The long and winding road that leads to your … well not your door, but to the end of a regular season. It began 16 weeks ago, with apprehension on my part that the league could actually thread the needle of playing a full regular season in the midst of a national pandemic at its height.
I’m glad they made it, and I’m glad we made it too.
On opening day, it looked mighty bleak for our opening day pick of the Redskins (I know, an indescribable name for that team now exists) against the Philadelphia Eagles. We had the Redskins plus the 5½ points, and braced ourselves as Philadelphia cruised to a 17-0 lead. Then, as we had hoped, the underdog Redskins made a valiant comeback and eventually won the game straight-up, 27-17.
That result marked the beginning of a horrible Philadelphia season in which they were the only NFC East team entering play today without a chance of advancing to the postseason. The Redskins, conversely, have their fate in their own hands … beat Washington for a second time this season and they win the NFC East and advance to the postseason as a fourth seed … a home game for compiling a 7-9 regular season record.
Either the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants had a chance to squeeze Washington out of the playoffs at the start of play today, the Giants are still alive after their win over the Cowboys.
All the Redskins have to do to advance is beat the Eagles?
The bettors think so.
They have piled on Wasington like they are a sure thing, moving an opening line that had the Eagles a slight home team favorite to Washington currently favored on the road by 6½ points.
All the Redskins have to do is win tonight, and they are in the playoffs.
Well, they certainly have the emotional backing of men and women across the football world rooting for Alex Smith, the Redskins quarterback who has returned from a life threatening injury two years ago. He will be behind center for the Redskins tonight.
A win here, and the likeable Smith is into the playoffs.
Lose tonight against the Eagles, and the Giants advance to the playoffs with a 6 and 10 regular season mark.
I’ll be rooting for Smith and his Washington team, but bet on them?
You can’t make a good wager out of a bad line.
The spread has simply made the Redskins unbetable, and the Eagles have a slight edge against the current line without any empirical evidence to back that assumption.