Washington Football Team vs. Detroit Lions Matchup Preview (11/15/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Both Washington and Detroit are coming off disappointing losses to divisional rivals. The Football Team fell to the Giants for the second time this season, this time at home, while the Lions dropped their 6th-straight game against the Vikings. Both of these teams have dealt with some tumult at the quarterback position as of late. For the Lions, Matthew Stafford dealt with a stint on the COVID-19 IR list and a concussion scare but is now reportedly practicing without any limitations. Meanwhile, Washington’s Kyle Allen will be out for the remainder of the season with a devastatingly gruesome ankle injury. For now, Washington is set to roll out Alex Smith for his first start since the devastating leg injury he suffered a year ago. Dwayne Haskins will back him up for the time being, although it would not be shocking to see the second-year QB see some playing time in this game. The Lions sit in the basement of the NFC North with a 3-5 record and an 0-3 record in their division. Meanwhile, Washington sports a 2-6 record but is only a game and a half back from the Eagles at the top of the NFC East. Both of these teams could make a late-season playoff run, but they’ll need to start winning games right away, and this will be an important contest for both teams. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Washington Football Team vs. Detroit Lions Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Ford Field – Detroit, MI
TV Coverage: FOX
Football Team vs. Lions Live Stream
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Washington Football Team: K Dustin Hopkins (groin) Q, LB Reuben Foster (knee) IR eligible to return, WR Antonio Gandy-Golden (hamstring) IR eligible to return, WR Dontrelle Inman (hamstring) O, OT Geron Christian (knee) O, RB Bryce Love (knee) O, QB Kyle Allen (ankle) O, DT Matt Ioannidis (biceps) IR, S Landon Collins (Achilles) IR
Detroit Lions: WR Kenny Golladay (hip) Q, TE T.J. Hockenson (toe) Q, LB Jarrad Davis (knee) Q, S Jayron Kearse (ankle) Q, OG Joe Dahl (back) Q, DE Nick Williams (shoulder) Q, LB Christian Jones (knee) Q, DE Julian Okwara (undisclosed) IR eligible to return, DE Trey Flowers (undisclosed) IR
Detroit Lions Analysis
Matthew Stafford has struggled a bit this season as the Lions’ passing game ranks as the 19th-best per Football Outsiders. Stafford has completed just 62.6% of his passes for 2,127 yards and 14 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. Detroit has allowed Stafford to be sacked 21 times this season, the 7th-most among all quarterbacks, so the offensive line hasn’t done him any favors. However, his QBR of 65.0 ranks 19th in the NFL, and his inefficiency has led to the Lions scoring just 24.3 points per game, the 14th-fewest in the NFL. Washington has allowed just 185.6 passing yards per game, the fewest in the NFL so that Stafford could have a rough outing this week.
Detroit has produced just 101.1 rushing yards per game, the 9th-fewest in the NFL, so their rushing offense has continued to struggle to support Stafford. Rookie D’Andre Swift has started to get more involved over the course of the season, and his DYAR would rank him as the 12th-best RB among all qualified rushers on Football Outsiders. Swift has also been very involved in the passing game as he has 26 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown this year. Adrian Peterson has also been pretty effective as he’s rushed for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns so far with the 17th-best rushing rating in DVOA per Football Outsiders. Washington’s front seven has been stout, but the Lions will need their running game to be effective to score in this game.
The Lions’ offensive line has not helped them out very much as they’re rated as below-average in both run-blocking and pass-blocking on Football Outsiders. Detroit has the 7th-worst run-blocking offensive line, and the team has rushed for just 4.1 yards per carry, the 12th-worst mark in the NFL. Football Outsiders has the Lions ranked as the 12th-worst pass-blocking offensive line as well, as they’ve allowed 21 sacks this season. Detroit will need to do some serious work on its offensive line this offseason.
Detroit’s defense has also been rough this season as they rank as the 25th-best defense in DVOA per Football Outsiders, including the 18th-best in pass defense and the 25th in run defense. The Lions have allowed 30 points per game, the fifth-most in the NFL, and they’ve allowed 392 yards per game, the 9th-most in the NFL. Matt Patricia’s run defense has been especially bad, and it’s time for a culture change in Detroit as their defense continues to struggle.
Detroit Lions Depth Chart
Washington Football Team Analysis
Alex Smith is set to make his first start for Washington since his devastating leg injury that nearly ended his career last season. He’s attempted 49 passes this year across 2 games, but he’s really struggled as his QBR of 16.5 would make him the worst quarterback in the NFL among qualified passers. Smith has thrown for 309 yards with just one touchdown and 3 interceptions, and he’s struggled to produce in his time on the field. However, it will be interesting to see how he does with a full week of preparation to be the starter. Detroit has allowed 243.9 passing yards per game, putting them in the middle of the pack this season, so Smith has the opportunity to produce.
Rookie running back Antonio Gibson has rushed for 482 yards and 5 touchdowns so far this season and ranks as the 3rd-best running back in the NFL in DVOA per Football Outsiders. The Lions have allowed the 3rd-most rushing yards per game this season, so Gibson should produce this week. Washington’s rushing offense ranks as the 18th-best by Football Outsiders, and Gibson has continued to evolve into a very effective running back. J.D. McKissic has been very productive as of late, as well, especially in the passing game. He has 6+ catches in four of his last five games and should continue to be involved moving forward.
Washington’s offensive line hasn’t been excellent, but they rank as the 15th-best run-blocking offensive line on Football Outsiders, and they have the 8th-best stuffed rank this season. Washington’s running backs have run for just 3.9 yards per carry, however, the sixth-worst mark in the NFL. However, Washington has been terrible in protecting its quarterbacks this year. Washington’s offensive line ranks as the fourth-worst in the NFL in pass-blocking on Football Outsiders. Washington quarterbacks have been sacked 3.5 times per game, the 2nd-most in the NFL.
Washington has allowed 23.5 points per game, the eleventh-fewest in the NFL, and has allowed 314.3 yards per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. They have also allowed just 185.6 passing yards per game, the fewest in football. Their pass defense ranks as the best in the NFL in DVOA per Football Outsiders as their front seven has been dominant. Washington has 3.4 sacks per game, the 3rd-most in the NFL. With dominant players like Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat, and Kevin Pierre-Louis controlling the line of scrimmage, Washington’s front seven is one of the best in football.
Washington Football Team Depth Chart
The Lions have lost all seven of their last home games, and they’ve gone just 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games. Neither of these offenses has performed particularly well this year, but the Lions’ passing offense has at least been decent with the 19th-most points per game and the 20th-most passing yards per game. However, that will be put to the test as they face Washington’s elite front seven and secondary that has allowed the fewest passing yards and 11th-fewest points per game. Alex Smith has three times as many turnovers as touchdowns this season, but I’m expecting him to get it going this week against Detroit, who allows the 5th-most passing yards per game. The Lions haven’t had much of home-field advantage this year as they’ve lost all three of their home games and failed to cover the spread in any of their games in Detroit. I would lean towards betting on Washington against the spread in this game, although I don’t love the idea of investing a ton in either of these inconsistent teams. The over in this game is the play for me like the Lions’ point total has hit the over in every game at home this season, and inside a dome, these teams should be able to surpass this low point total.
Spread: Lions -3.5, Washington +3.5
Moneyline: Lions -190, Washington +165
Over/Under: 46.5 points
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Daily Fantasy Picks
I’m fading Matthew Stafford big-time this week for several reasons. His top two targets, Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson, are questionable for this week. Stafford is facing the Washington defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards per game this season. Washington’s front seven will likely go to smother Stafford, and I don’t see his upside as big enough for DFS.
As he continues to get more involved in the Washington offense, Antonio Gibson has scored 9+ PPR points in seven straight games. This week, Gibson faces the Lions, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to the running back position by a sizable margin. Gibson has now rushed for 5 touchdowns in 8 games, and I’m banking on him adding to that tally this week.
The Lions could be without Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson this week as they’re dealing with injuries and are listed as questionable. Swift has 457 yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns through 8 games and has scored 12+ PPR points in four of his past five games. Swift has 4+ targets in each of his past five games and should be heavily involved in the passing game this week.
Regardless of who has started under center for Washington this season, Terry McLaurin has produced the WR12 in fantasy this season. He has 7+ catches in four of his past five games and leads the NFL in yards after the catch over expectation (YACOE). McLaurin has dominated regardless of matchup, and McLaurin should excel against an overmatched group of Lions’ cornerbacks.