Bengals vs. Washington Odds & Picks: How To Bet Sunday’s Total
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Terry McLaurin.
Bengals vs. Washington Odds
Joe Burrow and the Bengals head to the nation’s capital on Sunday for a matchup with the Washington Football Team.
Cincinnati came back down to earth last Sunday, losing to the undefeated Steelers. Before the Pittsburgh game, Burrow and the Bengals’ offense were starting to finally show they belong among the top half of NFL attacks. Burrow will have a tough task ahead of him against Washington’s strong secondary.
Washington almost pulled a crazy comeback win in Detroit in Alex Smith’s first start in more than two seasons. The Football Team is starting to build something special on the defensive side of the ball, while Smith looks like his old self again.
Washington could be a team to keep an eye on for the second half of the season. But are they work backing on Sunday? Let’s examine the matchup.
Even though Burrow is throwing for a ton of yards, he hasn’t been very efficient at 6.7 yards per pass attempt. The problem for the No. 1 overall pick is he hasn’t had much time to throw because of one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. The Bengals’ offensive line has already allowed Burrow to get sacked 32 times in nine games.
The good news for Burrow is Cincinnati has a solid group of receivers. Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and A.J. Green all have more than 60 targets through the first nine games. Higgins has been the best receiver, averaging almost 10 yards per target. The rookie had 115 receiving yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh last week.
Friday brought some bad news for the Bengals’ offense, when it was announced that starting running back Joe Mixon was placed on Injured Reserve. Cincinnati is 14th in rushing success (per Sharp Football Stats) and missing Mixon is going to have an effect, as Giovani Bernard is carrying the ball for only 3.6 yards per carry.
The Bengals defense has one huge issue: They give up way too many explosive plays. They’re dead last in explosive rushing allowed and second-last in explosive passing allowed. And even though Washington’s offense hasn’t been very consistent, this will be the worst defense that the Football Team played all season long.
The biggest problem for Cincinnati is their linebacking corps. They had the worst-graded linebacking group over the last three years according to Pro Football Focus and haven’t been able to find any production so far this season.
The Bengals’ have also been hit by the injury bug on their defense, as tackle Geno Atkins, cornerback LeShaun Sims and nose tackle Xavier Williams are all questionable for Sunday.
Washington Football Team
The Football Team has gone through a lot of adversity on the offensive side of the ball. It is now on its third quarterback, and the unit has suffered because of it. Washington is near the bottom of the NFL in both passing and rushing success.
However, Smith lit up the Lions in his first start in two years, putting up a career high 390 yards on 55 attempts last week. Smith should be able to put up similar numbers on Sunday given how bad Cincinnati’s defense has been against the pass.
The biggest issue for Washington on offense is that they don’t have a stable running back. Rookie Antonio Gibson has emerged as the starter, but he’s averaging only 4.2 yards per carry this season. However, they should be able to break off a few big runs since the Bengals are dead last in explosive rushing allowed.
Washington’s defensive has been much improved in 2020, mainly due to how good they’ve been against the pass. The Football Team is third in defensive passing success and is allowing only 6.6 yards per attempt. However, Washington has been prone to giving up big plays, ranking 23rd in explosive passing allowed.
Washington has been pretty average vs. the run, allowing 4.3 yards per carry. However, the Bengals run game shouldn’t be much of a factor with Mixon out.
Even though the Washington defense has been stellar vs. the pass, Burrow and the Bengals’ passing attack will be able to break off a number of big plays. On the flip side, if Smith is able to match his level of play from last week, he could repeat his career-high numbers against the Bengals’ weak secondary.
I have the total projected at 52.31 points, so there’s value on the over at 46.5 points and would play it up to 47.5.
PICK: Over 46.5 points