Redskins vs Cowboys and Beating the Book


Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker (92), Redskins free safety Trenton Robinson (34), and Redskins tackle Morgan Moses (76) celebrate while leaving the field after their game against the St. Louis Rams at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will play the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field Monday night, intending to knock the Redskins out of first place in the NFC East. They come without their star quarterback, Tony Romo, after he once again injured his collarbone on Thanksgiving Day versus the Carolina Panthers. Even without Romo, the Cowboys will give the Redskins their best effort as is always the case in this rivalry.

The Redskins will be without their starting inside linebackers Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson for the game. Riley is out for 3-6 weeks while Robinson will return sooner. Will Compton has played well in place of Robinson over the past two weeks but Mason Foster will get his first start of the season.

The Redskins defense has played well for most of the season and despite being thin at linebacker, they should put forth a good game versus the Cowboys. The Redskins offense has been less consistent but has played very well at home, scoring 145 points in five consecutive wins.

The Cowboys will have Matt Cassel at quarterback. He hasn’t won a game for the Cowboys this season but he did play well versus the Panthers on 13 of 19 passing and a touchdown in relief of Romo. In his previous game versus the Redskins, Cassel helped Minnesota beat them 34-27 in 2013.

This match-up versus the Cowboys should be a close game despite Romo being out. The point spread currently has the Redskins as 3.5 point favorites but that is sure to fluctuate before game time. I like the Redskins to cover the points and beat Dallas but I recommend waiting and trying to get Washington at -3 points. Buying the half point is a possibility if the cost is not too high.

Redskins -3.5 over the Cowboys

The Houston Texans have won four games in a row and five of their last six. They gave the Bengals their first loss of the season three weeks ago on a Monday night in Cincinnati, 10-6. Their defense, led by JJ Watt, has been very stout, holding three of their last four opponents to only six points.

Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer missed a game two weeks ago due to a concussion. He has performed very well with a quarterback rating of 103.8 or better in five of the eight games he has played in 2015. Wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins is among the league leaders with 81 receptions for 1081 yards and 9 touchdowns also.

The Buffalo Bills are at home after playing three straight road games, losing the last two to the Patriots and Chiefs. At 5-6, the Bills are in contention for a wild card spot if they can finish the season strong. They have been an up and down team while sustaining numerous injuries.

More from Commanders News

The Bills are 5-4 when quarterback Tyrod Taylor has played. Taylor has a 101.8 passer rating and hasn’t thrown an interception over his past five games. The Buffalo defense has played well in 2015 but has allowed 30 points or more in four of their 11 games.

This should be a fairly close game but the extra half point in the 3.5 points that Buffalo is favored by make Houston an easy pick. This will be a defensive battle but the big play ability of Hopkins will make the difference. Take the Texans plus the 3.5 points in my Best Bet of the Week.

Best Bet of the Week

Texans +3.5 over the Bills

The Chicago Bears have been a surprise team in the 2015 season. After losing their first three games by 8-26 points, the Bears have won five of their last eight games with the three losses being by three points or less. Quarterback Jay Cutler has thrown only three interceptions over those last eight games after having one in each of the first three games.

Under new head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the Bears defense has only given up over 20 points in two of their past eight games. Fangio was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco for four years with great success but was passed over for the head coaching job this year in favor of one of his assistants, Jim Tomsula. Fangio has undoubtably had this game circled for months.

The 49ers are going through a season of change under Tomsula after losing numerous players and former head coach Jim Harbaugh since the end of the 2014 season. The 49ers replaced their quarterback Colin Kaepernick with Blaine Gabbert four weeks ago and beat the Falcons at home, 17-16. However, they haven’t won a road game yet this season and have lost four of their five away games by 16 or more points.

Chicago should easily score enough to cover the 6.5 points as Fangio and the Bears defense holds San Francisco scoring to a minimum. Lay the points and take the Bears.

Bears-6.5 over the 49ers

The Baltimore Ravens won in thrilling fashion on Monday night in Cleveland. They blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown to win on the final play of the game. That play could rejuvenate a struggling team and help them finish the season well after losing their starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, for the season.

The Miami Dolphins have had their struggles in 2015 and have lost four of their last five games under interim coach, Dan Campbell. They have only four wins on the season and are destined to have new leadership in 2016. The Dolphins do have talent though, particularly on defense.

Despite their comeback win over the Browns, Baltimore has struggled away from home. Along with the Browns, the Ravens also beat the Steelers on the road when Ben Roethlisberger was hurt. The Ravens have lost every other away game with the closest being a five point loss to the 49ers.

Now, the Ravens have a second consecutive away game coming on a short week of rest. They face a desperate team that is also more talented in the Miami Dolphins and do it without their staring quarterback. Take the Dolphins but, as with the Redskins, wait and see if you can get them at -3 points.

Dolphins -3.5 over the Ravens

I also like the Titans, Panthers, Cardinals, Jets and Steelers to varying degrees. My Best Bet of the week won last week and my record is now 8-5 on those games. All of my four Top Bets won to raise the season record to 27-23. My overall record is now 65-41-3 after going 8-3 for the week.

My College Best Bet of the Week lost by a point after winning by a half point the previous week to drop my record to 7-2-1. My College Top Bets end the regular season at 25-11-1 after an 0-3 week. Overall, I went 5-7 to finish at 127-82-3. For all of my College Bowl game picks and updates on NFL picks, please follow me on twitter @westcoast_skins. Good luck this week!

Next: Redskins: Is Division Title better than high draft pick?