The Spread and Total
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (+1, 44 O/U).
We’re using the spread from GTBets, but there is some fluctuation in this number, so check out a couple different books depending on how you want to play it. The odds range from pick’em to Dallas +1.5.
Did not practice: tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), defensive lineman Terrell McClain (toe), safety Montae Nicholson (concussion), center Chase Roullier (hand).
Limited practice: left tackle Trent Williams (knee).
Did not practice: linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), offensive tackle La’el Collins (back). Lee is unlikely to play on Thursday.
Limited practice: linebacker Anthony Hitchens (groin), linebacker Justin Durant (concussion), offensive tackle Tyron Smith (back/groin), guard Zack Martin (concussion). Smith and Martin are likely to suit up.
October 29, 2017 (Landover, MD): Dallas 33, Washington 19
November 24, 2016 (Arlington, TX): Dallas 31, Washington 26
September 18, 2016 (Landover, MD): Dallas 27, Washington 23
January 3, 2016 (Arlington, TX): Washington 34, Dallas 23
December 7, 2015 (Landover, MD): Dallas 19, Washington 16
Significant ATS Trends
Both teams are 5-6 ATS on the year.
Dallas is 0-3 SU and ATS in its last three and each game stayed under the total.
After going winless against the number in October, the Redskins are 3-1 ATS in November.
Dallas is 11-20-1 ATS at home since the start of 2014.
Washington went 5-2 against the spread on the road last year, and is 3-2 this season.
Redskins vs Cowboys Matchup
When these division rivals met in Washington at the end of October, it was the Ezekiel Elliott show. The now-suspended Dallas running back carried 33 times for 150 yards and scored twice in the Cowboys’ 33-19 win. The Cowboys pulled away in the second half after entering the break 14-13. The defense was much better in the second half, holding Washington off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter, while Mike Nugent made field goals of 27, 36, 37, and 48 yards to up the advantage to 26-13 midway through the final stanza.
After a long scoring drive got Washington within 26-19, Dallas was forced to punt with under four minutes remaining. Kirk Cousins was then intercepted by Byron Jones, who returned the pick for a 21-yard touchdown to seal the victory for Dallas. Washington committed three of the four turnovers in the game and Dallas held the ball for over 33 minutes.
Dallas looked great the next week, as well, beating Kansas City 28-17 to improve to 5-3. However, they have scored a total of 22 points in their three games since against the Falcons, Eagles, and Chargers. Los Angeles outgained the Cowboys 515 to 247 on Thanksgiving, and Philip Rivers carved up the defense, going 27 for 33 for 434 yards. During the losing streak, quarterback Dak Prescott has failed to reach 180 yards through the air in any game, and has no touchdown passes with five interceptions. Not surprisingly, the three-game skid for Dallas has coincided with Elliott’s suspension, and injuries to Lee and Smith.
Washington had lost four of five, dropping to 4-6 overall, before handling the Giants at home last Thursday (20-10). Their schedule has been the who’s who of elite NFC teams. They have fallen to the Eagles (twice), Vikingsm and Saints, in addition to the setback against Dallas, and an early-season loss in Kansas City, back when the Chiefs were rolling. They also own impressive road wins against the Rams and Seahawks.
Injuries to Chris Thompson and Rob Kelly, have left Washington with a depleted backfield. But rookie Samaje Perine was solid against the Giants, turning his 27 touches into 130 total yards. Wideout Jamison Crowder had his best game of the season, catching seven balls for 141 yards and making everyone wonder where he’s been the last three months.
The defense limited New York to 170 yards and two of 14 on third down, continuing a trend: when the D plays well, Washington wins. In four of their five wins, they’ve held their opponents to 20 points or fewer. In all six losses, they’ve surrendered at least 29 points. They have a reputation as an offensive team that can win a shootout, but that’s just not the case this year.
In the end both of these teams yield too many yards and points, and their numbers are almost identical (Dallas: 348.3 YPG, 24.5 PPG; Washington: 346 YPG, 25.1 PPG). Washington does a better job forcing turnovers (16) than Dallas (12), and given that they have played a much tougher slate, their defense gets the nod as the stronger unit. But, at the end of the day, this is going to come down to which offense executes better.
While both teams are using backup RBs, Washington has seemed much more competent in an emergency situation, and they are a significantly better passing team by any measure.
As for everything else, both teams have been good in the redzone this year, though Dallas has had a tough time during their losing streak. The Cowboys have the fifth best special teams DVOA in the league, while the Skins are ranked 24th. Dallas coach Jason Garrett is 61-49 during his career and 1-2 in the playoffs. Washington coach Jay Gruden is 26-31-1 overall and 0-1 in postseason play
This is essentially a playoff elimination game. The loser will be 5-7 and can kiss the season away. The winner has an uphill climb but can cling to hope.
The last two times Washington has won, the defense has been able to hold the other team down. The Cowboys’ offense is a mess right now. Washington has played a better schedule, and Dallas continues to be hampered by key players being out or less than 100-percent.
Pick: Washington (-1) and UNDER (44)