Seattle Seahawks (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date and Time: Monday Night Football, October 6, 2014 at 8:30PM EST
Where: FedExField, Landover, Maryland
by Scott, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA +8.5/WASH +8.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5
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On Monday Night Football, the Seattle Seahawks come to FedEx Field to face the Washington Redskins. Seattle, at 2-1, is coming off a bye-week that followed an overtime win over Denver in their Super Bowl rematch. Washington is coming off a high-visibility 31-point loss last Thursday at home to the New York Giants. Seattle is a substantial road favorite.
We should always monitor our perceptions of teams for accuracy. On one hand, we see a well-rested Seattle team coming off a gutsy OT win over a really good Broncos team. Contrast that to the Redskins, who went into the tank for everyone to see on Thursday night to a not-so-great Giants team. But in NFL wagering, things arent as good as they look at their best, nor as bad as they look at their worst.
Its easy to relegate the Redskins to the scrap heap at this point. They lost their starting quarterback and second-stringer Kirk Cousins looked ghastly against the Giants with 5 turnovers and a general lack of good play. Again, impressions are lasting and the Redskins are not as bad as they looked against New York, though a 31-point home loss is certainly alarming. Cousins may have simply had a terrible game and he has shown good form in some of his other appearances. He went for over 400 yards in a narrow road loss at Philadelphia. And Cousins also looked good as the Skins beat Jacksonville by 31 the previous week.
If Cousins makes the right adjustments, he has tools-galore to employ. WR DeSean Jackson is a top weapon. And WR Pierre Garcon is a good number-two option. Andre Roberts has come through with a few big catches. TE Niles Paul was taking a big step forward this season, but is questionable entering this game with a concussion. He is their leading receiver, which probably isnt that great of a sign, but they would certainly like to see him in there in Monday. The run-game hasnt quite taken flight, but they are averaging 4.5 yards per carry and Alfred Morris is getting into a groove.
Defensively, the Redskins have seen their form dip in the last two weeks after a promising start. In their first two games, they allowed 27 points, while giving up 82 points in their last two. That has a lot to do with the teams theyre playing, but its not a unit that is getting better, thats for sure. The last few weeks, theyve been getting victimized on both the ground and through the air. But lets face it, the Eagle and Giants offenses look a lot better right now than the Redskins offense.
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Seattle has begun the season with a strange schedule. They had that season-opening Thursday game where they smashed Green Bay, then ten days later turned up in San Diego, losing to a good Chargers team. Then came the OT win against Denver where they took the opening OT possession in for a TD to ice the win. A two week-plus break leads into this game.
Seattles offense is probably a notch above last seasons form. Having game-changing playmaker Percy Harvin available all season adds another dimension to the mix. And QB Russell Wilson and coach Pete Carroll seem a bit more forward-thinking in their approach through 3 games. The defense, however, has been a step off its 2013 form. On one hand, thats a high standard to live up to and they have been playing teams like San Diego and Denver, a pair of squads capable of massive offensive potential.
After a stutter-step beginning to their season and now turning up in the faraway location of Landover, one could be justified in anticipating a Seattle team that really hasnt begun clicking. Be that as it may, they did beat Denver in their last game and blew out a dangerous Green Bay with little issue in week one. After the Super Bowl shellacking they gave the Broncos, the week three win may have paled in comparison. And things are always a little different for the Seahawks at home than they are on the road.
Look for Marshawn Lynch to make his presence known in this game, with the efficient pass-game of Wilson exploiting a RedskinsD that struggles in covering screen passes and crossing routes across the middle. Look for Percy Harvin, either on a special teams play, a big reception, or a reverse. The Seahawks, however, will be without a productive tight end in Zach Miller and after watching the Giants TE Larry Donnell exploiting the Skins D last week in the red zone, thats a potentially valuable piece of manpower Seattle will be without.
Seattle is not what you would call an offensive power. Sure, they smoked Denver in the Bowl and did the same to Green Bay in week one, so the impression of their offense may be that of a high-octane unit. For the most part, however, its not a unit that provides a high output of points. And lets face it, taking to the road hasnt always given way to the crispest Seattle team. With the schedule having not afforded them the opportunity to establish a rhythm, I sense that Washington can hang in there and cover the spread.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Washington Redskins plus 8.5 points.