Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury has impacted the Washington Football Team’s season-long odds, but bettors clearly have confidence in backup Taylor Heinicke leading the offense against the New York Giants on Thursday.
The WFT opened as 3.0-point favorites at BetMGM but the line has moved to 3.5 points hours before the game with 66 percent of the money and 58 percent of the spread-line bets supporting Washington. The line is the same at DraftKings, with the WFT backed by 69 percent of the money and 68 percent of the bets.
The overall action at BetMGM has been split, with the Giants’ +160 moneyline moving to +150 and the team backed by 62 percent of the money and 69 percent of the bets. However, Washington’s -165 moneyline is still drawing 51 percent of the money and 56 percent of the bets at DraftKings.
Heinicke, 28, was thrust into the starting job with Fitzpatrick expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks with a hip injury. Heinicke will be making his second career regular-season start as the NFC East rivals each seek their first win of the young season.
“I think our guys will rally around him,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said of Heinicke this week. “He plays a little bit like his hair’s on fire and plays a little bit like a gunslinger.
“He understands what he has to do and how he has to do it. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.”
Heinicke replaced Fitzpatrick during Washington’s 20-16 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 and completed 11 of 15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown while rushing three times for 17 yards.
“I went in there and said a couple of words that I probably shouldn’t say right now about these Giants,” Heinicke said after Tuesday’s practice. “Hopefully it got the guys fired up and ready to play for Thursday.”
While Washington is favored this week, Fitzpatrick’s lengthy absence has impacted the team’s futures.
The team’s Super Bowl odds climbed from +5000 to +7000 at FanDuel, from +5000 to +6600 at PointsBet and from +5000 to +6000 at BetRivers the day after Fitzpatrick was placed on injured reserve this week.
Washington saw its NFC Championship odds lengthen from +2200 to +2500 at PointsBet and from +2500 to +2800 at BetRivers, where the team’s NFC East title odds moved from +190 to +275.
“The shifts are likely a combination of standard market reaction to Week 1 results, as well as what figures to be a slight downgrade at quarterback from Fitzpatrick to Taylor Heinicke,” BetRivers sportsbook manager Zach Schlouch told Field Level Media.
New York looks to rebound after being whipped 27-13 by the visiting Denver Broncos in its season opener.
Running back Saquon Barkley had just 26 rushing yards on 10 carries in his return from ACL surgery, and his availability for Thursday’s game remains questionable.
“I don’t think the schedule is ideal for coming back off a major knee injury to have two games back-to-back, but that’s what it is,” said Barkley, who was limited in practice on Tuesday. “That’s what’s in front of me and that’s the challenge I have to face.”
With tight end Evan Engram (calf) ruled out of the game, the 40.5-point Over/Under at BetMGM has seen 55 percent of the money and 52 percent of the bets placed on the Under.
The Giants have defeated Washington five straight times, the last four with quarterback Daniel Jones as the starter.
The third-year pro passed for 267 yards and one score and also rushed for a touchdown against the Broncos. However, he also lost a fumble that led to a Denver field goal.
“Turnovers are always going to hurt you at any point in the game and they’re big plays,” said Jones, whose 30 fumbles and 18 fumbles lost are the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2019. “We’ve got to do a good job of taking care of the ball.”
–Field Level Media