It’s probably a little premature, but Smith was the tenth best passerby of the week. according to the game charters at Pro Football Focus, which subjectively rate every game for every player in the league. ESPN gave him an overall quarterback rating of 76.0 on a scale of 1 to 100, meaning a team should win 76 percent of their games with similar performance. Only eight quarterbacks maintained a QBR of at least 76 in 2020.
On Sunday, Smith has a chance to face a Cincinnati Bengals defensive unit that allows nearly nine points more per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each throw by the opposing quarterback, according to data from TruMedia. That should be enough to give Washington its third win of the season.
Cincinnati Bengals with the Washington Football Team (-1½)
Selection: Washington Football Team -1½
It’s hard to rely on the Bengals on the road. Cincinnati have been without a win in their last 18 games outside of Paul Brown Stadium (0-17-1) and only 3-9-1 against NFC teams since the start of the 2017 season. The Bengals’ rating efficiency also drops from 2.8 points per trip at home to 1.5 on the road this season. They’re bad at defense no matter where they play, allowing opponents 2.4 points per trip.
That will play well for Washington. Offensively, Smith, Antonio Gibson (the seventh highest return per Pro Football Focus) and Terry McLaurin (the twelfth best wideout per PFF) have it. Defensively, Washington has the eighth-best unit per PFF, according to Football Outsiders, and the sixth-best, whose ranking is adjusted to the strength of the schedule.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Selection: Arizona Cardinals +3
The Seahawks have lost their last two games and three of their last four after a 5-0 start. Russell Wilson has fallen from the league’s second highest passer in weeks 1 through 5 to its fourth worst in weeks 6 through 10 per PFF, with his most recent attempt against the Los Angeles Rams being the worst yet, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Seattle’s defense was also terrible, with nine more dates than expected given per game based on the down, distance and field position of every game against them that season, according to data from TruMedia. Only the 3-7 Carolina Panthers, 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-7 Houston Texans, and 4-5 Detroit Lions are worse in this regard.
The Cardinals have a touchdown in a wild 32:30 win against the Buffalo Bills, taking four wins in their last five games and a share of NFC West’s lead. Arizona is also a brave underdog with a 12-4-2 record against the spread if there have been points since the start of last season.
Best betting record of the season: 13-11-2.
The above two games represent our best games of the week as our analysis shows that the point spreads are the most different from what we expect when the teams hit the field. Below are tips for the other games on this week’s schedule. Trying to pick every single NFL game, however, is a breeze. The house wins so often, in part because bettors try to make too many games when the odds are not in their favor. Keep this in mind when evaluating the remaining games from week 11.
Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (-1½)
Selection: Carolina Panthers -1½
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns (-3½)
Selection: Cleveland Browns -3½
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts (-2½)
Selection: Indianapolis Colts -2½
New England Patriots (-2) at Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Selection: Jacksonville Jaguars +10
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-5)
Selection: New Orleans Saints -5
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens (-6½)
Selection: Baltimore Ravens -6½
New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers (-8½)
Selection: Los Angeles chargers -8½
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings (-7½)
Range: Minnesota Vikings -7½
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Las Vegas Raiders
Selection: Kansas City Chiefs -7
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3½)
Selection: Los Angeles Rams + 3½