Washington Football Team NFL Betting Preview: New Name, Same Low Expectations

Posted on: August 24, 2020, 06:31h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2020, 10:51h.

Washington’s football team got rid of its ill-favored name. The next challenge will be fixing its ugly on-the-field product.

Adrian Peterson Dwayne Haskins Washington Football Team
Washington’s offense will be carried by veteran running back Adrian Peterson (28) and young quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7). (Image: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The team is coming off its fourth consecutive losing season. After going 3-13 last year, it hired esteemed coach Ron Rivera to clean up the mess. It beefed up the roster with a busy free agency, then used the second pick of the draft on Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young.

Still, Washington is among the longest of long shots to win this year’s Super Bowl, with odds ranging from +15,000 at PointsBet, BetMGM, and DraftKings to +30,000 at Westgate SuperBook.

Over/Under: 5 Wins

Any significant improvement from Washington will depend on significant improvement from quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The 15th pick in last year’s draft, Haskins posted a meager 76.1 passer rating.

With that, most sportsbooks have Washington’s over/under set at five wins. PointsBet, for instance, has -135 on the under and +110 on the over. William Hill is the exception at 5.5 wins (-115 over; -105 under).

There’s not a ton of confidence in the community that Washington’s going to be able to right the ship this season,” Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, told Casino.org.

“We do have a fairly large liability on them. But that’s in large part due to long odds,” Mannino continued. “We had them at 200/1 pre-draft, and they’re now at 150/1 after picking up Chase Young, which still indicates a pretty steep hill to climb and not a lot of belief among the betting public that they’re going to be able to pull it off.”

It’s a steep hill to climb in the NFC East, too, behind favored Dallas, the defending champion Eagles, and rebuilding Giants. Washington is the consensus last-place pick, with odds ranging from +1,200 at BetMGM to +2,000 at PointsBet.

But the return of quarterback Alex Smith is an interesting subplot. Last week, he practiced for the first time since suffering a broken leg in November 2018 so severe that amputation was considered. At DraftKings, Smith and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are the Comeback Player of the Year favorites at +300.

In the Chase

With Chase Young, Washington gained one of the best pass-rushing prospects in years. All he did at Ohio State in 2019 was finish No. 1 in the nation with 16.5 sacks, No. 2 with 21.5 tackles for losses, and No. 1 with seven forced fumbles.

With Young, veteran standout Ryan Kerrigan and 2019 first-round pick Montez Sweat, the Redskins could have one of the NFL’s best pass rushes. Young is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, checking in as low as +200 at DraftKings.

He’s one of four potential new starters on defense, with linebacker Thomas Davis, cornerback Kendall Fuller, and safety Sean Davis added in free agency.

With little expected of the Redskins, the odds are long on Rivera winning Coach of the Year. His odds range from +1,600 at Fan Duel to +2,800 at BetMGM.

Running back Antonio Gibson is an intriguing long shot to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. With the release of presumptive starter Derrius Guice, Gibson will enter the season as the No. 2 behind aging star Adrian Peterson, and could get a lot of work. Gibson is +5,000 at BetMGM.

Editor’s Note: This is the 12th of 32 NFL team previews and concludes a look at the four-team NFC East.