2013 Washington Redskins Predictions and NFL Futures Odds
by Alan Matthews - 8/14/2013
Do you think the St. Louis Rams would like a do-over on the 2012 NFL Draft? Yes, they got a great haul from the Washington Redskins for Washington to move up to No. 2 overall, but wouldn't the Rams have been better off trading former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford -- and they got a few good offers -- and taking Robert Griffin III themselves?
RG3 was everything Washington could have asked for in winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and leading the team to its first division title since 1999 (Bradford has been “iffy” since a good rookie year). Really the only criticism of Griffin is his durability, something that was a bit of a problem at Baylor as well before he won the Heisman. I'm not a Redskins fan by any means, but I certainly hope Griffin will play in Week 1 off that torn ACL in the wild-card loss to Seattle. He's a thrill to watch. All signs seem to point that he will, although it's been interesting to see the quarterback and his head coach joust in the media lately because Mike Shanahan refuses to play his franchise player even a snap in the preseason. With as much criticism as Shanahan got for leaving Griffin in for that Seahawks game when RG3 was clearly hurting, you can see why the coach is being overly cautious. Plus, he's got a darn good backup in Kirk Cousins who can build potential trade value for down the line by playing well in the preseason as Cousins did when RG3 was out last year.
I'm just going to assume Griffin is ready for Week 1, but I'm also going to assume he's going to be a bit of Michael Vick in that it's unlikely he plays all 16 regular-season games. With his style of play and thin frame at 6-2, 217, he's simply going to get hurt. I'm also not totally convinced he's as accurate as he was as a rookie when RG3 had a rating of 102.4 with 20 TDs and just five picks. Once the NFL gets film on a guy, defenses will adjust. Griffin wasn't even the biggest rookie surprise on his own team last year; sixth-round afterthought Alfred Morris was. The former Florida Atlantic running back went from roster bubble to No. 2 in the NFL with 1,613 yards rushing. No wonder Washington was No. 1 in rushing. The Redskins offense should be back pretty much intact barring a big-time injury in camp. I am not overly enthused by a receiving corps led by injury-plagued Pierre Garcon and 34-year-old Santana Moss.
The good news on this side of the ball is that stud pass-rushing linebacker Brian Orakpo is back. The two-time Pro Bowler tore a shoulder muscle in Week 2 last season and was finished. He had nine sacks and three forced fumbles in 2011. More good news is the return of safety Brandon Meriweather. He missed Washington’s first nine games in 2012 then returned for Week 10 only to tear his ACL. Meriweather and Orakpo can only help a pass defense that ranked No. 30 in 2012. The only projected change in Washington's starting lineup from Week 1 of 2012 is that safety Madieu Williams is gone (Meriweather didn't start Week 1). The Skins took defensive backs with two of their top three picks in this year's draft (no first-rounder because of Rams trade). Washington's defense was improved in the team's seven-game winning streak to close the season as teams averaged 20 points and 351.7 yards against Washington.
2013 Washington Redskins Schedule Analysis
Washington's schedule is nearly smack-dab in the middle, rated as the 18th-easiest or 15th-hardest depending on how you want to look at it, with an opponents' 2012 winning percentage of .498. It is the easiest of the NFC East teams. Obviously, all eyes will be on that Monday night opener (earlier than normal because of doubleheader) against Philadelphia and how healthy Griffin is. The Skins better win there because then they visit the Packers. I see no reason why Washington can't be 3-1 heading into a way-too-early Week 5 bye as games vs. Detroit and at Oakland follow the Packers. Exiting the bye is a tough four-game stretch: at Dallas, vs. Chicago, at Denver (Shanahan's first game back) and vs. San Diego. Oddly, Washington has just one stretch of back-to-back road games, and it's Week 10-11 at Minnesota and Philly. The bad news is the Vikings trip is a quick Thursday turnaround, but then Washington has 10 days to prepare for the Eagles. Four of the final six are at home, but the two road games -- at Atlanta and the Giants -- look like losses to me.
2013 Washington Redskins Futures Odds
Odds courtesy of BetOnline and Sportsbook.ag: Washington has an “over/under” wins of eight, with the over a -140 favorite. The Skins are +250 to win the NFC East again, +1800 to win the NFC and +4000 to win the Super Bowl. There aren't any individual Griffin player props yet as books wait to see on his health. At some point, they will have to release them. He is +1500 to win NFL MVP and +1800 to lead the league in passing yards. Morris is +1000 to win the rushing title. He has an over/under of 1,450.5 yards (both -115). He is +4.5 rushing touchdowns against Houston's Arian Foster, +2.5 against Seattle's Marshawn Lynch and +1.5 against fellow second-year player Doug Martin of Tampa Bay.
2013 Washington Redskins Predictions
Washington has been in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since making three straight from 1990-92. I believe Griffin's and Morris' brilliance covered up what is a mediocre roster overall. Thus I look for a 7-9 mark and the under wins. The only prop on which I like Morris is against Martin. Take under Morris' yardage.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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