Washington Redskins (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (2-3 SU, 4-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 6
Date and Time: Sunday October 13th, 2013. 8:30PM Eastern
Where: AT&T Stadium Arlington, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Wash +5.5/DAL -5.5
Over/Under Total: 52
The Dallas Cowboys nearly shocked the nation last week
with an upset over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Instead Tony Romo
threw yet another crucial interception with the game on the line and the
Cowboys fell 51-48 to the Broncos in what became one of the most exciting
football games in recent memory. While it was an extremely impressive performance
from Jason Garrett’s group, the loss still set the Cowboys back to just
2-3 on the season. With the entire NFC East in full disarray, it is still
a wide open race for everyone including the 0-5 New York Giants. This week
two of the expected front runners for the NFC East crown square off in Arlington
while renewing one of the NFL’s great rivalries when the Washington
Redskins meet the Dallas Cowboys in primetime on Sunday Night Football.
The visiting Redskins have been one of the bigger disappointments so far this season. After a breakout 2012 playoff season, Mike Shanahan was expected to field a team that could potentially contend for the NFC Championship yet alone the NFC East. Instead the Redskins dropped their first 3 games before finally capturing a win in Oakland. Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was a big component to the Redskins’ big 2012 season, has struggled a bit with interceptions this season throwing 4 through the first 4 games of the season. Griffin threw just 5 picks all together last season and he has drawn some criticism as a result. Some feel like Griffin is still ailing from last season’s torn ACL which required surgery over the off-season. While I will admit that Griffin has shown signs that he is not back to 100% confidence with that knee, I also think he is carrying too much of the blame.
Not only has Griffin averaged exactly 300 yards per game through the air, but the offense has also been solid ranking 8th overall and averaging 23 points per game. WR Pierre Garcon is healthy and playing well which provides an excellent down the field threat. Running back Alfred Morris has been reliable and appears to be picking up steam. However the bigger problem lies on the opposing side of the football. The Redskins defense has been atrocious giving up an NFL worse 440 yards per game. Nearly 300 yards per game has been given up through the air and another 140 has been lost on the ground. While Washington had a week 5 bye for Shanahan to work on improvements, the Redskins defense will be challenged by a very talented and balanced offense this Sunday night.
The Cowboys have been a lethal passing attack with Romo behind center despite his tendency to throw crucial late game interceptions. However the Dallas offense has received a lot of additional support this season from running back DeMarco Murray. Murray has racked up 399 yards (4th in NFL) with two touchdowns this season. Murray’s growing threat on the ground is making the Cowboys’ offense more dangerous each week. Despite the criticism, Tony Romo is having one of the best seasons of his career. Romo has completed 71% of his passes for 1,523 yards with 13 touchdowns and just 2 picks on the year. Not only is Romo playing at a high level, but WR Dez Bryant is having a great start with 29 catches for 423 yards through 5 games. Additionally WR Terrance Williams has emerged as a solid receiving threat for the injured Miles Austin in recent weeks. Austin may be able to return this week after missing some time with a hamstring injury. If he is able to play at an effective level, that will create more difficulties and potential match-up problems for Washington’s defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: From a betting stand point, the public has been all over the Cowboys. Nearly 80% of early betting action has favored the Cowboys who are laying 5.5 points. However, historical trends seem to point back towards the Redskins as the trendy pick. Not only has Washington covered 6 in a row over Dallas, but the Cowboys are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites. Still I believe that it is too hard to bet against the Cowboys in this spot especially considering how well the offense is playing and putting up points. Instead I like the over 52 as both defenses should continue to show their weaknesses. It will not be as many points as last week’s 51-48 thriller in Big D, but it will be enough to cash. Take the over 52.