Washington Redskins (6-4-1 SU, 8-3 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1 SU, 3-8 ATS)
NFL Week 13
December 4th 2016 /Time: 4:25 PM EST
Where: U of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, AZ
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Lions -6.5
Over/Under Total: 47
Not a lot for the Redskins to be thankful for on Thanksgiving losing to their rival Dallas Cowboys 31-26. They had their chances, but a couple of missed field goals, their struggles in the red zone, and not containing Dallas Dak Prescott on key 3rd downs spelled their doom. Still, the Skins are in the playoff hunt and need a strong finish to get there, which will have to be a Wild Card trailing the 10-1 Cowboys.
Well, the Cardinals made the NFC title game last season, but a repeat performance seems like a long shot. They have lost 3 of their last 4 games and at 4-6-1 they may have to win out to have a chance at the post-season. They have giving up 38 and 30 points in their last 2 games, both losses, and Carson Palmer has looked nothing like the MVP candidate he was last season.
With Kirk Cousins on the franchise tag and how he has played this season, especially against Dallas last week, the Skins have to show him the money. He ranks 2nd in the NFL in passing yards and in the loss to the Cowboys he passed for 449 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT. He has a lot of weapons on the outside, but on the main ones in emerging star TD Jordan Reed may be out for this game with a shoulder injury.
The Skins lost to the Cowboys even with the big day from their QB and it did not help at all that they only rushed for a grand total of 56 yards. The Washington defense has been up and down on the season and they only ranks 25th in the league against the run and 16th against the pass. Also, their inability to convert red-zone chances into TDs has hurt them this season and when they get deep in the Arizona territory they have to take advantage and not settle for field goals.
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Palmer did not have a bad game in Arizonas last game, which was a 38-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons where he passed for 289 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. However, on the season his offensive line has not played well in giving him protection and he already has more INT this season then he had in all of last season. He has the weapons on the outside, but needs time to find them. The Skins pass D has been mediocre this season, but they do have a solid pass rush, which is a concern for Palmer, who is not the mobile signal caller.
In the loss to the Falcons the Cardinals only rushed for 59 yards with David Johnson picking up 58 of them. He still ranks 3rd in the league in rushing yards, but has not cracked the 100 yard rushing barrier in 3 of the last 4 games. Washington has had their issues in run defense and while that unit was pretty good in the 1st half against the Cowboys in the 2nd half they struggled.
These teams last met in the 2014 season in Arizona where the Cardinals beat the Redskins 30-20.
One big trend to look at in this NFC match up is that the Redskins have covered the spread in their last 4 gams while the Cardinals have failed to cover in their last 5 games. However, in looking at a head-to-head match up the Cardinals are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games facing the Redskins.
Even with the defensive issues the Redskins have I dont think the Cardinals will snap put of their funk facing them. Cousins will have another big game and while the Cardinals rank in the top 10 in the league in pass and run defense Washington will move the ball on them. Not only will the Skins cover the spread as a 2.5-point road underdog, but they will get the win in the desert as well.
Jasons Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Redskins +2.5
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