The Washington Football Team has a storied history, despite the recent controversy surrounding its nickname, and has been one of the most storied franchises in the NFL.
Washington actually began play in 1932 as the Boston Braves, playing in the same stadium as the baseball Braves. A year later, the team started playing in Fenway park, home to the Red Sox, and the owners therefore changed the nickname to Redskins to align with the branding, if you will. The team would move to Washington in 1937, but not before appearing in its first championship game, a 21-6 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Those Washington teams were coached by Hall-of-Famer Ray Flaherty and quarterbacked by HOF Sammy Baugh, whose #33 is the only number Washington has retired. During that era, it was a great time to bet on the Washington Football Team. Flaherty and Washington appeared in four championship games, winning two of them, in 1937 & 1942. He was never fired or resigned – instead, he stepped away from coaching to serve as a US Naval Officer in WWII.
The Washington Football Team odds to continue their success were high with Baugh still at QB. They appeared in another two championship games in 1943 and 1945, losing one to the Chicago Bears and one to the Cleveland Rams. After that, though, Washington suffered through twenty-five years of football misery, as the team posted three winning seasons. Only in 1971 would Washington again make a postseason appearance.
This time, however, Washington was here to stay. Former LA Rams coach George Allen took the team to the playoffs in five out of his seven years at the helm, the highlight being the last team to fall to the undefeated Dolphins of 1972, a 14-7 defeat in Super Bowl VII.
The rest of the ‘70s were uninspired, and Washington began the ‘80s with a new coach – former San Diego offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs. Gibbs quickly built an excellent roster, anchored by QB Joe Thiesmann and future HOF RB John Riggins. The Redskins rolled to an 8-1 record in the strike-shortened season of 1981, then rolled through the playoffs. A bet on the Washington Football Team to win another title – and its first of the modern era – would pay, as Washington beat Miami in a rematch, 27-17.
Gibbs ushered in a glory era of Redskins football. The Washington Football Team odds of repeating were good, but they were blown out by the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII. Theismann would be forced to retire in 1985 after a sack by Lawrence Taylor shattered his leg, but Gibbs didn’t let the Washington Football Team odds decrease and led the team back to the Super Bowl in 1987. QB Doug Williams would outplay Denver QB John Elway, throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns, and a bet on the Washington Football Team would pay – the Redskins would claim their second Super Bowl trophy.
True to form, Gibbs would win his third Super Bowl title in 1991. Using a defense anchored by the ageless HOF CB Darrell Green (he played a full twenty seasons in the NFL) and the #1 point-scoring offense in the league, a futures bet on the Washington Football Team again would pay as the team beat Buffalo, 37-24, with QB Mark Rypien voted MVP. The Washington Football Team odds in that game? Seven-point favorites, which they covered.
Gibbs would (temporarily) retire after the following season to focus on his second passion, NASCAR, and the Washington Football Team odds would spiral downhill afterwards. In 1999, Daniel Snyder purchased the team. Snyder’s willingness to spend big on free agents made it exciting to bet on the Washington Football Team, but that excitement quickly faded. Even though they made the playoffs in Snyder’s first year as owner, that would be the only appearance the franchise would make until Gibbs took over the team again in 2004. But even Gibbs’s return was short lived – he made two playoff appearances in four years, losing both times to heavily-favored Seattle.
Since then, it’s been a mixed bag of Washington Football Team odds. Mike Shanahan made the playoffs in 2012 with QB phenom Robert Griffin III, but Griffin got injured and was never the same. Jon Gruden and QB Kirk Cousins made a playoff appearance in 2015, but got blown out at home by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Since then, the team has floundered, posting only one winning season and zero playoff appearances. A bet on the Washington Football Team to change its nickname was more popular than a bet on the Washington Football Team to win a title. What the new nickname will be is still a mystery, but until then, Washington hopes to put a better football product on the field, with new coach Ron Rivera and apparent QB heir Dwayne Haskins hoping to turn things around.