Thanks to the struggles of the New York Giants, this 4:15 p.m. (ET) kickoff from Arlington really means a lot in the playoff chase in the NFC. The Redskins might be in must-win mode, knowing that they would be 2 ½ games back with just five to play if they lost this one. Dallas, a four-point favorite, can get back into first place by the end of this week with a win and a Giants loss.
Why Washington will cover the spread: The Redskins will cover the spread if the moment isn’t too big for QB Robert Griffin III. There’s no reason to believe that he’ll crack, knowing that he threw for four TDs last week and now has a total of 2,817 yards of offense with 18 total TDs against just three picks for the campaign. Still, this is the biggest game with the most pressure in the biggest spotlight that he has played at the pro level, and he is going to have to keep his cool in order to have a shot to beat Dallas in its building.
Why Dallas will cover the spread: The Cowboys will cover the spread if they can find a way to force the ball up the field. The Redskins are allowing almost 300 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks this year, and that includes some massive plays. The reason that the Philadelphia Eagles had no success against this team last week is because QB Nick Foles just couldn’t hit the big play. QB Tony Romo does that well, and he has the receivers to be able to hit those home runs that are needed to produce victories over the Redskins.
Total Talk: Five of the last seven meetings in this series have failed to reach the ‘total’, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much right now. The Cowboys have stayed consistent defensively, allowing 20, 23, and 19 points in their last three games. If that keeps up, they’ll need to score at least 27 to get this one to the number. The Redskins are allowing 383.8 yards and 25.4 points per game, and last week’s game against the Eagles marked the first time this year that a team didn’t score at least 21 against this ‘D’.
COWBOYS/REDSKINS Betting Trends: The Cowboys have won three straight games SU in this series, but for proof as to how close the Redskins have been, they have actually covered four in a row. They’re also 11-3 ATS in the last 14 in this series, and they might be able to force yet another close game here in Dallas, where they have covered the spread in five straight seasons. All five games have stayed within five points or fewer, and the last four have been separated by an average of 2.0 PPG.
Dallas 23 – Washington 21