Monday Night Football Predictions: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 10/3/2014
Did the course of the Washington Redskins' history, shoot maybe even NFL history, change a bit the last time the Seahawks and Redskins played? That was in the wild-card round of the 2012 season. Washington was the NFC East champion led by a spectacular rookie quarterback named Robert Griffin III, who would win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. However, he played the game on an iffy knee and would eventually tear his ACL in Washington's 24-14 loss. Of course, Griffin III hasn't been able to stay healthy since. Really, that win also was the signal of the start of Seattle's juggernaut as well.
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I am going to throw out this stat even though I don't think it means much because the players on Seattle have changed so much. The Seahawks haven't lost a Monday night game since Dec. 6, 2004, winning their past eight. Seattle also has won six straight prime-time games overall and is 10-1 under the lights in the regular season under Coach Pete Carroll.
It's pretty much a must-win game for Washington as 1-4 teams simply don't make the playoffs. Now the NFC East doesn't look half as bad as we thought, either, so that type of hole will be a killer for the season. Seattle remains the 4/1 Bovada Super Bowl betting favorite despite a 2-1 record.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins Betting Story Lines
Which Kirk Cousins will show up for this game? RGIII's backup was brilliant in relief of an injured Griffin in a Week 2 blowout of Jacksonville, going 23-of-33 for 250 yards with two touchdowns. The next week, in a 37-34 loss to Philadelphia, Cousins was 30-of-48 for 427 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. The talk the following few days was whether the Redskins should just move forward with Cousins and move on from Griffin, even when he's back healthy. Cousins also was the most picked-up fantasy player by far. However, in Week 4 Cousins showed why he's a backup. The former Michigan State star was 19-of-33 for 257 yards, a TD and four interceptions as Washington was pummeled at home 45-14 -- the only home team to lose on a Thursday this season.
One key player for Cousins is questionable for Monday's game, although most media reports out of D.C. say he will play. Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams suffered a slightly dislocated right kneecap in the loss to the Giants. He hasn't practiced fully through Thursday but says he's playing. Receiver DeSean Jackson is on the injury report, but he has been the past two weeks and still played. Tight end Jordan Reed, out since Week 1, is on track to return. Fellow tight end Niles Paul should play after suffering a concussion against the Giants.
I would have very much worried about a letdown game here for Seattle if the team wasn't off last week. Its last game was a very exciting 26-20 overtime home win against Denver in a Super Bowl rematch. The Seahawks dominated the first three quarters but allowed 17 points in the fourth, including Peyton Manning driving his team 80 yards for the tying touchdown with no timeouts in the final minute. But Seattle got the overtime kickoff and drove for a touchdown to win. I think many people forgot the new overtime rules in that the other team doesn't get a possession if the first team with possession scores a touchdown. That should be changed in my opinion.
Injury-wise for Seattle, No. 1 tight end Zach Miller is out a few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery during the bye week. Linebacker Bruce Irvin is questionable with an oblique injury. Neither loss would be real big. The Seattle defense was historically excellent last year and is still very good if not quite up to par. It ranks sixth in yards allowed per game, a disappointing 19th in passing yards per game and No. 5 against the rush. To be fair on the passing yardage stat, the Seahawks have thus far faced Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Manning.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins NFL Monday Night Football Betting Odds and Trends
At Bovada, Seattle is a 7.5-point favorite (-115) with an "over/under" of 45.5 (under a -115 favorite). Not a ton of movement on side or total. The Seahawks are 2-1 against the spread (0-1 on road) and 2-1 O/U (1-0 on road). The Redskins are 2-2 ATS (1-1 at home) and 3-1 O/U (2-0 at home).
Seattle has covered six of its past eight on Monday. It has covered 10 of its past 11 when passing for more than 250 yards in its previous game. Washington is 3-8 ATS in its past 11 following a loss of more than 14 points. The Redskins are 2-6 ATS in their past eight on Monday. The under is 7-1 in Seattle' past eight against the NFC. The over is 5-1 in Washington's past six against teams with a winning record.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins Expert Monday Night Football Picks and Betting Predictions
Clearly Washington has to play near perfect to pull the upset. Alas, the Redskins are minus-5 in the turnover differential, the offense converts only 36.7 percent of third downs (26th) and the team averages 10 penalties for nearly 100 yards per game. Seattle generally will not beat itself with turnovers or penalties. It's a well-coached team.
That said, Seattle was beaten pretty soundly in its lone road game, and Washington is a tougher place to play than San Diego (although the heat in that Chargers game probably played a role). I'm not saying Washington will win, but that half-point is big. Take the Skins to cover and go over. If you wanted to buy down to 6.5, then I'd lean Seattle.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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