Betting the Total for Monday Night Football: Seahawks vs. Redskins

Jason Lake

Saturday, October 4, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

And you thought the Chucky movies were bad: Percy Harvin and the Seattle offense is giving Washington head coach Jay Gruden nightmares. But one man’s nightmare is another NFL betting fan’s wet dream.

Jason’s Record After Week 4: 12-14 ATS, 5-4-1 Totals

Profit: minus-5.6 units


Welcome to Washington: Graveyard of NFL head coaches. This has been a horrible place to work ever since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999 – mostly with other people’s money. Marty Schottenheimer lasted just one year, Steve Spurrier two. Not even the great Joe Gibbs could avoid the ax. So how must rookie head coach Jay Gruden feel these days?

Sleepless, as it turns out. But it’s not his team’s 1-3 record (OVER 3-1) that has Gruden tossing and turning – it’s the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (OVER 2-1), who visit The Fed for some Monday Night Football after enjoying the bye in Week 4. Specifically, it’s Percy Harvin that’s got Gruden worried, and for good reason. Reason enough for us to bet the OVER? Probably. There’s a vulnerable total of 45 points on the NFL odds board for Week 5, and our consensus reports show 56 percent support for the OVER at press time.

Brother of Chucky
Gruden is just one month into his NFL head coaching career, and win record aside, he’s earned praise for his performance. He’s certainly been prepared for the job: Gruden, a fine quarterback at Louisville and an Arena League MVP, spent three successful years as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive co-ordinator, where he helped mold Andy Dalton into the whirlwind force he is today.

Genetics might have something to do with it, too. You’re probably familiar with Jay’s brother Jon, the current MNF color guy who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory at Super Bowl XXXVII. Jon Gruden was also a college quarterback at Dayton, and he also spent three years as an OC with the Philadelphia Eagles before getting his first head coaching gig. One key difference: Jon Gruden didn’t have Andy Dalton to work with. He had Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer and Bobby Hoying.

Insert Obligatory Sleepless in Seattle Reference Here
Are these guys two peas in a pod or what? We invite you to hear Jon Gruden’s voice when you read the following quotes from his baby brother regarding this week’s preparations for Monday night’s contest (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN):

“I got up [at 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning] because I couldn’t sleep, so I came in to work… It’s stressful. I knew it would be stressful, but a little more than I even thought.”

“On special teams, it scares the hell of you when [Harvin’s] back there. He’s a threat to break it every time… The way they use him on the fly sweeps, you have to know where he is all the time. If you give him some open space, you’ll be trying to block the extra point on the next play. He’ll be gone.”

Jay Gruden had some even more Grudeneqsue comments about Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (“He runs angry”), but you get the point. He knows he’s got his hands full this week. Seattle has the No. 2-ranked offense in the league (No. 8 pass, No. 1 rush), and Washington’s No. 16-ranked defense (No. 23 pass, No. 5 rush) is missing a boatload of players due to injury.

Gruden’s sleeplessness makes us feel very good about betting the OVER for our NFL picks in this matchup. So does his talent for coaching offense. It’s hard to predict what you’re going to get out of Kirk Cousins from week to week, but he threw five touchdown passes versus just one pick in his first two games before spitting the bit against the New York Giants. As it is, Cousins might not need to generate much offense to get Monday’s score to the Promised Land.

Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on OVER 45 (–103) at Pinnacle

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