Alex Smith Questionable: How Quarterback’s Injury is Impacting Washington-Tampa Bay Betting Line
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Smith
The Washington Football officially designated quarterback Alex Smith as questionable ahead of Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith (calf) stretched but didn’t practice on Thursday. Head coach Ron Rivera called him “a little bit sore”.
With the possibility of Taylor Heinicke starting for Washington, the betting market has lengthened the spread between these two teams.
The Buccaneers opened as a 7.5-point favorites before quickly moving to 8. Following the Smith news, the line reached 9.5 for the first time this week. At time of publish, the market ranged from 8.5-to-9.5 (click here for live odds).
Smith started and played the whole game in Week 17 against the Eagles, a 20-14 playoff-clinching win. Smith’s mobility was limited as he threw for 162 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Heinicke appeared in Washington’s 20-13 loss to Carolina in Week 16, completing 12-of-19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. In three seasons, he’s appeared in eight games and started one.
There’s a chance both players will play. Rivera mentioned the idea of rotation quarterbacks, saying “it’s something we seriously have to look at”.
Nearly 60% of bets and money wagered has landed on Tampa Bay in what will be Tom Brady’s first playoff game as a wild card. The Bucs are awaiting news on Mike Evans, who was injured in Week 17 and is considered a game-time decision.
According to our NFL PRO projections, Tampa Bay should be a 7-point favorite. Our 44.5 projection matches the posted total, which is down two points from the 46.5-point opener.