The Washington Commanders open their 2022-23 season with a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars were a disaster last year under Head Coach Urban Meyer, who was fired after only 13 games on the job. Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell took over, and managed to win one game. That game was in Week 18 against Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts which eliminated them from the playoff race, and put one final nail in Wentz’s coffin for owner Jim Irsay.
Jacksonville “earned” the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft for the 2nd year in row with their 3-14 record. They also hired Super Bowl-winning Doug Pederson as their new Head Coach to try to remove some of the stink from the unprofessional mess that was the Urban Meyer regime. Pederson also has history with Carson Wentz from their time together in Philadelphia.
Both teams are looking to improve on disappointing seasons, and a Week 1 win is an easy way to quiet some doubters. Washington’s big move this year was trading for Carson Wentz, a move that cost them both draft picks, and a big chunk of their available cap money. A budget free agency plan led to moving on from some higher priced vets(Matt Ioannidis, Ereck Flowers) and bringing in their replacements through cheap FA deals(Andrew Norwell, Trai Turner) and the draft(Phidarian Mathis).
Washington opened up as high as 4.5 point favorites for their home opener against Jacksonville. That line now sits at 3 points, with a 44 point Over/Under. This is basically a pick em now with Washington’s homefield advantage baked into the numbers. Bettors jumped on the early line for Jacksonville, but the line seems to be holding at 3 as we get closer to game day on Sunday.
DraftKings odds: Washington -3 , 44 O/U
Washington fans were polled last week on the results of this Week 1 matchup and 71% are expecting a win, with almost half of those optimists expecting to win by a TD or more.