Free Pick: Cowboys at Redskins
The Cowboys erased a huge deficit to take New Orleans into overtime this past Sunday, but they could not seal the deal in a 34-31 loss as one-point home favorites. At 8-7 straight up they can still win the NFC East with a win, but they are now just 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games and 6-9 ATS for the year. The total has gone “over” in four of their last five games.
Washington dodged a bullet against Philadelphia in Week 16 with a 27-20 victory as a 4.5-point road favorite. It was its sixth straight win both SU and ATS. The Redskins are now 9-6 SU and a profitable 10-5 ATS. They are 4-3 at home this season SU and ATS and the total has gone over in four of their last five games overall.
The loss to the Saints snapped a three-game winning streak, but Dallas has a knack for keeping games painfully close not matter which team it is playing. Its inability to put teams away or avoid falling way behind like it did against New Orleans makes the Cowboys a crapshoot to wager on week in and week out. The one constant has been that the spread in their last six games, win or lose, has averaged 3.67 points, with seven points being the widest gap. Therefore, you have to believe that this game will remain close no matter which team wins.
Tony Romo has held up to the pressure down the stretch, as he has been playing at a high level for much of the second half of the season. He threw for 416 yards and four touchdowns this past Sunday to raise his season total to 4,685 yards and 26 scoring strikes. The Cowboys are ranked third in the NFL in passing and sixth in overall yards. The inconsistencies on defense remain their biggest problem, which could get even worse if all-pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware is unable to go after injuring his shoulder against the Saints.
Behind Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Robert Griffin III, Washington finds itself just one win away from its first NFC East Division title since 1999. At 9-6, they also have a shot at doubling their SU win total from 2011. Another huge factor for this resurgent offense has been the play of rookie running back Alfred Morris, who along with RG III have the Redskins ranked first in the NFL in rushing yards per game. This has also translated to points on the board, with the fourth highest average (27.2 points) in the league.
Much like Dallas, the Redskins troubles this season have been primarily with a defense that is giving up an average of 24.7 points a game, which is ranked 21st in the NFL. Sunday night’s matchup should come down to which team’s defense is able to step up its game to limit the amount of big plays by the other team’s offense.
Odds and Trends by 5Dimes
Washington has been opened by 5Dimes as 3.5-point home favorites with the “over/under” line set at 50.
The Cowboys are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games against the NFC East but 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning record at home. The total has stayed under in eight of their last 10 road games.
The Redskins are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their last five division games and 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven games against a team with a winning record on the road.
Head-to-head, the underdog is 23-6 ATS in the last 29 meetings, and the road team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine. The total has stayed under in four of the last six games played in Washington.
The current half point on this spread is huge, as this is a three-point game either way. Do not be surprised if this contest actually goes into overtime between two very closely matched rivals. I see the Redskins getting the SU win and division title, but stick with the Cowboys to cover with 3.5 points.
Take #315 Dallas (+3.5) over Washington (Sunday, Dec.30, 8:30 p.m. NBC)
- O (WIN at ANA)
- Larry Ness
- April 18, 2015 - 10:30 PM
- Offered at:
- allyoubet @ Over 5 -140
These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim...
My free play is on Anaheim/Tampa Bay Over at 10:35 ET.
Anaheim rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period to defeat Winnipeg 4-2 in the opening game of this series. The Ducks' top-line of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf got rolling in that final period, as Perry scored twice while assisting on Getzlaf's goal that ended the game. It is hard not to conclude from that onslaught that Anaheim's superstars are a level above and beyond the capable but unspectacular set of defensemen that the Jets have to offer. The dilemma for the Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice is that if he focuses too much of his players and energies on that dynamic duo of Perry and Getzlaf, that will open up opportunities for Ryan Kesler who anchors a very powerful second line for the Ducks. The over is now 12-4-6 in Anaheim's last 22 games in the Western Conference quarterfinals after Game 1 of this series finished over the toatl of five. The over is also 5-1-1 in the Ducks' last seven home games against teams with a losing record on the road. Goalie Frederik Andersen was up to the task in the opening game by stopping 25 of the 27 shots Winnipeg peppered him. However, Andersen remains a question mark between the pipes given that he had a mediocre 2.56 goals against average and .906 save percentage after the All-Star break prior to Thursday's game. If it were not for John Gibson's upper body injury, Andersen may not have been head coach Bruce Boudreau's choice to be in net to begin this series. Gibson will be ready to go sometime during this series which means Andersen will be looking over his shoulder. He can blow up at any time in this series.
Winnipeg will likely play this game fast-and-loose after blowing that 2-1 lead on Thursday. Stealing Game 2 of this series remains a luxury rather than a necessity for this team, which should remain confident that it can win this series despite being an 8-seed. The Jets have now played NINE of their last 13 road games over the number against teams with a winning percentage over .600 on their home ice. However, the concern this team has but will not dare mention out loud is that goalie Ondrej Pavelec has lost his magic after an incredible second half of the season, where he culminated his 1.98 goals against average and .932 save percentage with three straight shutouts on the road. While Pavelec's play definitely put his team in a position to win the opening game of this series, the fact remains he gave up four goals on just 33 shots. His Game 1 numbers are reminiscent of his unspectacular 2.86 goals against average and .908 save percentage career numbers that he began this series with rather than the lightning in the bottle numbers he put up in the second half of the season after winning his job back from backup Michael Hutchinson. These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim. Expect another game to finish over the number in Game 2 of this series. Take the over.
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