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What Are The Odds That Rex Grossman Will Lead The Redskins To The Promised Land?

Not very promising if you go by sportsbook Bodog.com. Bodog adjusted its betting odds on Rex Grossman’s performance after Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan named him starting quarterback–for now. First, here are the odds on Sexy Rexy’s performance. Then we take a look ar what it all means.

Rex Grossman – Completion % in the 2011 Regular Season

Over/Under                     53.5%

Rex Grossman – Total games started in the 2011 Regular Season

Over/Under                    11½

Rex Grossman – Average Passing Yards per game in the 2011 Regular Season

Over/Under                    210

Rex Grossman – Average Touchdowns per game in the 2011 Regular Season

Over/Under                    1.2

Bodog set the over/under betting line that Grossman will rank somewhere between the 24th through 30th best NFL quarterback. Looking at 2010 statistics, Matt Cassel ranked 24th with 207.7 yards per game. Jimmy Classen ranked 30th in pass completions with 52.5 percent.

Before drowning ourselves in our favorite adult beverage, lets review what this is. The over/under is the stat line that sportsbooks set to attact an even number of wagers on both sides of the line. Thus, Bodog’s over/under for Grossman’s completion percent accounts for the number of potential bettors who lack faith in Grossman. Bodog would not attract equal bets if they set the over/under at 60 percent completions for Grossman.

Rex GrossmanGrossman completed 54.2 percent of his passes dating to his Chicago Bears days. He averaged a shade under 173 yards per game and .97 touchdowns per game. That goes a long way to explain why he morphed from Sexy Rexy when he joined the Bears to Wrecks Grossman by the time he left. Crossman’s career averages are where the sportsbook stat line comes from.

But Grossman asserts that he is made for Mike Shanahan’s offense. In his four game apppearances last year, Grossman completed 55.6 percent of his passes, averaged 221 passing yards and scored 1.75 TD passes per game. He also made two turnovers per game (4 INTs and 4 fumbles, including this one.) Grossman finished that run with a quarterback passer rating of 81.2, the best of his career.

Three games and two minutes is a small sample to project a season. So lets look at Donovan McNabb’s stats and project something similar for Grossman. McNabb completed 58 percent of his passes in the Shanahan offense. He averaged just under 260 yards per pass and one touchdown and one INT per game. It is no big step for Grossman to match McNabb’s performance. That is something the football pundits and betting public don’t seem to grasp.

If I were a betting man (I am not), the over on Grossman would look very tempting. Hog Heaven is neutral on gambling. My lawyer wants me to tell you to rely on your own judgement and sources for wagers because I don’t have the money to make up your gambling losses.

Bodog set the Redskins at 18/1 odds to win the NFC Beast and 50/1 odds to take the conference. The over/under on Redskins season wins is 6.5 games. The New York Giants are three-point favorites when they visit Grossman and the Redskins at Fed Ex Field this Sunday.

Point after: A pro quarterback in the upper-third of rankings should complete 60 percent or better of his pass attempts, average seven yards or better per pass attempt, score two touchdowns or better and fewer than one interception per game. Grossman might achieve that performance level (A boy can dream, can’t he?), but neither he nor John Beck have any history to suggest it. That made the entire preseason Beck or Grossman question rather pointless.

As my friend Daman Runyon (Never met him, only heard of him) wrote, “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. But, that’s the way to bet.)