It’s a battle of the unenviable records when the Detroit Lions host Washington in Week 10, when quarterback Alex Smith will make an NFL start almost two years to the day since his last.
Detroit are 0-3 at Ford Field in Michigan this season and are almost glad fans haven’t been able to attend, while Washington have posted an identical, winless record after three road games in 2020.
The Lions (3-5) sit bottom of the NFC North and have covered the spread in 37.5 percent of their matches this season, handicapped at -110 to overcome a 4.5-point margin Sunday, according to Unibet NJ.
Washington are 2-6 this season overall but are 4-4 covering the spread, suggesting it will be a very narrow defeat if they do lose in Michigan:
Washington @ Lions Game Info
Date: Sunday, November 15
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV Info: FOX, NFL Game Pass
Aside from their slightly superior stats covering this term, it’s difficult not to throw some weight behind a Washington side that’s set to hand Smith an emotional return to the starting QB role. The former No. 1 Draft pick has endured a long road to recovery since breaking his tibia and fibula against the Houston Texans on November 18, 2018, stepping up his preparations as a replacement for Kyle Allen in each of Washington’s last two games.
Smith has shown sparkles of his former powers in those cameo appearances, and he was somewhat unfortunate not to complete the comeback when they lost 23-20 to the New York Giants in Week 9:
Washington @ Lions Handicap Odds. Prediction: Washington by 3
In truth, both of those teams have looked bad this season. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 211 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in last week’s 34-20 loss at the Minnesota Vikings, though he can be expected to improve after training separately in the buildup following a positive coronavirus test.
The big bonus for Washington is their pass defense, which has allowed a league-low 1,667 yards this season. Coach Ron Rivera’s main concerns lie in attack, where they’ve scored only 18 touchdown—third-fewest in the NFL—with a perfect divide between pass and rush scored (nine apiece).
The return of Smith has the potential to give the squad a major boost and a much-needed touch of class in the decisive moments, battling a Lions lineup that’s looked average in too many areas this year.
Odds and prediction via Unibet:
Washington Football Team (+4.5): -110
Detroit Lions (-4.5): -110