Redskins-Rams and Beating the Book


Sep 13, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the huddle against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins will face the St. Louis Rams at Fed-Ex Stadium again for the second year in a row. The Redskins did not fare well at home last season, losing 24-0. I picked the Rams last season in what was my best and biggest pick of the year.

Being a Redskins fan, I don’t like to pick against the Redskins. I see improvement with the team this year and I definitely think the Redskins can win this game. The Redskins defense has improved to the point where they can match the Rams formidable defense series by series.

Unfortunately, the Redskins offense has not progressed enough to challenge the Rams defense. The offense was shut out and almost completely shut down by the Rams. Desean Jackson is out with an injured hamstring and the Redskins will struggle to stretch the field versus the Rams.

This is not a game that I would ever bet on since I see the final score to be in the Rams favor by about 3-7 points and the Rams are favored by 3 at the moment. For the purposes of this article, I must pick a winner and so I will take the Rams -3.

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Last week I went 6-1 on my listed picks and 3-0 in my top picks. This week, I had a harder time finding games that I like a lot but I did come up with five picks. I also had late picks on all of the night games since with the Giants +7, Eagles-1, 49ers+3 and Broncos +3, going 3-1 on those picks.

The San Francisco 49ers have to travel across the country to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on a short week after playing on Monday night in the late game. The Steelers on the other hand get nine days of rest after losing to the New England Patriots 28-21 in the NFL kickoff game on September 10th.

The 49ers looked good versus the Minnesota Vikings at home but I don’t think we will see the same team with the travel issues and the short week. The Steelers could have beaten the Patriots in their first game if not for mistakes and missed field goals. Playing in their home opener and needing a win, the Steelers will cover the current 5.5 points and beat the 49ers.

Pittsburgh -5.5 over San Francisco

The New England Patriots also benefit from nine days of rest when they travel to Buffalo to play the Bills. Head Coach Bill Belicheck has a decided advantage when he gets extra time to prepare and his opponent does not. That advantage is somewhat mitigated with him facing Rex Ryan who has moved over to Buffalo after being fired by the New York Jets after the 2014 season.

Both of these coaches have extra motivation to beat each other and after beating the Indianapolis Colts in their opener, the Bills get their defensive star Marcell Dareus back this week from suspension. Although Ryan has kept the games close versus the Patriots over the past two years with three of the games decided by three points or less, Belicheck still has an 8-1 record versus Ryan since losing to the Jets in the 2010 playoffs.

With the spread almost even and the extra rest the Patriots have gotten since their first game, take the Patriots in a close game over the Bills. If the payoff is better on taking the Patriots to win on the money line, then that is the smarter play. Minor money line bet on the Patriots to win.

New England ML Pick over Buffalo

The Cincinnati Bengals were one of my top bets last week and came through with the victory over the Raiders. This week they go home to face the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have been a good road dog over the past few years winning 4 of 8 on the road in 2014 outright and losing the opener 18-17 to the Cardinals.

Despite the Chargers excellence on the road, if the line stays at 3 points or less, I will still take the Bengals on a small play at home. The Bengals have been a very good play at home and even went 8-0 outfight at home in 2013 and 6-2 in 2014. So a minor bet on the Bengals -3.

Cincinnati -3 over San Diego

Last week my Best Bet of the Week was the Arizona Cardinals who beat the New Orleans Saints 31-19. This week they travel to Chicago to face the Bears. The Bears kept the game close versus Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week at home but still lost the game and versus the spread in another one of my top bets, 31-23.

The Bears are still a rebuilding team and only won twice at home in 2014 over the Vikings and Buccaneers. The Cardinals are one of the best teams in the NFL and have won seven in a row with Carson Palmer at quarterback and 10 of their last 11 games. Take the Cardinals as my Best Bet of the Week for the second week in a row -1 over the Bears.

Best Bet of the Week

Arizona -1 over Chicago

I was trying to find a late game that was worth betting on and with the Raiders struggling for the past few years and last week, the Ravens are the obvious choice. The Ravens are playing in their second straight road game after losing in Denver last week but they stayed on the west coast over the week so their won’t be any cross-country travel issues.

The Ravens lost their defensive leader for the season when Terrell Suggs was hurt versus the Broncos. That will hurt their defense but the Raiders have injuries on their defense also. Derek Carr had his struggles versus the Bengals and even without Suggs, the Ravens will bring a lot of pressure on the quarterback also.

This is a rollover bet so it could be a small play or a big play depending on how the early games go. Take the Ravens -4.5 over the Raiders. This line has come a full point but it may go up before game time.

Rollover Bet of the Week

Baltimore -4.5 over Oakland

I am still looking at the Sunday night and Monday night games so follow me on twitter @westcoast_skins if you want updates on those games and others.  My top bets are Cardinals and Steelers with minor plays on the Patriots, Bengals and Ravens. Good luck to everyone and Go Redskins!

Next: Beating the Book: Opening Weekend of the 2015 NFL Season