Washington Redskins (5-9 SU 6-6-2 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6 SU 9-5 ATS) NFL Football Week 16, EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL 1:00 PM ET, December 26, 2010 on FOX
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Wash+7/JAX -7
Over/Under Total: 45.5
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The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their last game to the Colts and now they are tied with Indy for the lead in the AFC South. The schedule is on their side since there may be no better team to get back on track against than the Washington Redskins, who have lost 4 straight and 6 of their last 7. The Jags need to get some help to make the post-season, as if Indy wins their last 2 games they will win the AFC South.
In their last games the Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys 33-30 and the Jaguars lost to the Indianapolis Colts 34-24.
The Redskins’ offense finally showed some signs of life scoring 23 points in the 2nd half in the loss to Dallas. It looked as if head coach Mike Shanahan made a mistake by starting Rex Grossman, but he played great in the 2nd half and finished the game with 322 yards with 4 TD and 2 INT. He will put up those kinds of numbers again facing a Jags’ D, which only ranks 27th in the league defending the pass.
Washington only has the league’s 28th rushing offense and they only picked up 55 yards on the ground in the win over Dallas. In that game RB Ryan Torain had 53 rushing yards averaging a legit 4.8 yards per carry, but the Skins had to air it out to come back after getting down early. Torain will get more touches in this game and play well facing a Jag’s rushing defense that ranks 18th in the league. Last week the Jaguars faced the worst rushing offense in the league in the Colts and gave 155 rushing yards.
One of the main reasons the Jaguars lost last week was that RB Maurice Jones-Drew could not get it going. He only had 46 yards averaging 3.1 yards per carry and it ended his streak of 6 straight 100-yard games. He will get back on track this Sunday since the Redskins’ rushing D only ranks 27th in the league and gave up 134 rushing yards to the Cowboys last week.
Jags’ QB David Garrard was forced to air it out since the Colts stuffed Jones-Drew and he played well passing for 294 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. Even though the Skins only have the league’s 31st ranked passing D they will have a better chance to win if they force Garrard to beat them. That will not happen, as Jones-Drew will have a good game, which will make things much easier for Garrard. He will play to his strength this Sunday managing a game and not having to carry his team.
The Redskins’ defense is not a good one and they will likely be without one of the better players with LB Brian Orakpo doubtful for this game. Also, S Reed Doughty and DE Phillip Daniels are questionable for this Sunday with injuries sustained in the Cowboys game.
While Washington is only 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win and have only been a mediocre betting team on the season (6-6-2 ATS) they are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10 and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.
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Jacksonville is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games, but is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games as a home favorite of 3.5-10.
Even though the Jags have an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games as a favorite the Skins have an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games. I would stay away from the Over/Under pick since each of these teams is unpredictable on both sides of the ball.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think the Skins will have another solid offensive performance, but their D will not be able to contain Jones-Drew and that will be the key. The Jags will win this game, but it will be close and Washington will cover the spread. Take the Skins and the 7 points.