Fabian Sommer is back and fancies an Overs angle on this week’s Insights article.
After getting extremely fortunate with our Insights picks last year, we had to swallow rough sledging early this year. Let’s get back on the winning track with an AFC West total.
The market has quietly been moving this number up towards the range where it should be. This matchup sets up very well for a combined score of more than 44.
We are getting two highly questionable defenses along with a strengthened Broncos offense and Mister Chaotic himself – Taylor Heinicke – on the other side. The weather is calling for only five miles per hour of winds and two per cent precip probability.
Let’s think about the matchup on a granular level first. Through seven weeks, games of the Washington Football Team are averaging 50.8 points per game. Five out of those seven went at 44 or higher. The other two games were a 16-20 loss against the Chargers and a 10-24 loss against the Packers. But there is a lot more context applicable to these two games.
The Chargers had six red-zone trips and only converted two of those into touchdowns. Justin Herbert had a goal-line fumble for a touchback which was one of the most prominent bullshit calls of the season. Additionally, he threw a red-zone interception.
Last Sunday, in Green Bay, Washington had turnovers at the GB 1, GB 3, and GB 12. One of those was a bad call by the refs and should have resulted in a touchdown. Washington missed a chip shot field goal. The Packers had a field goal blocked.
Both games were heavily influenced by random bad luck in the red zone. All of their seven games either touched 44 or had a high chance of touching that number in terms of how they played out.
One of the critical factors is that Washington’s defense ranks 29th in pass DVOA and 30th in EPA/dropback, while the strength of their schedule was just above-average so far. The biggest disappointment on their part is their secondary.
Pro Football Focus grades that unit as the second-worst of the season so far. Even Jameis Winston and the Saints offense, which doesn’t have any weapons that can get open downfield, torched them. Their secondary also negates almost everything that their stout defensive line is capable of on paper.
The Broncos’ offense has declined in recent weeks for several reasons.
First of all, they were missing Jerry Jeudy and deep-threat KJ Hamler (IR). Secondly, they faced more formidable defenses like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and Cleveland.Bet Now
Against the Browns, Teddy Bridgewater was severely banged up. Jeudy is back after his injury, and I honestly have no clue how Washington will cover Courtland Sutton, Jeudy, and Noah Fant. Torching that secondary should be the path to success for Denver.
The Denver Broncos have been an “Under team” most of the season, which might be one reason why that total was below 44 earlier in the week. But their defense has been falling apart. They played one of the most manageable schedules in terms of opposing offenses. DVOA, a metric that adjusts for the strength of the opponent, ranks their defense 27th.
They lost both starting linebackers and had to make an emergency deal for Kenny Young during the week. Kyle Fuller has been degraded to CB4. Ronald Darby isn’t the free-agent acquisition they had hoped for – he has a coverage grade of 50.4.
Edge rusher Bradley Chubb is still on IR, nose tackle Mike Purcell looks unlikely to play after thumb surgery. Star pass rusher Von Miller is 50/50 to play and could be ruled out later on Friday. Denver’s front-seven is extremely banged-up and faces a Washington offensive line that has produced the following statistical ranks:
- 2nd in pass block grade
- 4th in pass block win rate
- 11th in run-block grade
- 1st in run block win rate
Washington could also get RG Brandon Scherff back. There’s a realistic chance that the Football Team has a field day against Denver’s short-handed front-seven. Their offense should be able to move the ball.
The Taylor Heinicke experience should give us some points on the board.
- Washington/Denver over 44.0 (1.85)
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