NFL Betting: Redskins vs. Vikings

Jason Lake

Monday, November 4, 2013 4:46 PM GMT

Last year, Washington crushed the NFL betting lines during the second half of the season. Is it time to jump back on the bandwagon, or is it time to follow Christian Ponder in Minnesota?

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 2 inclusive:

21-19-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

4-5 Totals

It’s time to forget everything you know about football. We’ve made it past Week 9 of the NFL regular season – halftime, if you will. We’ve seen a lot of things happen on the football field, including some very bad performances from both Washington (3-5 SU and ATS) and Minnesota (1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS). However, both those teams covered in Week 9. Perhaps it’s time to swoop in and grab some value on these guys, now that the football betting market is as depressed as their fans are.

Sadly, we can only choose one of these potential bargains this week. The very early NFL betting odds for Week 10 have Minnesota getting 2.5 points at home against Washington. Our consensus reports haven’t pulled in enough data as we go to press; that should change by the time you read this, but keep on hitting that refresh button for the latest numbers.

Straight Cash Homey

I’m expecting people to side with Washington in this scenario. Robert Griffin III couldn’t find the end zone in Week 10 against the San Diego Chargers, who came back in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but RB Darrell Young picked up his third rushing TD of the day in overtime to win 30-24 as a 1-point home chalk. That’s back-to-back wins SU and ATS for Washington at home.

Minnesota also cashed in this past Sunday, but it was all in vain, as the Dallas Cowboys (–10 at home) drove 90 yards in the final three minutes to score the game-winning TD in a 27-23 victory. Consternation and uproar! Which is why I’m going to pick the Vikings this week. Things look bad in the Twin Cities, but look more closely, and you’ll see it’s worse in D.C.

Ponderosa

We’ll have to see how the numbers from Week 9 play out, but through Week 8, Minnesota was actually ahead of Washington on the efficiency charts at Football Outsiders:

MIN: No. 25 (No. 22 offense, No. 28 defense, No. 4 special teams)

WAS: No. 30 (No. 15 offense, No. 27 defense, No. 32 special teams)

And let’s not forget, those numbers for Minnesota include the Week 7 performance by QB Josh Freeman, who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in a 23-7 loss to the New York Giants (–4 at home). Freeman has been inactive ever since with a concussion, allowing Christian Ponder to regain his starting job. Ah, yes, Christian Ponder. He’s the guy that sucks, right? Well, here’s two more stats for you through Week 8:

Ponder: minus-56 passing DYAR (No. 27 overall)

Griffin: minus-72 passing DYAR (No. 28)

Of course, Griffin does bring that extra element of running to the field, which is generally overlooked in the NFL betting market. Uh-oh…

Ponder: plus-30 rushing DYAR (No. 10)

Griffin: plus-24 rushing DYAR (No. 12)

Look, I’ll admit, I’ve been a quarterback apologist for some time now. Sometimes I get it wrong, like with Brandon Weeden (minus-366 passing DYAR). But I’m not trying to convince you that Ponder is a Pro Bowl quarterback. I’m just pointing out that he’s not nearly as bad as people like to think. People are really, really mean these days when it comes to quarterbacks not named Tom Brady – and even he’s starting to hear the boo-birds (minus-117 passing DYAR).

As much fun as it is to play with these numbers, Thursday night’s matchup is more about the awful Washington defense and the even worse Washington special teams. Ponder could end up looking like Fran Tarkenton in this one. Or at least Brad Johnson. Would you believe Wade Wilson?

NFL Pick: Take the Vikings +2.5 at JustBet

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