Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden.
- Redskins-Jaguars has an opening over/under from another era, as the total of just 36 is the lowest since December 2012.
- The two teams lost their respective Week 14 games by a combined score of 70-25.
- Cody Kessler is the likely starter for Jacksonville, while Washington could turn to Josh Johnson for his first start since 2011.
Thirty-six points: That’s how low the bar has been set by the oddsmakers for the “Bettors Are the Only Ones Watching This Game” matchup featuring the Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars.
No, you didn’t take a time-machine back to a different era. Although over/unders pushing 60 have been practically commonplace this season, these two Bad News Bears-esque squads aren’t expected to put on an offensive show.
There hasn’t been a total this low since Dec. 23, 2012, when Seattle-Arizona closed at 35.5.
Low over/unders like this used to be common, but not anymore. Here are the number of games with totals of 36 or lower by season (via our data at Bet Labs).
- 2003: 30
- 2004: 46
- 2005: 54
- 2006: 42
- 2007: 32
- 2008: 16
- 2009: 13
- 2010: 7
- 2011: 7
- 2012: 5
- 2013-present: 0
Those final five games in 2012 all went over, leading to the near-extinction of such low totals. But the 2018 Redskins and Jaguars are unique, creating the perfect storm for an over/under this low.
Washington started its third quarterback of the season against the Giants: Mark Sanchez. Given his performance, it’s quite possible that the Redskins will start Josh Johnson, who came in for Washington after Sanchez passed for an abysmal 6-of-14 for 38 yards, two interceptions and no touchdown.
Johnson, a 32-year-old-veteran, started five games for the Buccaneers back in the day, but has no starts since 2011. All 16 of Washington’s points in Week 14 came on Johnson-led drives.
Jacksonville is starting its backup by choice, as the Blake Bortles era seems to be over. Cody Kessler beat the Colts two Sundays ago, but scored six points in the process. Unfortunately for Kessler, his defense failed to bail him out of another single-digit offensive performance in Jacksonville’s 30-9 loss in Tennessee.
The Redskins and Jaguars have top 10 defenses in points allowed per game, and given their respectively lackluster offenses of late, it’s a real possibility that they fail to combine for 40 points.
I’ll be interested to see how the public bets this total. Is it too low to take the under, or are these offenses too scary to put money on the over? Don’t be afraid to lay off this one.