NFL Picks: Giants vs. Redskins Betting the Spread

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:18 PM GMT

Should Robert Griffin III even be playing? Healthy or not, he’ll be under center when Washington tries to beat the football lines in Sunday night’s NFC East rivalry game against New York.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 25 inclusive:

28-25-2 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

5-10-1 Totals

There’s a storm brewing over Washington – literally and figuratively. Adverse weather conditions, including heavy wind and rain (turning into snow and ice further north), have made a mess of the mid-Atlantic. But that’s nothing compared to the dark clouds circling over D.C. in the wake of Monday’s 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers (–5.5 away). Washington fell to 3-8 SU and ATS after that embarrassing performance.

Good thing there’s no need to travel for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants (4-7 SU and ATS). But you can imagine how unhappy the locals will be if they have to watch yet another stinker of a game with temperatures approaching the freezing mark – it’s a Sunday Night Football matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) in December, folks. At least the forecast only calls for a slight chance of rain, although this storm might have other ideas.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":227058, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Fading Away

When we last joined our heroes from the nation’s capital, they were 1.5-point home favorites on the earliest NFL lines for Sunday’s game. That lasted about as long as Alec Baldwin’s talk show. By the time people woke up on Tuesday, the Giants were favored by anywhere between one and 2.5 points, depending on which online sportsbooks you shopped at. Our consensus reports show 63 percent support for Big Blue.

And why would anyone bet on Washington at this point? QB Robert Griffin III just had the second-worst start of anyone in Week 11, posting minus-109 Total DYAR (minus-109 passing, minus-29 rushing) against the Niners and eating four sacks. LB Ahmad Brooks had two of those sacks; he told CSN Washington after the game that he didn’t think Griffin was healthy enough to be playing.

Doctor in the House

If you believe the pundits, Brooks is being a little extreme in his diagnosis. I’m not so sure. The nattering nabobs point to the fact that Griffin isn’t limping like he was during last year’s playoff drive. But there’s no question that Griffin isn’t as mobile as he was before undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, and when you combine that with all the abuse his body takes running the read option, it’s getting rather uncomfortable watching Griffin get fed to the wolves every week.

Then you have the emotional toil Griffin is going through. Between the reduction in his performance level and the increase in losing, Griffin has gone from Undisputed Lord of All Things to The Guy You Hate a Little More Every Week. “People are trying to character assassinate me," Griffin told reporters after Monday’s loss. And he’s right. It’s the national pastime, after all.

DVOA, Four Capital Letters

The Week 12 DVOA ratings are in at Football Outsiders, and despite the poor results from Week 11, Washington remains locked in at No. 29 in overall efficiency (No. 19 offense, No. 24 defense, No. 32 special teams). The Giants moved up one spot to No. 26 (No. 31 offense, No. 5 defense, No. 7 special teams) following their competitive 24-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys as 2.5-point home faves.

We’ve also got a fresh update on Giants center Jim Cordle: out for the season with a partially torn left patella tendon. Cordle was already filling in for David Bass and not doing a very good job of it, so his loss isn’t nearly devastating enough for me to switch my pick to Washington. It might take a white-out blizzard to keep New York from winning this game.

NFL Pick: Take the Giants –1 at Intertops