Washington Redskins (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date and Time: Monday Night Football, October 27, 2014 at 8:30PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
by Scott, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WAS +10/DAL -10
Over/Under Total: 49.5
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In an NFC East battle, the Washington Redskins come into Texas to take on the red-hot Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. The Redskins are coming off a much-needed Sunday win over the Titans that broke a 4-game losing streak. The Cowboys have won 6 in a row and are looking to continue building on what theyre hoping could be a special season.
The Redskins have a lot of problems. They got a boost from QB Colt McCoy on Sunday, but the very fact that McCoy is seeing major playing time speaks volumes about how dire their quarterback situation is. RG3 is almost ready to get back on the field. Kirk Cousins, who the Skins have grown to depend on for reliable fill-in work, hasnt been playing well. So it will be McCoy going in this game and truth be told, he didnt look half-bad in leading the Redskins back from a deficit to notch the win on Sunday.
At the same time, with wins only over the lowly Titans and Jaguars, the Redskins have been a major disappointment. Any mojo they had in RG3s rookie season has whooshed out of the locker room, All told, they have won 5 of their last 19 games. They have also lost LB Brian Orakpo. The defense is 8th against the pass and 12th against the run, but are 24th in points allowed. They actually have the second-highest yardage of any pass-attack in the league, but it doesnt always manifest into points. In looking for silver lining, McCoy did look good on Sunday, going 11-for-12 and leading the team down for the winning FG with time running out. And with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon as weapons in the pass with RB Alfred Morris, he has tools to work with.
Dallas appears to be in the zone with 6 straight wins. Tony Romo looks as good as ever and has improved upon the last several seasons in the decision-making department. He is making meaningful connections with top receiver Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and still-productive TE Jason Witten. But whats really given this offense a big boost is the performance of DeMarco Murray, who is already nearing 1000 yards.
Even before the season, it was figured that with all of Dallas talent, that theyd be able to really take off if the defense could just achieve middling status. And thats what the defense has done under new coordinator Rob Marinelli. With a D that is able to get timely stops and keep opposing offenses in check, were seeing a Dallas team able to do things it wasnt able to accomplish the past several seasons.
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In Washingtons favor for those thinking of backing them is their level of desperation. They really need another win and arent bad enough to where they can be summarily ruled out, especially in a division game. The double-digit point spread is done in the spirit of eliciting more bets on the Redskins. One thing the bookie never has to do is convince people to bet on a good Dallas team.
Washington has actually been in some close games en route to a 2-5 record. They lost narrowly in Philly to the Eagles, 37-34. They were plucky in their MNF loss to Seattle a few weeks ago. And at Arizona last week, they were in the game pretty much the whole way. Maybe they can get a little spark from McCoy and build on the momentum of winning last week and pick up the little bit of slack that has been preventing more success.
On one hand, you could forecast a letdown game with a home team on a 6-game winning streak facing a 2-win team that is playing their third-string QB. But this is a big national spotlight for Dallas and it seems like a strange time for them to let up. But if they do, it could open up the door for a hungry Redskins team who is playing a quarterback who will relish this opportunity, with his NFL chances down to this stretch of games. For McCoy, a lot comes down to this. Hes playing for his career and Romo is playing to go 7-1 and not 6-2. The gap in urgency is hard to ignore.
In a divisional setting, the Redskins can typically be counted on to provide stiff resistance. And while winless on the road, theyve played pretty well against some tough teams away from home this season. Lets face it, theyre not very good, but dont think theres not any moxie left on this team because they still have some fight. Both teams should play well on Monday, but I suspect Dallas will have trouble shaking loose of Washington. I look for a Dallas win, but for the Redskins to hang in there well enough to cover the spread.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Washington Redskins plus 10 points.