Redskins at Falcons and Beating the Book


Dec 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) forces Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) to fumble in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins travel to Atlanta today without many of their key players in the lineup. Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall and Jordan Reed are not going to play versus the undefeated Falcons. Atlanta’s Julio Jones has also been listed as questionable for the game but he is expected to play.

It is difficult to back the Redskins with their defensive backfield so thin. Will Blackmon will start opposite Bashaud Breeland with rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett again filling in at slot CB. Last week, Jarrett played the entire game on defense versus the Eagles and their multi receiver lineup and may do the same against the Falcons.

The Redskins will need to rely on their running game and a strong run defense to keep this game at a slow pace and help out their wounded pass defense. Kirk Cousins will need to play another mistake free game and make some key big plays in order to put enough points on the scoreboard to match Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

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Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will have  a lot of motivation to beat Washington as will former Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and guard Chris Chester. Shanahan will keep the Falcons from looking past the Redskins and have his offense ready to play.

This would be a tough matchup for the Redskins if they came into the game at full strength but short handed as they are, I can’t make a case to put money on them. The point spread is currently down to 6.5 points and I expect the Falcons to win by at least seven points. In a very minor play, take the Falcons -6.5.

Falcons-6.5 over the Redskins

The Kansas City Chiefs are at home this week and have lost three games in a row. Why are they favored by nine points when they are only 1-3? Well, they lost to three of the best teams in the NFL (Broncos, Packers and Bengals) and play the Chicago Bears, one of the worst teams in the entire league.

The Chiefs played better than I expected last week when I picked against them in my Best Bet of the Week against the Bengals. Their problem was that they were held to field goals by the mighty Cincinnati defense. Facing the rebuilding Bears this week, Kansas City should have a much easier time converting those field goals into touchdowns.

Take Kansas City and lay the nine points. I am 4-0 on my Best Bet of the Week this season and I am confident that the Chiefs will cover the spread in an easy victory. I don’t usually like to take such heavy favorites on top picks but Kansas City desperately needs to get an easy win after a rough three weeks.

Best Bet of the Week

Chiefs -9 over the Bears

My other Top Bets did not do well last week as I went 1-4 to drop my record on Top Bets to 10-7. There are many games that I like this week but I have narrowed down two more that I like as Top Bets. The first of those is once again, the Arizona Cardinals. I have taken them every week this season (3-1 in those games) and I think they are still very underrated.

The Cardinals travel to Detroit and are favored by three points. The Lions are coming off their best game of the season in a tough 13-10 loss in Seattle on Monday night. The Cardinals are coming off their worst performance at home in a loss to the Rams and I expect them to rebound with a strong performance in Detroit.

Lay the three points with confidence versus the 0-4 Lions. If the Cardinals had won last week, I might be worried about a let down game this week but after a loss, they should be at their best.

Cardinals-3 over the Lions

My other Top Bet of the Week is the Redskins division rival, the New York Giants. The Giants offense has been playing well all season and their defense matched that performance last week in a victory over the Buffalo Bills. This week, the Giants are favored by 6.5 points versus the struggling San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco has lost three straight games and they were not close, losing to the Steelers, Cardinals and Packers by a combined score of 107-28. The 49ers really do not have the fire power to match up against the Giants and have to travel across the country to New York. The Giants on the other hand are playing good football and seem to be getting better every week.

The Giants could be undefeated if they had held onto late leads versus the Cowboys and Falcons. At 2-2, I would not expect a let down as they try to take the NFC East lead. Take the Giants and lay the 6.5 points with confidence.

Giants -6.5 over the 49ers

There are a few other games that I like to varying degrees. The Jaguars, Bills, Browns, Packers, Patriots, Broncos and Chargers are all lower level picks for me. I like the three Top Bets a lot as they will give bettors a chance to roll over winnings from the early Chiefs game into the later Cardinals game and then into the Giants night game. If all of those win, the Chargers could become a key play on Monday night.

My overall record last week was just 3-5 as I suffered my first losing week of the season. After my weak week, my overall record is now 25-11-2 on the season. I went 6-3 yesterday in college football to push my record to 17-11. I had my first College Best Bet of the Week win with Duke beating Army 44-3.

To get my college picks and any other picks that may change in the NFL, please follow me on twitter @westcoast_skins. Good luck this week!

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