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  • It’s the renewal of one of the NFL’s most heated rivalries as Cowboys and Redskins meet in Washington. Which NFC East team should you bet on?
By Scott Gramling
October 17, 2018

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-1.5)

Sun. 10/21, 4:25 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Dallas-Washington:

1. Although Dallas is coming off a 40-7 home win over Jacksonville in Week 6, the road has been a different story in 2018. Not only are the Cowboys winless away from Jerry's World (0-2-1 against the spread), but the team has averaged a meager 12.3 points per game over three defeats at Carolina, Seattle and Houston. None of those three teams boast defensive units that are conjuring up memories of the 1985 Bears: The Panthers allowed eight points to Dallas and have given up an average of 26.5 points per game to their other four opponents; the Seahawks gave up 13 to the Cowboys and have allowed an average of 20.8 to others; the Texans, which held Dallas to 16 points in a game that went to overtime, have allowed an average of 24.2 points over their other five games, and that’s despite three of those having been against the Titans, Giants and Bills, which are three of six NFL teams averaging fewer than 20 points per game.

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2. The Redskins are 5-1 (straight up and against the spread) over their past six home games with the average victory margin having been more than 10 points. They’ve racked up six takeaways over three 2018 home games while turning the ball over only twice. That stands in sharp contrast with a Dallas team that has turned the ball over six times while generating only three takeaways over their three 2018 road games. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s 586 rushing yards ranks second in the NFL behind only the Rams’ Todd Gurley, and Elliott ran for 150 yards on 33 carries in Washington the lone time he faced the Redskins last season. That, however, was against a run defense that ended 2017 ranked last in the league, whereas the 2018 Redskins currently rank sixth in the league, allowing an average of 90.2 rushing yards per game. Washington is also one of only two NFL teams along with Minnesota that has yet to allow a 20-yard gain on the ground this season. No opposing team has reached 105 rushing yards in a game against Washington this season.

3. There appears to be value in betting against Dallas with the Cowboys coming off such a lopsided victory. NFL teams with a mediocre record on the season (a win percentage between 45 and 55%) are 3-10 against the spread since the start of the 2009 season when coming off an upset win by at least two touchdowns. Washington, meanwhile, is 5-0 both straight up and against the spread over its past five games with a closing line that’s been four points or fewer.

Pick: Washington -1.5

Confidence Level: Moderate (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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