* NBC Sports Washington editor Prince J. Grimes picks his favorite prop bet from Sunday's action.
Spread: Washington +7 (-105) | Buffalo -7 (-115)
Total: 45.5 Over (-115) | Under (-105)
Moneyline: Washington (+280) | Buffalo (-360)
Prince’s Prop: Second half as highest scoring half (+105)
Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet
Taylor Heinicke will be taking the field as a starter on the road for the first time in his NFL career Sunday when the Washington Football Team plays the Buffalo Bills.
He’ll be expected to produce points against a defense that has allowed a combined 16 points through the first two weeks of the season. Granted, the Bills’ 35-0 shutout of the Dolphins in Week 2 was assisted by an injury to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but their defense showed up in the opener against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, too.
Whether or not Heinicke is a legit starting quarterback in the NFL is a question for another day, but I do expect him and the Washington offense to at least struggle early in this one, which is why I like the value on odds that the second half of this game produces more points than the first. PointsBet Sportsbook is giving plus money on the second half with +105 odds, compared to -120 on the first half.
Of course, Washington’s offense is only part of the equation. The Bills, led by franchise signal-caller Josh Allen, will have their chances to score too, but Washington’s defense is coming off two forgettable performances to begin the season and has a lot of motivation to prove it can be everything people thought it would be in 2021.
Head coach Ron Rivera and his players spoke this week about players needing to be disciplined in their individual roles in order for the defense to work as a unit, so I expect that to be top of mind at least for the start of this game. Especially coming off a near loss against Daniel Jones, a QB with similar mobility as Allen. Maybe Washington falls back into bad habits later in the game, especially if it remains close and there’s added pressure to get to Allen, but that only increases the possibility of second-half points for the Bills.
This game will likely come down to the quarterbacks, as neither team boasts an established top running back and both defenses have limited the effectiveness of RBs so far this season. The more established of the two quarterbacks, Allen, has been a better second-half player in his career.
In the four combined games these two teams have played in 2021, the second half outpaced the first half three times, including both of Buffalo’s games. After this matchup, I expect that to be four times in five games.