Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins
Kickoff: 10 a.m. PT
Is there a worse situation around the league right now than in Washington? It would be difficult to argue otherwise.
The skill players on offense for the ‘Skins aren’t bad but with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins under center for the rest of the campaign, the ceiling is certainly lower for the foreseeable future. And it wasn’t high to begin with considering the offense has managed an NFL-low 12.5 points per game.
This will be the Ohio State product’s third start at QB. The first two, along with a couple of relief appearances, left much to be desired, as Haskins will enter this contest after amassing a poor 58.9 passer rating.
Sure, he did throw a pair of touchdowns last week — the first two of his career — but they also came in fourth-quarter garbage time of what was a 34-3 whooping. Haskins also threw another pick, giving him five in 79 total throws.
As I wrote about for his first start (in that victorious Redskins-Bills Under), Haskins simply isn’t ready for this stint as starter just yet. His two starts really further enforced that. Best of all, it contributes to interim head coach Bill Callahan continuing to put a heavy emphasis on the running game, which is what you love to see when on an under.
To counter that, the Lions will pose a formidable resistance for such a game plan. Their rush defense may rank in the bottom third of football in yards allowed per game (124.3) but this is a group that has been much improved lately.
In three of the last four weeks, Detroit held its opponent to below 100 yards on the ground. In particular, they held superstar running backs Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott to just 109 yards combined on 35 carries. That’s just a meager 3.1 average.
The Lions have their own backup QB going in Jeff Driskel, who has been exceptionally better than Haskins but hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, either. He strung together a fine 86.5 passer rating in his two assignments.
After last week’s emergence, though, we also might see an extra reliance on the running game. Bo Scarbrough made his NFL debut and looked rather impressive, compiling 55 yards on 14 carries to go with a score. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick gives Detroit a real option after seeing the backfield get torched by injury this year.
While the stats may not show it, the Redskins carry along a decent defense that is laden with studs (Ryan Kerrigan, Landon Collins, Josh Norman, Jonathan Allen). Daron Payne likely won’t be active but I still think this unit can be solid enough for our under hopes.
Definitely buy the half-point like I did when placing your bet, as 41 is one of the most important key numbers when it comes to football over/unders. That will protect you in the event of a 24-17/27-14/31-10 outcome. Play: UNDER 41 (-120)
Last Week: Bengals-Raiders Under 48.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 NFL Over/Under Betting Record*: 7-5, +1 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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