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Yet again the dog: Lions favored over Skins

By Evan Bliss

Have I missed something here? Is Vegas really favoring the Lions by 3 over the Redskins? Is this creatively brilliant or positively insane? What is a horseshoe? Are there any horse socks?

I only gamble when I know I’m going to win, not really gambling, but I’d like to look at why Sin City thinks a 1-5 disaster should beat a 4-3 tempest with lady luck on their side.

My first investigation pertains to history. Yes, the Lions beat the Redskins to snap their NFL worst-ever 19 straight losses. But, the Redskins were also the last team to beat the Patriots before they won 22 straight. Maybe Washington is a team hungry for historical recognition. There’s no such thing as bad press, even if it’s losing to the Lions. Wrong, that was horrible, but luckily there’s no record at stake on Sunday so that can’t be the reason Detroit is favored.

Investigation numero dos is mathmatical: the transitive theory. If the Redskins lost to the Rams by 14 (step away if you need to scream or cry) and the Lions beat the Rams by 38, according to this theory the Lions are better than the Redskins by 52 points, I would say that justifies them being favored. However, Washington beat Chicago, Philadephia, and Green Bay by a collective 11 points and Detroit lost to all three of those teams by a collective 10 points, so technically Washington should be favored by 1.

Third must be the home field advantage. Vegas might think because the Lions are at home they have a better chance of winning. Not quite. Have you ever met a Lions fan? They’re not very enthusiastic about their team. It’s been years since they’ve been good, and since Barry Sanders since they’ve been good enough to watch. They do look like they’re on track, but they’re still 1-5. I’d be surprised if your television set picks up a faint and dull roar from the crowd on Sunday.

Maybe Vegas thinks something could happen to Washington’s players before the game. Detroit’s not Motor City or Mo-town any more. Now it’s Mo-bandoned Warehouse City or No-Mo-Grocery Store City. We from Washington can poke fun at this because we’ve been through our own recent turbulent times. Hang in there Detroit, but it won’t be Stafford and the Lions that pull you through like the Saints and Big Easy Brees.

If Vegas is taking into account that Washington’s greatest recent tradition is playing down, or up, to their opponent, and losing the games they should win, then I must say I will never gamble on sports because those bookies are too clever for me. The Redskins are a better football team than the Lions. Better players, better coaches, better record. But the better team doesn’t always win on Sunday. The team that comes to play, that executes their game plan, and maybe catches a lucky break or two usually wins. With a bye-week break coming up, there might be a couple Redskins out on an early mental vacation. Sigh. Thanks a lot Vegas.

By Box Seats blogger  | October 29, 2010; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  | Tags:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  
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The skins better not not be underestimating the lions. I really hope the offense gets its going this weekend, pound it with torain all day and maybe get a few big pass plays. HTTR

Posted by: Mark99 | October 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Vegas must know something because the "House" always wins in the end.

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 29, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

When Vegas looks at the Skins, they don't factor things like Lovie Smith's inexplicable decision not to challenge Jay Cutler's fumble, Wade Phillip's dubious decision to run a play instead of taking a knee at the end of the 1st half, Clay Matthew's hamstring getting strained, or Mike Vick's rib cartilage going all wonky.

The Skins and Lions are 2 mediocre teams. The Skins have been catching a ton of breaks, and the Lions haven't been catching any - their QB has gone down, they had the ridiculous TD reversal call, their rookie RB had a monster game and then immediately got the turf toe, and they have lost some very close games.

As much as his ego irks me, the biggest reason the Skins are 4-3 instead of 1-6 or 2-5 is because of Mike Shanahan. It seems like as much as anything, being a good coach in the NFL is about not losing games for your team - like Wade Phillips or Lovie Smith did, or like Jim Zorn did a dozen times. Shanny hasn't cost the team a game yet.

Posted by: CommieX | October 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Evan is confussed as to why the Skins are underdogs. All he has to do is open up his eyes. Washington has looked butt ugly winning 4 games. On the other hand the Lions have been in every game and if they had half the luck Wash. has had they would have their record. The fact that the roof hasn't yet fallen on this team is remarkable.

Posted by: pstotts15 | October 29, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"I’d like to look at why Sin City thinks a 1-5 disaster should beat a 4-3 tempest with lady luck on their side."

I hate to encourage you by posting here, but...
Are you really this freaking stupid?!

Sin City doesn't think anything, Sin City just wants half the folks to bet on the Lions and half to bet on the Redskins. That way they make lots of money no matter what happens. Is that too freaking hard to understand?

Stop acting as if they like some team or think some team will win or blah blah blah. All they think is that by setting the line at Lions -3, they'll get equal action on both sides.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | October 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

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