Monday Night Football Predictions: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/3/2015
I'm going to stop criticizing the "Monday Night Football" matchups that look terrible on paper, because last week's game between lousy Baltimore and lousier Cleveland turned out to be very entertaining, at least in the final few minutes.
But this week's MNF game between Dallas and Washington again features two losing teams. The Cowboys (3-8) can officially start planning for next season even though they are just two games out of the lead in the sorry NFC East. Dallas should just sit Dez Bryant and any other good player it has to earn the No. 1 overall pick. Right now, the Cowboys would pick third. BetOnline has Dallas at +1000 to get the top pick. Currently in that spot is Tennessee (2-9), which is the +165 favorite. Certainly could see Dallas losing out as the rest of the schedule is: at Packers, vs. Jets, at Bills and vs. Redskins.
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The Redskins (5-6) are tied with the Giants atop the division, and Washington holds the tiebreaker. The Redskins have the huge schedule edge over New York the rest of the way. Including this game, the Skins' remaining opponents -- at Bears, vs. Bills, at Eagles, at Cowboys -- have a combined winning percentage of .363. New York's final five are at .600, with three teams with winning records, including unbeaten Carolina. The Redskins are +130 favorites at BetOnline to win the East. I think they will now.
Cowboys at Redskins Betting Story Lines
I previewed the Cowboys' game on Thanksgiving at home against Carolina and made the mistake of letting the oddsmakers influence my choice. Who picks a 3-7 team to beat a 10-0 one? I did think Dallas was a different team with the return of Tony Romo, but he looked incredibly rusty in the blowout loss, although I'm sure Carolina's excellent defense played a role, in completing just 11-for-21 for 106 yards with three interceptions, two returned for scores. Romo's season ended when he re-fractured his collarbone, although the delusional Cowboys haven't put him on IR yet in case they make the playoffs. Yeah right.
I'm tired of hearing Jerry Jones talk as he's the only owner who holds daily press conferences, albeit as the GM. And at least he did admit he failed in getting a competent backup for Romo. Brandon Weeden was a huge bust, and now it's back to Matt Cassel, who hasn't been much better.
"I think we have made a D, if you want to give it that, make it an F, relative to how we have approached this situation if Romo should get hurt," Jones said in grading himself.
Romo will be 36 at the start of the 2016 season and now has had three separate fractures of his left clavicle in his career and two back surgeries. Jones says he thinks Romo can play another 4-5 years, but it's time to groom his replacement. Dallas hasn't drafted a QB since 2009 but might in 2016 (surely not with first-round pick). Already you are hearing speculation Jones could acquire Johnny Manziel from Cleveland as Jones nearly drafted the former Texas A&M star in 2014. You sure putting Johnny Party Boy back in Texas is a good idea?
It looked like the Redskins had a QB problem entering this season, but Kirk Cousins is showing he might be the future at that position for the team. Cousins, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, appears to be gaining more confidence by the day. Since Week 7, Cousins has the NFL's best passer rating at 111.5. During that stretch, Cousins has thrown 10 touchdown passes to two interceptions as the Redskins have gone 3-2 (both losses on the road). The Redskins are 5-0 this season when he doesn't throw an interception and 0-6 when he does. Cousins is 5-1 at home, has completed 68.4 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 91.7. Here I thought Washington coach Jay Gruden had no idea what he was doing. Gruden was the favorite when the season began to be the first NFL coach fired. Now he might win a division title and get an extension. Gruden clearly has won the tug-of-war battle with the front office regarding Robert Griffin III, who will not be a Redskin next year.
Washington has won three of the past four meetings vs. Dallas, but they split last year, each winning on the road. In Week 8 on a Monday night in Dallas, the Skins started Colt McCoy at QB, and he led a 20-17 OT win. McCoy started over Cousins, who had been struggling, and an injured Griffin III. Alfred Morris had 73 yards and a TD on 18 carries and DeSean Jackson six catches for 136 yards. Romo had to leave that game for a while after a big hit. DeMarco Murray had 221 yards of offense for Dallas. In Week 17 in Landover, the Cowboys rolled 44-17 to finish 8-0 on the road. Romo threw for 299 and two scores, both to Bryant. RGIII made perhaps his final start as a Redskin, throwing for 336 yards, a TD and two picks. Washington turned it over four times.
Cowboys at Redskins Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Washington is a 4.5-point favorite (-110) with a total of 42. On the moneyline, the Redskins are -220 and the Cowboys +180. On the alternate lines, the Skins are -4 (-118) and -5 (-105). Dallas is 3-8 against the spread (2-3 on road) and 5-6 "over/under" (1-4 on road). Washington is 5-6 ATS (4-2 at home) and 5-6 O/U (2-4 at home).
The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their past five December games. They are 1-6 ATS in their past seven vs. the NFC and 0-5 ATS in past five Monday games. Washington is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 on Monday. The Skins are 1-5 ATS in their past six following a win. The under is 7-1 in Dallas' past eight after an ATS loss. The over is 8-1 in Washington's past nine after an ATS win. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings. The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their past five at the Redskins.
Monday Night Football Predictions: Cowboys at Redskins Betting Picks
Cousins has made one career start vs. Dallas. It was in 2013 in a 24-23 loss. Cousins went 21-of-36 for 197 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Look for a possible big game from Morris on Monday. In six career games against the Cowboys, Morris has averaged 99.7 rushing yards, the highest against any team in which he has played multiple games against. He also has seven touchdowns. Dallas hasn't won a game this season without Romo starting, and I have no reason to think it will now. I'll give the 4.5 points and go under.
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