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Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins Betting Lines - Prediction ATS

Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 1 PM EST
Where: FedEX Field
TV: FOX
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, JHSportsline.com

Point Spread: Dall +3/Wash -3
Over/Under Total: 45

One of these teams will get their first win of the season, that's a guarantee when the Dallas Cowboys play their arch rival Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Dallas Cowboys will be playing its second straight division game, while the Redskins will be playing its second consecutive home tilt. Dallas lost a tough one last week against the NY Giants, 20-19 as 1-point home favorites. They outgained the Giants by 12 yards but had to settle for field goals in the red zone. Dak Prescott started off fast and than looked more like a rookie later in the game. Still, if Terrance Williams ran out of bounds, they would have attempted a FG certainly makeable for Dan Bailey and Dallas would be undefeated. The Redskins lost 38-16 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on MNF as  2.5-point home dogs. The Steelers outgained the Redskins by 51 yards and were the more disciplined team. Pittsburgh only committed four penalties for the entire game compared to nine for Washington.

 The Redskins will be coming off a short week having played on Monday night. They won't have to travel so that helps quite a bit. Dallas will be playing its first roadie and starting a rookie QB in Dak Prescott. I think he's going to be a very good QB in this league and others agree. Prescott has that "it" factor, and I know a lot of sharp handicappers and people I respect think he's the real deal. His running ability didn't really show up last week, but he has the ability to escape pressure and turn a possible negative yardage play into a positive one. The Cowboys' defense is not good right now folks. They have suspensions up-and-down their defensive line and it really showed against the Giants. Eli Manning was barely touched and enjoyed a stress free pocket for most of the game. Dallas recorded two sacks. Wow! Felt like none. 

The Cowboys will need to get their running game going as No. 1 draft pick (4th overall) Ezekiel Elliot could muster only 51 yards on 20 carries. That 2.6 yards per rush average will not get it done. Dallas was put into predictable 3rd and long passing plays that the Giants were easily ready to defend. The Cowboys have the league's best offensive line and they played well in the passing game allowing zero sacks. Now, that much talked about offensive line needs to a better job in run blocking against the Redskins. Washington allowed the Steelers to rush for 147 yards so maybe the Cowboys will perform better on the ground in this game. I think the Cowboys and Elliot will bust out against this Redskins' defense.

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  The oddsmakers think these two teams are even, thus making the Redskins 3-point home chalk. On average, home field is worth 3 points in the NFL. I think the Cowboys are a notch above the Redskins in terms of overall talent. Wise guys love taking division underdogs. Wise guys also like taking the league's top two-ranked offensive lines (Dallas, Oakland) as underdogs of at least 3 points. You would have made a lot of money over the last decade by combining the two systems mentioned above. It hasn't happened very often, but when it does its been very profitable, cashing close to 75% of the time. That's exactly what we have going in this matchup.

You know about the history of these two teams. Maybe you don't. The games are normally very tight and if either team is having a "bad" season, you can be sure the other team will play it close to the best. The Redskins and Cowboys have split their last 10 regular season matchups. The Underdog has gone 7-3 ATS in those 10 games. The road team is 5-0 straight up in the previous five head-to-head meetings, including last year when these two teams split the season series for the second straight year.

The Underdog is 17-8 ATS in the Cowboys last 25 games, including last week's result. Earlier in the week you could have played the Cowboys at plus +1.5 and still cashed a ticket after the game. The line swung to Giants minus -1 just before game time. The underdog is 27-9 in their last 36 meetings. That's very difficult to ignore. Hopefully, history will repeat itself when the Cowboys play the Redskins in what should be a very close game. The Redskins are a poor 6-12-2 ATS in home openers since 1996, including 2-8-2 ATS as favorites of 3 or more points.

Jeff's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dallas Cowboys +3

The average line over the past 10 meetings is Dallas minus -4.5 points. I think we are getting some value taking 3 points in a game that should come down to the wire. Turnovers are always the No. 1 key stat in the NFL and I would expect the team that commits the fewest will win this game outright. The Redskins played a physical game on MNF and now must play their bitter rival coming off a heartbreak defeat. Dallas is 13-3 ATS as underdogs in this series after a SU loss. Take the Cowboys plus the generous three points.

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