Our NFL handicapper believes that Washington provides excellent home value in Week 10, but will be waiting until game time to place a wager. Read why as he makes his Week 10 NFL Pick.
New Orleans got bum rushed by the return of Marcus Mariota and the interim coach bump with Mike Mularkey taking the reigns in Tennessee, losing in overtime to the Titans in Week 9 34-28. Washington was also rushed, but by the NFL elite this time, en route to getting crushed 27-10 in a game that wasn’t even in question after the first quarter. As these teams come off of disappointing loses and sit almost even in the win-loss columns, sports books have this game as near pick’em NFL odds, with some books even posting that line such as at 5Dimes. The O/U total is currently sitting at 50.5 at Pinnacle.
Both of these teams should be desperate at this point in the season, clinging to playoff hopes that are still very possible at the moment. Washington is 3-5, but just two games behind the New York Giants. With games remaining against every one of the members of the NFC East, Washington still has a chance to take the division. With New Orleans dropping to 4-5 with their loss to the Titans, they are now 4 games back in the win column against Carolina in the NFC South, so yeah, that is out of the question. But the wild card is still a possibility as their remaining schedule is very friendly, with games remaining against Houston (3-5), Tampa Bay (3-5), Detroit (1-7), and Jacksonville (2-6).
New Orleans’ problems this year can be firmly planted on the defensive side of the ball. Not only do they give up a 31st ranked points per game of 29.8, but the give up a 31st ranked 414.8 YPG in offense. They have racked up only 4 interceptions over 9 game this year and, well, that’s one more than the Legion of Boom so I guess I shouldn’t consider that a valid statistic. But frankly, the Saints give up a lot of yards and points.
But can Washington take advantage of the soft Saints defense? Maybe. Washington is ranked 28th in the NFL in scoring through 8 games, and rush for 91.3 YPG on the ground. Washington is also 25th in the league in passing yards per game, so not exactly set up to take advantage of that weakness either. I know that yards isn’t exactly the best statistic to hang your hat on, but at this point in the season it can identify systemic strengths and weaknesses.
The soft Washington rushing attack also got a little softer, with the news that starting center, Kory Lichtensteiger, has been sent to the IR. Journeyman center, Brian de la Puente, was signed as his replacement and even if he is successful it should take a few weeks for him to gel with the rest of the offensive line.
Washington would be well served to get their tight ends involved in the offensive game plan as the Titans and Delanie Walker had a huge day against the Saints in Week 9. Third year tight end, Jordan Reed, is having his best year in his career for Washington so far and he could get a bunch of looks. His best game was two weeks ago against Tampa Bay where he caught 11 passes for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s definitely capable of taking advantage of any matchup issues the Saints have.
I like this spot for Washington at home in this game. All of their wins have come at home this year, compiling a 3-1 record there. On the flip side, New Orleans is bad on the road – going 1-3 away from the Superdome. Washington is not as bad as the Patriots made them look in Week 9, but the line should keep moving towards New Orleans as public perception will remember what they looked like against arguably the best team in the league. Wait for that line to move, but take Washington and some points right before game time at Bovada with one of your Week 10 NFL Picks.
NFL Pick: Washington Redskins +1.5 (-110) at Bovada