Two long-time rivals looking for quarterback consistency meet this weekend with a Week 7 clash between the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys.
Fans would usually heavily anticipate Sunday’s game (1 p.m., Fox). After all, Washington and Dallas have one of the most notorious rivalries in all of sports.
In 2020, though, they’ve each struggled mightily. As a result, what is usually one of the NFL’s highest-profile matchups is a can-miss proposition for much of the nation.
In fairness, the entire NFC East has been a disaster. The division has posted a dismal 5-18-1 combined record. The Cowboys (2-4) are in first place while WFT (1-5) is stuck in last place.
The good news is obvious for Washington: They’re still in contention and just one win away from a likely share of first place.
So, what should Virginia sports betting enthusiasts expect on Sunday? According to the latest odds, we’ll have a close one at FedExField. Also expect each team’s quarterback – Washington’s Kyle Allen and Dallas’ Andy Dalton – to be under the microscope.
WFT vs. Dallas Cowboys total and odds
Based on midweek betting, the WAS vs. DAL matchup is one of the least popular wagering options in all of NFL Week 7. Bettors have flocked to higher profile matchups.
Dallas opened as 3-point favorites. However, by Thursday, the game had become a virtual pick’em.
Dallas backers are clearly willing to overlook the Cowboys’ early-season struggles. Those difficulties included the team’s uninspired 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals during Monday Night Football earlier this week.
After all, the Cowboys are 0-6 against the spread (ATS) in 2020. Washington, meanwhile, is 3-3 after narrowly covering as 2-point underdogs in a mistake-prone 20-19 defeat to the New York Giants last week.
If you’re betting on this game, be sure to shop around to find the best spread and moneyline options. Depending on the book, the moneyline on each team could be available anywhere from +100 to -115.
As for the total, perhaps oddsmakers underestimated bettors’ skepticism about these two teams. The total opened sub-50 – 49 at most sportsbooks. However, it had dropped all the way to 46 by Thursday.
Washington vs. Dallas Cowboys breakdown
Washington isn’t the only team with quarterback woes.
Dallas is still reeling from the Week 5 injury that sidelined quarterback Dak Prescott. The Pro Bowler had season-ending surgery due to a compound fracture and dislocated right ankle.
Prescott’s injury opened the door for Andy Dalton. The former and longtime Cincinnati Bengals quarterback had an uneven performance in Week 6 (34-for-54, 266 yards, 2 INTs).
However, despite Washington’s struggles this season, its defense has been quietly solid. The team allows just 207 passing yards per game (second-best in the NFL) and just 337 yards per game overall (sixth-best in the NFL).
The WFT offense, meanwhile, will look for some improvement from quarterback Kyle Allen. In his first full game since replacing Dwayne Haskins, Allen completed 73.8% of his passes (31-for-42). He also tallied 280 yards with 2 TDs and one INT.
Despite Allen’s solid performance in Week 6, the WAS running backs could take the lead in Week 7. That’s the result of the Dallas defense, which allows 173.3 rushing yards per game (second-worst in the NFL). Expect Washington running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic to shoulder most of the running work.
Other Week 7 games of note to Virginia
Here’s what Week 7 offers for Virginia football fans’ other favorite NFL teams:
Carolina Panthers (+7.5) at New Orleans Saints
Last week, the Chicago Bears snapped the Carolina Panthers’ three-game winning streak. On Sunday (1 p.m., Fox), the Panthers (3-3) get no reprieve and travel to Louisiana to meet the New Orleans Saints (3-2), who have won two straight.
The Saints’ Drew Brees remains a top-10 quarterback in terms of efficiency. Additionally, running back Alvin Kamara is New Orleans’ top rusher (281 yards) and receiver (395 yards). Well-rested after a bye week, the Saints are hefty 7.5-point favorites over Carolina this week. The total has held steady at 51.
New Orleans can clearly score points. In fact, the Saints are 5-0 hitting the over this year. However, they’ll face a tough Carolina defense that ranks 6th in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed (218.8/game).
Additionally, the Saints have struggled to slow down opposing offenses. That’s good news for Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater, who had his worst game of the year (16-for-29, 216 yards, 2 INTs) last week after a commendable early-2020.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
In the featured Week 7 matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) hit the road for a battle of unbeatens against the Tennessee Titans (5-0). Sunday’s game (1 p.m., CBS) is just the fifth in NFL history to feature two undefeated teams in Week 7 or later.
Pittsburgh opened as 1.5-point favorites. However, though Pittsburgh is getting far more bets, bettors are putting much more money on Tennessee in midweek betting. That’s usually a sign of sharp money. It’s resulted in Pittsburgh slipping to 1 to 1.5-point underdogs at most sportsbooks.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry have been gelling this season. As a result, Tennessee has scored 42 points in each of their past two games, and they’ve scored at least 31 points in four straight. Additionally, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB James Conner have led the PIT offense to back-to-back 38-point games.
Despite both teams’ recent scoring explosions, the total for Sunday’s game has slipped from an opening of 52.5 to 50.5 by Thursday. In fact, more than 90% of bettors’ money had been wagered on the under.