Point Spreads Indicate Redskins Won’t Win 7 Games in 2018

Point Spreads Indicate Redskins Won’t Win 7 Games in 2018 article feature image

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alex Smith (center) and Kevin Hogan (left)

  • The Washington Redskins finished 2017 with seven wins, and their 2018 win total is set at that same number.
  • Converting their 2018 points spreads into win probabilities gives them a projected win total of 6.37, meaning there's value in betting under 7 wins.

The Washington Redskins came into 2017 with a Vegas win total of 7.5. At 7-9, they weren’t able to come through for over bettors, and perhaps as a result, oddsmakers have dropped the Skins’ 2018 total to 7.

Some books are offering this total with equal juice (-115) on both sides, but around most of the market, juice is on the under — as high as -140.

Of course, this won’t be the same Redskins team as the 2017 bunch. Kirk Cousins is out and Alex Smith is in under center, but he won’t exactly have the easiest path to seven wins.

Our strength of schedule analysis gives Washington the fifth-most difficult 2018 schedule, and has the Redskins losing 0.44 wins based on their schedule alone.

As last year’s third-place NFC East team, the Redskins get to play the other third-place finishers in the NFC, which you’d think would bring some relatively easy opponents. Unfortunately for Washington, those opponents include the Falcons and a (likely) healthy Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

They’ll also play the AFC and NFC South divisions — so they’d have the Falcons anyway — which bring six of eight opponents with 2018 win totals of at least 8.

By looking at the point spreads for every 2018 Redskins matchup, we can use a conversion tool to come up with implied win probabilities for each game. Adding those up will give a projected record that sheds significant value on Washington’s win total.

Week 1: at Cardinals

CG Tech line: WAS +1

Approx. win probability: 48.75%

The Cardinals were the final third-place finisher from last season, and certainly the easiest opponent of that bunch. Still, being on the road makes the Redskins slights dogs in Week 1.

Projected record: 0.49-0.51

Week 2: vs. Colts

CG Tech line: WAS -3

Approx. win probability: 59.37%

Believe it or not, this is the only time all season the Skins are favored by a field goal. In any case, they should have at least one win heading into Week 3.

Projected record: 1.08-0.92

Week 3: vs. Packers

CG Tech line: WAS +3

Approx. win probability: 40.63%

This is definitely the unluckiest draw for Washington in 2018. A home matchup against another third-place finisher should generally mean Washington would be laying at least a couple of points. Against a healthy Aaron Rodgers, that won’t be the case, of course.

Projected record: 1.49-1.51

Week 4: Bye

Projected record: 1.49-1.51

Week 5: at Saints

CG Tech line: WAS +7.5

Approx. win probability: 21.94%

This matchup offered us one of the best games of 2017, though the Redskins might not agree. Leading 31-16 with less than three minutes to go, Washington gave up 15 unanswered points and ultimately lost 34-31 in overtime.

Projected record: 1.71-2.29

Week 6: vs. Panthers

CG Tech line: WAS -1

Approx. win probability: 51.25%

The Skins are favored for just the second time so far. Despite that, they’re actually projected to have slightly more than two wins at this point.

Projected record: 2.22-2.78

Week 7: vs. Cowboys

CG Tech line: WAS -1

Approx. win probability: 51.25%

As 1-point favorites over Dallas at home, the Redskins’ most likely record through six games is 3-3. Huh, not so bad.

Projected record: 2.73-3.27

Week 8: at Giants

CG Tech line: WAS +3.5

Approx. win probability: 35.73%

Here’s where things start to go south. From Week 8 on, the Redskins are favored in only one game.

Projected record: 3.09-3.91

Week 9: vs. Falcons

CG Tech line: WAS +2.5

Approx. win probability: 45.52%

As underdogs of less than a field goal, the Skins have a decent shot in this game, according to oddsmakers. At the halfway point of the season, Washington’s most likely record is still 4-4, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Projected record: 3.54-4.46

Week 10: at Buccaneers

CG Tech line: WAS +3.5

Approx. win probability: 35.73%

Even against the lowly Bucs, the Skins are more than 3-point road dogs. Being beyond that key number means their win probability really takes a hit.

Projected record: 3.90-5.10

Week 11: vs. Texans

CG Tech line: WAS +3

Approx. win probability: 40.63%

Even though the Skins are at home, they’re still field-goal underdogs to the Texans, who should be much improved through the health of J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson.

Projected record: 4.31-5.69

Week 12: at Cowboys

CG Tech line: WAS +6

Approx. win probability: 29.35%

Despite being slight favorites over the Cowboys at home, the Skins are 6-point dogs on the road. That gives them less than a 30% chance to win the game.

Projected record: 4.60-6.40

Week 13: at Eagles

CG Tech line: WAS +7.5

Approx. win probability: 21.94%

It’s even worse against the Super Bowl champs. Underdogs by more than a touchdown, the Redskins win this game just over one-fifth of the time.

Projected record: 4.82-7.18

Week 14: vs. Giants

CG Tech line: WAS -1.5

Approx. win probability: 52.50%

The final time the Skins are favored comes in Week 14. With the spread less than a field goal, however, they’ve only got slightly more than a 50% chance of winning.

Projected record: 5.35-7.65

Week 15: at Jaguars

CG Tech line: WAS +8

Approx. win probability: 20.86%

This is projected to be the biggest challenge for the Redskins in 2018. As 8-point dogs, they aren’t given much of a chance in this one.

Projected record: 5.55-8.45

Week 16: at Titans

CG Tech line: WAS +5.5

Approx. win probability: 31.05%

It doesn’t get much easier for Washington in Week 16. Its win probability rises a bit above 30%, but the Redskins still head into the final week of the season with at least nine losses.

Projected record: 5.87-9.13

Week 17: vs. Eagles

CG Tech line: N/A

The uncertainty of Week 17 keeps these games off the board, but in this case, it really doesn’t matter what the line is. At this point we have the Redskins at fewer than six wins, so they’d have no chance to reach seven even if this game were gifted to them. And to get to a point where their most likely record is 7-9, they’d need at least a 63% win probability, meaning they’d need to be favored by more than a field goal. Unlikely.

Still, even though my guess is that this game is slightly more likely to mean something to the Eagles than to the Skins, I think the fairest thing to do for the sake of the argument is to call it a pick’em, since we really don’t know what the playoff picture will look like in late December.

Predicted line: Pick’em

Approx. win probability: 50%

Projected record: 6.37-9.63

So, while the Redskins’ win total is set at 7, their point spreads for the upcoming season suggest that their most likely 2018 record is 6-10. Even if this win total were set at 6.5, the juice should still be on the under.

Many books do offer alternate win totals, and for those that offer the 6.5 wins option, the under is listed at around +120.

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