Redskins Cowboys Odds
The Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football in Week 8. The Cowboys won both meetings between these NFC East rivals last year with a 31-16 home victory and a 24-23 win on the road.
Dallas (6-1) extended its winning streak to six games with a 31-21 home victory over the New York Giants last week. Washington (2-5) put an end to a four-game losing streak with a 19-17 home win over Tennessee in Week 7.
Kickoff inside AT&T Stadium is scheduled for 8:30 EST Monday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. If you are looking to place a bet on this contest, you’ll find Dallas installed as a 10-point favorite over Washington with a total set of 49.5 points.
My Early Lean: Redskins +10
The Cowboys have been the biggest surprise in the NFL up to this point. Nobody expected this team to start 6-1. DeMarco Murray broke the NFL record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games to open the season. He is running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. As a result, Tony Romo has been much more efficient in the passing game. The defense has even been better than expected.
With the world well aware of the Cowboys’ success this year, oddsmakers have been forced to inflate their line this week against the Redskins. Asking them to win by 11-plus points to beat us is asking too much. While they are certainly one of the better teams in the league, there are a few factors that show they aren’t as good as their record would indicate.
The offense is dominant, and as a result, the defense has hardly had to see the field. The Cowboys are the third-best team in the league in terms of time of possession. If the defense were on the field more often, that suspect unit would be giving up a lot more yards and points. In fact, they haven’t been much better on that side of the ball compared to last season, when they ranked last in the league in total defense.
Dallas gave up 6.1 yards per play in 2013 and it is giving up 6.1 yards per play in 2014. It gave up 7.0 yards per passing attempt last year, and it is giving up 6.8 yards per attempt this year. It allowed 4.7 yards per carry last year, and it is giving up 4.9 yards per play in 2014. It got 1.75 turnovers per game last season, and it is getting 1.71 turnovers per game this season.
The key to stopping Dallas is making sure it does not keep the football for most of the game. Washington has the power to do that behind a defense that ranks 12th in the league against the run in giving up 103.3 yards per game and 3.8 per carry. In fact, a closer look at the numbers shows that Washington is a much better team overall than its 2-5 record would indicate.
The Redskins rank an incredible 3rd in the league in yardage differential, outgaining opponents by an average of 67.5 yards per game. They trail only the Colts and Broncos in that category, which shows that they are right up there with two of the top teams in the NFL. Furthermore, the Redskins rank 7th in the league in total defense (321.9 yards/game) and 5th in total offense (389.4 yards/game). This team is much better than it is getting credit for as a 10-point underdog to the Cowboys.
The Redskins rank an incredible 3rd in the league in yardage differential, outgaining opponents by an average of 67.5 yards per game. They trail only the Colts and Broncos in that category.
I realize Colt McCoy is expected to start this game for Washington, but I’m not too concerned about it because Kirk Cousins was a turnover machine and can’t be trusted. McCoy impressed in leading the Redskins to a 19-17 victory over the Titans last week in a game they should have won by more. They outgained the Titans by 115 yards in the game. McCoy finished 11 of 12 passing for 128 yards and a touchdown after replacing Cousins.
Washington has played Dallas extremely tough over the past few seasons. In fact, it is a sensational 7-1 ATS against the Cowboys in the last eight meetings in this series. It has only lost to the Cowboys by more than 3 points once during this stretch. That was a 16-31 loss at Dallas last year when the Redskins simply gave that game away. They actually outgained the Cowboys 433-213 for the game, but they turned the ball over twice and gave up an 86-yard punt return for a score.
The underdog is 24-8 ATS in the last 32 meetings in this series. The Redskins are 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in Dallas. The Cowboys are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 vs. a team with a losing record. Dallas is 0-4 ATS in its last four Monday games. Jason Garrett is 0-6 ATS after having won five or six of their last seven games as the coach of Dallas. Garrett is 11-23 ATS as a favorite as the coach of the Cowboys.