The Washington Redskins are shedding their label as a lousy underdog and they get a chance to polish their new reputation with a visit to Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers and Redskins will both be looking for their second win of the season Sunday when they meet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. But while the spread favors the home side slightly (-2.5 at most shops listed on NFLOdds.ca), bettors are interested in Washington.
"They are just 5-15 ATS in 20 games as a dog, but they are 3-1 ATS in their past four, so the pendulum is swinging back," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com, the NFL lines provider to SBNation.
Interestingly, the Bucs head to their bye week next Sunday and they have struggled to a 0-4 ATS mark the past four seasons in this position. Other NFL betting trends seem to favor Tampa, including their 5-0 ATS mark in five recent September games.
Through three games, Robert Griffin III has lived up to the hype. Completing 67.4 percent of his passes with four touchdowns to just one interception and rushing for another three touchdowns, the dual-threat rookie is exciting to watch and a threat to make a big play on every down.
The problem for the Redskins has been on defense, where the team is allowing 33.7 points per game. After upsetting the Saints in New Orleans, Washington has fallen to 1-2 SU and ATS with losses to St. Louis and Cincinnati.
Despite only having a 1-2 SU record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a perfect 3-0 start ATS. After starting the season off with a 16-10 win over Carolina, Tampa Bay has had a pair of contrasting games with a 41-34 loss to the New York Giants and a 16-10 loss to Dallas, both as 7.5-point underdogs.
How will Tampa Bay respond to being a favorite for the first time this season Sunday?
Tampa Bay has owned this series at home in recent years, posting a 7-1 SU and 5-2-1 ATS mark against the Redskins over the last eight games in Tampa Bay between these two teams. Overall, Tampa Bay is 6-4 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in its last 10 games against Washington.
RGIII's impact on Washington's offense is clearly noticeable with the Redskins averaging a league-best 33 points per game on offense. The defense looks like it is going to be an issue for this team moving forward, but against a team with an unspectacular offense like Tampa Bay's, Washington should be able to make enough plays on defense to pick up its second road upset of the season.