Washington Football Team (5-7) at San Francisco 49ers (5-7)
I have bet on Washington in each of the past four weeks since they’ve turned to Alex Smith under center and it has paid off as they have covered each time, including three straight wins and an upset win over the previously undefeated Steelers last week. Despite that win and the 49ers’ double digit loss to the Bills on Monday Night Football, this line has more or less stayed the same since the early line, favoring the 49ers by 3.5 in what amounts to a neutral site game in Arizona, after favoring them by 4 on the early line last week, so Washington remains underrated.
Washington’s strength is it’s defense, which ranks 3rd in first down rate allowed over expected at -4.05%, and, while defense tends to be much more inconsistent on a week-to-week basis, the 49ers are also a defensive lead team (10th in first down rate allowed over expected at -0.89%) and Washington’s offense has been much improved since their offensive line got healthy and Smith took over as the quarterback. Their running game takes a hit without starting running back Antonio Gibson, who is out this week, but, even without him, I have Washington a couple points better in my roster rankings than the 49ers, who have their own obvious injury issues, with Tim Compton, Kevin Givens, and DJ Jones joining an ever growing players of unavailable players.
With this game essentially being a neutral site game, this line suggests the 49ers are about 3.5 points better, so we’re getting significant line value with Washington, especially when you consider that 1 in 4 games are decided by a field goal or less. Even if they can’t pull the upset, Washington should be at least able to keep this game close. Washington +3.5 is my Pick of the Week and even if you can’t get that number anymore (still available in some places Friday Night), I would still recommend a big play on +3.
Washington Football Team 20 San Francisco 49ers 17 Upset Pick +150
Pick against the spread: Washington +3.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week