NFL Football Betting Preview
Dallas Cowboys (9-5) at Washington Redskins (4-10)
Sunday December 27th, 8:20PM Eastern.com
Betus.com betting line – Dallas -7, 42 O/U
One of the most popular and hated rivalries in the NFL will reunite this Sunday night when the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC East special. The Redskins shut down the dangerous Cowboys offense in the first meeting for the majority of the game. However, a late touchdown in the 4th quarter lifted the Cowboys over the Redskins in a close 7-6 victory that was controlled by the defenses. Similar outcomes have been frequent throughout the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry and the last 3 games have been decided by a combined 7 points.
Dallas is coming off a huge win against the previously unbeaten New Orleans Saints last week keeping their playoff hopes alive. The Cowboys are fighting for a wildcard or potential division crown to earn a postseason position. Those factors are a big reason the Cowboys are currently listed as 7 point favorites for Sunday night’s battle. However, the Redskins look to finish what they started in the first meeting at shut down the Cowboys offense once again.
In the previous meeting, the Cowboys made it a priority to move the football on the ground. Dallas ran the ball over 30 times between Felix Jones and Marian Barber who combined for 150 rushing yards. However, QB Tony Romo was held to just 158 passing yards in one of his lowest passing days of the season. Dallas also coughed up a few turnovers which contributed to the Redskins near shutout. Heading into this week’s battle, things may be very different. Romo is averaging over 300 yards passing in each of his last 4 games.
In that stretch, Romo has thrown 8 touchdowns without a single interception which is rather surprising. WR Miles Austin has been the biggest recipient during Romo’s impressive streak. Austin has averaged over 100 yards receiving in the last 4 games and is the main big play threat in the Cowboys arsenal. With Romo throwing the ball well, more is expected as long as the Redskins defensive front does not dominate. Still, expect Dallas to come out running the football and establish the run. The Cowboys proved they could run the ball against Washington, but just could not capitalize on the scoring opportunities.
Washington’s defense has compiled 38 sacks this season to rank 5th in the NFL. The defensive front is possibly the best in the league with DT Albert Haynesworth, along with defensive ends Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo. However, there has been a lot of controversy surround Haynesworth heading into this week after being kicked from a mid-week practice. Haynesworth then lashed out in regard’s to Coach Jim Zorn’s game plan involving his use in defensive schemes. With so much happening, it will be interesting to see if the defense is affected by those events.
On offense QB Jason Campbell was beaten up last week after 5 sacks and later suffering a stinger in the Redskins embarrassing 45-12 loss to the Giants. Campbell has been sort of hot and cold all year for the Redskins with 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The Dallas secondary is the weakest link to their star power and the Cowboys pass defense has only picked off 10 passes all year. As long as Campbell does not help Dallas by turning the ball over, the Redskins have some quick receivers that could break through. WR Santana Moss has crushed the Cowboys on numerous occasions throughout his career despite being held to just 38 yards in the first meeting. However, expect more offense to be displayed this Sunday night and the Redskins will need Campbell in particular to have a great performance.
Pick – The Redskins have to make up for last week’s embarrassment and the last 5 out of 6 meetings with the Cowboys have been decided by 5 points or less. Take Washington +7