Redskins vs Packers and Beating the Book

Dec 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) carries the ball after a reception against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Redskins are about to play their first playoff game since January 2013 on Sunday. They play the game at home where they are 6-2 in 2015. The Green Bay Packers come to Fed-Ex Stadium with their perennial All-Pro quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, hoping to rekindle their lost magic and upset the slightly favored Redskins.

The Redskins quarterback, Kirk Cousins, has played at a comparable level to Rodgers in 2015, particularly late in the season. The Redskins offense has performed at a very high level over the last four games as the team has scored 131 points in the past four weeks. In addition, the Redskins defense has put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks with 17 sacks over the last four games of the season.

The Packers have been on an opposite trajectory. After beginning the season with six straight wins, they have only won four of their last ten games. The Packers could have won the NFC North with a win at home over Minnesota last week but lost 20-13.

Green Bay has struggled both with protecting Rodgers and getting receivers open quickly enough. Entering this weeks match-up with Washington, it will take a great game by Rodgers to keep Green Bay in the game with the Redskins. Take the Redskins and lay the one point in my Best Bet of the Week!

Best Bet of the Week

Redskins -1 over the Packers

The Houston Texans late season performance has mirrored that of the Redskins. They won seven of their last nine games to take their division at 9-7. As with Washington in the NFC East, the competition for the Texans was abnormally week and they beat all three teams in their division over the final three games. Five of their wins came within the AFC South with their only divisional loss coming at home to the Colts in week five.

The Texans lost in the opening game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs in Houston, 27-20. The Chiefs followed up the win over the Texans with six consecutive losses to just about put them out of contention for the playoffs. Needing to win almost every week, the Chiefs won 10 in a row including double digit wins over playoff teams, the Steelers and Broncos.

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Both teams have been impressive down the stretch of the season with Kansas City having the more impressive victories. The Chiefs also have a big edge when their pass rush matches up with the Texans offensive line. Houston is also again without their off-injured All-Pro running back Arian Foster and have only receiver DeAndre Hopkins as a difference maker on offense.

This game should be lower scoring than the teams previous encounter. I see the Chiefs winning by at least 6-7 points and maybe by as much as 17-18 points. Take the Chiefs and give the three points with confidence as my second Top Bet of the Week.

Chiefs -3 over the Texans

The other playoff games will have much closer outcomes. I like Minnesota to cover as five point underdogs to the Seahawks. In the toughest game to handicap, I like the Steelers to narrowly cover the two and a half points and beat the Bengals by a field goal. Pittsburgh is as good as any team in the AFC but will have to win three road games in a row to reach the Super Bowl.

My NFL regular season ended with an 11-7 record in Best Bets, 39-33-1 in Top Bets and 93-58-4 overall. My college records for the season are 10-3-1 in Best Bets, 38-19-1 in Top Bets and 149-95-4 overall. Next season, my goal will be to improve the NFL Best Bets and Top Bets to match my college picks.

The college football season ends on Monday when Clemson faces off with Alabama. I like Alabama to cover the 6.5 points and beat Clemson by 7-10 points. If the Redskins win on Sunday, I will have another Redskins and Beating the Book next week. If the Redskins lose then this is the last Beating the Book.

Follow me on Twitter @westcoast_skins to continue getting my playoff picks and to get offseason news as well as picks for the 2016 NFL & NCAA football seasons. Good luck this week!

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