Washington Redskins (4-2) at Detroit Lions (3-3)
I have these two teams as more or less equal. They’re also very similar, as both teams have effective offenses, but weak defenses. In terms of first down percentage, Detroit ranks 4th offensively and Washington ranks 5th, but Washington is a few spots higher on the defensive side (25th and 30th) and, as a result, a few spots higher overall (20th vs. 23th). However, the Lions have been without top defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah for most of the season thus far (limited to 85 snaps in 3 games by injury).
The Lions remain without defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebacker DeAndre Levy, two key players on this defense, but Ansah is now in his 2nd game back and could make a big impact on this game, after playing just 32 snaps in his first game back last week. Meanwhile, the Redskins are without tight end Jordan Reed, arguably their best offensive weapon. The Redskins won without Reed last week, but he’s such a good player that it really hurts to not have him out there. Despite that, the Lions are only favored by a point here at home. These two teams are even, so this line should be at least 3 in favor of the host.
On top of that, the Redskins are in a bad spot coming off of last week’s home upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Teams tend not to cover off of a big home upset victory, as teams are 53-76 ATS following a home upset victory since 2012. It makes sense that teams would be overconfident and/or overvalued off of a home upset victory. On top of that, the Redskins have to fly overseas and play the Bengals in London next week and teams are 8-19-1 ATS before playing in London all-time, which also makes sense. As long as this line is under 3, it’s worth putting money on Detroit. This figures to be a shootout, but the Lions should be able to win by at least a field goal at home.
Detroit Lions 31 Washington Redskins 27
Pick against the spread: Detroit -1