Washington at Dallas
Time: 3:30 PM CT, FOX
Spread: WAS -16.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Washington Redskins are 6-4 and in first place in the NFC East. It maintains just a one-game lead over its opponent, the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is 5-5 and will host the second of a Thanksgiving Day triple-header, with this game slated for 3:30 CST on FOX. The Redskins are heavy 16.5-point favorites according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes, with an over/under for the game set at 40.5 points.
Washington has been something of a break-even team despite its plus-.500 record. The Redskins average 19.7 points per game and give up 19.8, which is as close to dead even as a team can be, nearly. It lost 21-23 to the Houston Texans last week, but prior to that, the Redskins had won four of five with wins over Carolina, Dallas, New York Giants, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Alex Smith has led the charge for the Redskins with his 2,180 passing yards. He has thrown 10 TD passes and five interceptions, but due to his pass volume has an interception ratio of just 1.5 percent. Sacks have been a problem, however, with Smith going down 2.2 times per game for a total loss on the season of 121 yards. Similarly, the backfield has been frustrated with the OL’s protection.
Workhorse Adrian Peterson averages just 4.2 yards-per-carry on his 171 attempts, and he has six of the Skins’ nine rushing TDs. Smith is No. 2 in rushing with 168 yards on 41 attempts, but no one with significant carries averages more than five yards per attempt.
Jordan Reed leads all receivers with 462 yards on 44 catches with two TD receptions. The Skins have 11 TD receptions on the season and have scored nine via the rush, but this is not an overly potent offensive team. Depth at receiver is a strength, though, with six players having caught for 200 yards or more on the season. Reed leads all receivers in first downs with 21, but Josh Doctson is second with 18 first downs. Doctson is behind all significant receivers in Yards after the catch, though, with just 39 on his 26 receptions.
The Dallas Cowboys can even the NFC East standings with a victory, but it is a heavy underdog according to NFL oddsmakers. Dallas is riding a two-game win streak after knocking off the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles the past two weeks. The Cowboys average 20.3 points per game and surrender 19.0, good for a positive-1.3 point differential.
The rush attack has been Dallas’ strength and forte, averaging 133.3 yards per game via the rush. Ezekiel Elliot has been consistent and great: He averages 5.0 yards-per-carry and has a team-leading five rushing TDs. Elliot has caught for another 341 yards on 42 passes with two receiving TDs.
Quarterback Dak Prescott is No.2 in rushing yardage with 261 yards on 52 attempts (five yards-per-carry) and one rushing TD. Prescott also has 11 passing TDs with just five interceptions and over 2,100 yards on the season. His top receiver has been Cole Beasley, who has caught 45 of 59 targeted passes for 454 yards and a team-high 26 first downs. Elliot is a monster in Yards-after-the-catch, expectedly as a running back, with 289 yards after the catch running his mostly short routes.
Michael Gallop, Geoff Swaim, and Allen Hurns all have 200 yards or better on the season, as well. Dallas has turned its season around, but the Skins being at home and an overall more dangerous offensive team should lead to about the expectation of NFL oddsmakers, a fairly convincing Redskins’ win to increase its lead in the division from one game to two. This game is definitely a crucial point for both teams as the season winds down.