NFL Picks: Redskins vs. Cowboys in Week 6

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:08 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 7:08 PM GMT

Last week, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t beat the Denver Broncos, but they smashed the NFL betting lines. What can Washington do to stop America’s Team on Sunday Night Football?

Follow our NFL odds coverage day-by-day with our NFL Week 6 Betting Odds Report!

Judging by the reaction, you’d think the Dallas Cowboys just punted the 2013 season. They went toe-to-toe with the mighty Denver Broncos last week, taking a 48-41 lead into the late stages before tripping up at the end and losing 51-48. Never mind that Dallas cashed in as a 7.5-point home dog to improve to 4-1 against the NFL odds, and never mind that QB Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns. All people are talking about are Romo’s late interception (his only pick on the day) and Dallas falling to 2-3 SU.

Our friends in Washington would love to trade places with Dallas right now. They’re 1-3 SU and ATS, with the lone victory coming in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders (+3.5 at home) and substitute QB Matt Flynn, who is now a free agent. But at least Washington will be coming off a bye week when these two NFC East rivals meet this Sunday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) at The Venue Formerly Known as Cowboys Stadium.

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Beyond Reason

Although the sky is falling over Big D, the sharp action has been on the Cowboys thus far, driving the NFL point spread from Dallas –4.5 at the open to Dallas –5.5 as we go to press. The consensus reports show roughly two-thirds of bettors on the Cowboys with 70 percent of the money – mind you, the bet sizes are fairly small at $30 for Dallas and $24 for Washington.

The visitors do have that bye week in their favor, one of the more useful sports betting angles out there. But I’m more interested in the way everyone’s freaking out over Romo’s interception, which set up the Broncos at the Dallas 24-yard line with under two minutes to go. Instead of crediting LB Danny Trevathan for making an excellent diving grab, the lamestream media is once again coming down hard on Romo, as if he’s the anti-clutch Antichrist.

Read our Redskins vs. Cowboys Opening Odds report for more info on this game!

Clutch This

There’s an on-going debate about whether “clutch” exists, with the statheads invariably saying “no” and traditional sports fans saying “Mommy’s basement.” Quite frankly, in my humble opinion, it’s a silly argument on both sides. Even the best athletes can either freeze up or hulk up at key moments (some more than others), and the times they fail register twice as heavily with the peanut gallery as the times they succeed.

The important thing to recognize is that a game-winning field goal is worth the exact same three points as a field goal in the first quarter. Even with that interception, Romo’s Week 5 performance was truly epic; Football Outsiders ranked it No. 2 among last week’s QBs at plus-223 Total DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement). Only Denver’s Peyton Manning (plus-280) ranked higher – he also threw a pick, by the way.

Looking for other betting options? Jordan Sharp has a pick on the total of this game.

Shutdown in D.C.

Unless the Cowboys go into some kind of mental funk after this loss (possible), it’s likely going to take a Manning-esque performance from Robert Griffin III to get Washington to the pay window. Manning just got through bailing out Denver’s No. 25-ranked defense; Washington ranks No. 27 in that department, while D.C.’s offense (No. 13 overall) doesn’t hold a candle to the historically awesome work that Manning and the Broncos are providing us this year.

We’ve certainly seen Griffin do some amazing things, and the extra week of rest can only help his continuing recovery from offseason knee surgery. However, given what these two teams have done so far this year, and given the way people willfully undervalue Romo, I’ll gladly take Dallas in this matchup for my NFL picks

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NFL Pick: Take the Cowboys on the spread, -5.5 (-110) available at Ladbrokes

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