FOX) presents Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater and running back Mike Davis a great opportunity to extend their winning streak. After all, the Falcons have surrendered 34.5 points per game in 2020, and their season appears to be in turmoil.
Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn could be on an awfully short leash heading into this home matchup. The over/under for the game has bounced between 54 and 54.5. It’s one of the highest totals of the week, so expect the scoreboard to light up on Sunday.
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans were scheduled to take on the Buffalo Bills this week in Nashville. However, Tennessee’s toughest opponent this season remains COVID-19. Failed tests have already disrupted the Titans’ 2020 campaign, and this week’s game against Buffalo appears unlikely to go on as planned as a result.
Stay tuned to the latest NFL news to get updates on the game. As of Thursday morning, sportsbooks weren’t taking wagers on the game.