Handicapping pro football is appealing for so many people because it can be done in a variety of ways.
The math specialists build statistical models to generate numbers that take the human element out of the equation. The situational handicappers focus on travel spots, motivational levels and how teams are trending heading into a contest. Trend specialists look at historical data and how teams in a specific situation have fared in the past.
But in this wacky 2020 season, the eye test still holds merit, especially when evaluating teams toward the bottom of the league.
The Washington Football Team continues to play hard for new head coach Ron Rivera. The scoreboard showed a 14-point win for the Ravens last week, but Washington had six more first downs, won the time of possession battle and only had seven fewer yards on offense.
Rivera has surrounded his team with veteran coaches while he undergoes cancer treatment. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese are each in their 22nd year of coaching in the NFL. Offensive line coach John Matsko is in his 29th year. Washington’s young roster is playing hard for these guys, and bettors should feel confident in the effort they are giving.
Joe Burrow picked up his first NFL win last week, but my eyeballs were focused on what happened after the game. Head Coach Zac Taylor handed out game balls in the locker room, and before he was done addressing the team, the players immediately gave a game