Dallas Cowboys -2.5 (-115) @ Washington Redskins +2.5 (-105)
Analysis: The Dallas Cowboys (7-7, 2-5 away) are coming off a debacle in week 15, blowing a mega 23-point lead to the Green Bay Packers to lose 37-36. Tony Romo went 26-39 for 299 yards and 2 TD’s, but he threw two costly interceptions in the last three minutes of the game to practically gift-wrap the sensational comeback victory for Matt Flynn and the Packers.
Somewhat similarly, Washington Redskins are coming off a narrow 27-26 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons, a game that featured the debut of Kirk Cousins in RGIII’s stead. The defeat extended the Redskin’s run of poor form to six defeats in a row.
The sum of the pairs playing accounts last week has yielded a rather interesting NFL betting market on their clash this week, a tight NFL spread where the Cowboys are only the marginal 2.5-point favourites.
Now, on balance this spread makes sense given recent form and the current status of both teams in the overall playoffs picture: the Redskins have little to play for, their season done and done. The Cowboys on the other hand are hanging in the hunt, and despite missing a crucial opportunity to clinch top spot in the NFC East, they’ll be favouring their chances over the Redskins to make amends.
But when Tony Romo has a tendency to blow things late in a game or even late in a season, nothing can be taken for granted. Besides, this is Cousins’ opportunity to show off his wares as he struts down the NFL catwalk in hopes of gaining attractive bids for the next season. That’s incentive for the next game, especially when he was close to recording a first win for the Redskins in a long time.
Common reason says Dallas should win this game but, given their unpredictability and, conversely, Cousins’ performance against the Falcons, which wasn’t all that bad considering it was his first start this season, this game could go against the grain. Certainly, Redskins to cover isn’t entirely impossible and heck, even a rare win. Well, we’re going to take a chance on it for our NFL Picks.
NFL Picks: Washington Redskins to win straight up and cover
New England Patriots +2.0 (-110) @ Baltimore Ravens -2.0 (-110)
Analysis: The Patriots (10-4, 3-4 away) stumbled somewhat shockingly in Miami last week, losing to the Dolphins 24-20. The Ravens meanwhile beat the Detroit Lions 18-16, on the road no less. The sum of their playing parts and accounts in week 15 has yielded a rather tight betting line with most sportsbooks and, what’s more, the Patriots are tipped as the underdogs across the board. Now, a lot is being made about the matchups of Patriots vs. Ravens and Brady vs. Flacco. And how these matchups seem to favour the hosts in every important sense.
But how often do we see the Patriots losing back-to-back games? Hmmm? Not very often, if ever. Moreover, all those stats and figures that NFL experts are fond of trotting out really mean very little at this late stage in the season. Oh, and don’t get us started on Flacco, suffice it to say, he’s a shadow of his former Super Bowl winning self. Sure the NFL odds are stacked against the Patriots but we don’t agree with it. So we’re taking a chance on Brady and backing the Patriots to a big win in Baltimore for our value NFL Picks.
NFL Picks: Patriots to win straight up and cover