NFL Week 6: Skidding Washington Meets Hapless Giants

Posted on October 14, 2020

The Washington Football Team’s 2020 season sputters along and enters Week 6 with some rare good news.

Trying to snap its four-game losing skid, Washington (1-4) gets a matchup against one of the few teams with a worse record. Yes, Washington heads north this weekend for a clash with its winless NFC East rivals, the New York Giants (0-5).

Hey, it’s something.

And at this point, following WFT’s downright ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, we’ll take anything we can get.

Sunday’s game (1 p.m. FOX) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., features the two worst offenses in the NFC. Not surprisingly, oddsmakers and the betting public have set their scoring expectations exceedingly low.

Let’s take a look at the Week 6 matchup.

Washington vs. New York total and odds

Other than the Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers game, no Week 6 matchup has a total as paltry as Washington vs. New York.

The total opened with an over-under of 44.5, and bettors had already pushed it down to 43 by Wednesday. And weather has nothing to do with it; East Rutherford is forecast to be sunny and in the 60s on Sunday.

Instead, Virginia sports betting enthusiasts are no doubt just finding it difficult to ignore the two teams’ inability to find the endzone.

Here’s how WFT and the Giants rank in several categories among all 32 NFL teams:

 WASHINGTONNY GIANTS
Wins1 (T-21st)0 (T-30th)
Total points89 (29th)81 (30th)
Scoring differential-53 (31st)-52 (30th)
Total yards1,315 (31st)1,412 (28th)
Passing yards908 (28th)1,017 (23rd)
Rushing yards407 (30th)395 (31st)
Yards per play4.2 (32nd)4.7 (29th)

As for the spread, the Giants opened as 3.5-point favorites. However, early money has come in on Washington. In fact, as of Wednesday, the line had crossed a key number, and Washington is now just 2.5-point underdogs.

As for the moneyline, the Giants are in the neighborhood of -135 at most sportsbooks. The comeback on Washington is +125.

At those odds, a $100 wager on NY would net the bettor $74.07 in winnings. Conversely, a winning wager on Washington would have a $125 payoff.

That gives the Giants an implied winning probability of 57.5% and Washington 44.4%.

WFT vs. NY Giants breakdown

So, what are the reasons for the Football Team‘s four-game skid? You could spend a full afternoon putting a list together, but the quarterback position seems to be the most pressing concern.

In fact, that QB carousel has stolen most of the team’s headlines this week.

Head coach Ron Rivera benched 2019 No. 1 draft pick Dwayne Haskins after just four games. As a result, Kyle Allen got the start this past week, but an arm injury forced him out of last week’s loss to the Rams before halftime.

Alex Smith subbed in from there. It was his first appearance since November 2018, when he snapped and mangled his right leg in a game. A horrific recovery period that required 17 additional surgeries then followed.

Despite the joy of seeing Smith back under center, the results just weren’t there. Both Smith (9-for-17, 37 yards, 58.7 QB rating) and Allen (9-for-13, 74 yards, 83.5 QB rating) failed to impress in the lopsided 30-10 loss.

Still, Rivera said Allen will remain the starter if he’s healthy come Sunday.

However, regardless of the QB, the Washington defense needs to provide some protection. The Rams sacked the WFT eight times last week. In fact, WAS offensive line is second-worst in the league when it comes to sacks allowed (4.2/game).

The Giants, meanwhile, may have their best shot at their first win of 2020. Head coach Joe Judge is 0-5 this season, but four of the five losses have come via 10 points or fewer. In fact, behind a competent performance from QB Daniel Jones, as well as big games from running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Darius Slayton, the Giants were leading the Cowboys 34-31 with two minutes to go on Sunday. However, Dallas rallied for two late field goals to seal the win.

With those bright spots, as well as home-field advantage on Sunday, the Giants are favored for the first time this season.

Other Week 6 games of note to Virginia

Here’s what Week 6 offers for Virginia football fans’ other favorite NFL teams:

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3)

After a drubbing of the Buffalo Bills, the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans (4-0) put their undefeated record on the line against some conference rivals, the Houston Texans (1-4). Now, though, Tennessee has just five days to recover from Tuesday’s COVID-delayed game for Sunday’s follow-up (1 p.m., CBS).

Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Co., who are 3-point favorites, will have their hands full against the Texans, who halted a four-fight skid with a 30-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The victory came under new head coach Romeo Crennel.

Baltimore Ravens (-9) at Philadelphia Eagles

The Baltimore Ravens (4-1), one of this week’s biggest favorites, look for their third straight win when they meet the struggling Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1) on Sunday (1 p.m., CBS). Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looked a bit rusty in an uneven 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but the Baltimore defense was as effective as ever.

With the Eagles’ injury troubles and QB Carson Wentz‘s season-long interception woes, bettors have heavily favored Baltimore in early Week 6 wagering.

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-2.5)

The Carolina Panthers (3-2) are in a three-way tie as NFC South leaders. Now, they have a chance to break away from the pack when they meet the NFC North’s Chicago Bears (4-1) on Sunday (1 p.m., FOX) as small favorites. Both teams are riding high and coming off solid Week 5 victories.

Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater (313 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) looked sharp last week against the Atlanta Falcons. And with injured running back Christian McCaffrey nearing a return, possibly as soon as this week, Carolina will soon get even more loaded.

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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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