The Dallas Cowboys are 4-1 in their last five NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins, 10-4 over the last 14, but the Redskins, usually the underdogs, are 8-3 against the spread over the last 11 meetings. In the 110th edition of a great NFL rivalry, the playoff-bound Redskins visit the clueless Cowboys Sunday.
Point spread: The Cowboys opened as four-point favorites; the total was off the board early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 21.4-21.0 Redskins
Why the Redskins can cover the spread
Washington won and covered its third game in a row last week, knocking off the Eagles in Philly 38-24 and securing an unlikely division title. The Redskins spotted Philadelphia an early 7-0 advantage but then scored touchdowns on their next two possessions to take the lead for good.
The Eagles later pulled to within one score late in the third quarter, but Washington put the game away with a fumble return for a score and a Kirk Cousins touchdown pass, his fourth of the night and eighth in his last two games.
The Redskins held a 34-26 time-of-possession advantage on Philly and won the turnover battle 2-0, taking that game outright as three-point road dogs. Washington is now 8-5 ATS this season as an underdog, winning seven of those games outright.
Why the Cowboys can cover the spread
Dallas suffered another tough loss last week, 16-6 at Buffalo. The Cowboys, as six-point underdogs, fought the Bills to a 6-6 tie well into the third quarter, and only trailed by a field goal well into the fourth, but just couldn't get much going offensively with quarterback Kellen Moore making his first career NFL start.
Two weeks ago, Dallas lost at home to the New York Jets 19-16 on a field goal with 30 seconds left. So of its 11 losses this season, six have come by one score or less, and two others were essentially one-score games.
On the season, despite everything, the Cowboys have been outgained by an average of just 19 yards per game, a figure more suitable to a 7-9 team.
Washington has nothing to play for this week; it's already locked into the No. 4 seed for the upcoming NFC playoffs. It would be wise of the Redskins to rest regulars this week before heading into a wild-card game next week. Meanwhile, Dallas has guys playing—and perhaps coaching—for jobs. The smart cash here rides with the Cowboys.
The Redskins are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are 2-11 straight up in their last 13 games.
The Cowboys are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games at home.