Buffalo Bills (6-7 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time : 12/20/15 1:00 PM ET
Where : FedEx Field, Landover, MD
by Keith, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BUF -1/WASH +1
Over/Under Total: 44
The public remains down the middle on this one, and for many intents and purposes so do many books. In a virtual pick-em scenario, we like Washington spotted the point at home. This fixture has all the elements included to foster a result in which the victor may defeat the loser by just one point. Given Washingtons ability to win at home, playing on home field advantage may seem to be the academic move in this one.
The Bills are your quintessential middle of the road, NFL football team. They come into this one with a sub .500 record of 6-7, identical to that of the ‘Skins. When you gaze at their results history and compare it to that of Washington, the two teams seem identical in pattern as well. Generally, both teams win every other game and never show winning or losing streaks greater than two games. Thus, this match is one of the more difficult to project or handicap on the Week 15 docket. However, as mentioned we do note that the Skins are 5-2 at home and Buffalo just 3-3 on the road, this is perhaps the greatest narrative worth playing on.
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The Redskins two losses at home came against the Miami Dolphins in week one and most recently a three point loss to the hated Cowboys, two weeks ago. We saw the Redskins enter against the Cowboys as a two point favorite and yet they would continue on to lose by three. However, as a home dog we have seen different results. As a home dog, the Skins are 4-0. In three separate occasions, they were spotted a field goal and in two of these three scenarios, they would continue to win by a touchdown or more. As a one-point favorite against the Giants, the Redskins would win 20-14, covering by 7 points in total.
The analytics suggest the Redskins are the right move, couple this with the fact that they are very much alive in the NFC East despite their mediocre record on the year and this game carries even more significance. With this being said, home field advantage may be even more potent. Scores and legions of Washington fans will do their best to generate the mystique and atmosphere that has catapulted Washington to win hard fought games before their supporters. Even Washington quarterback Kurt Cousins could not hold back and said himself that the Redskins love playing for their fans and the presence of all those that bleed a Red and Gold, empowers them to play at a higher level. We know Buffalo can thrive on the road but they have not looked impressive as of recent, as they have lost three in the row on the road. What is even more haunting for any one backing Buffalo, is the return of a healthy LeSean McCoy and the continued rise of sophomore wide-out Sammy Watkins. Even with Watkins and McCoy performing their best, Buffalo has still had trouble regardless and this leads us to stay away from the Bills. Sure, they have a coach in Rex Ryan that talks a big game and perhaps he knows how to fire up his players to play above their ability but it has not yielded the results that were desired as of recent and again we will have to lay the road favorite.
The writing is on the wall with this one, Washington all the way. It is hard to forecast any line movements as it seems all who view this line do not know which way to go. We would not advise jumping on a pick-em if it were to emerge because the one point that accompanies Washington is most valuable. Given the inconsistencies of both offenses over the course of the season, matched by noteworthy struggles on the defensive side for both clubs, the variables in itself create a true environment of uncertainty where ever point counts. Nevertheless, we like the Redskins at FedEx Field for the home field advantage we have observed over the course of the season. Couple this with Washingtons ability to thrive as a marginal pooch and Buffalos recent troubles on the road and the Redskins offer tremendous value and serve to be a quality play.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Washington +1
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