December 7th, 2015 (2:00 PM ET)
There are two pick tonight.
1) Take Washington Redskins at -3 spread against Dallas Cowboys for 3% of the bankroll.
After looking like there might be a chance to salvage their season, the Cowboys took yet another hit as they lost on Thankgiving and Tony Romo refractured his collarbone! Despite losing 7 straight games earlier this season without Romo under center, the team continued to play hard knowing that their leader was eventually going to make his way back before the end of the season. That is not the case anymore and it will be interesting to see how these players react, with their season all but over. It's important to remember that the Cowboys are still winless this season without Romo and we don't believe that changes tonight.
The Redskins have been a team that has been night and day all season long. Their home vs. road comparison couldn't be more telling of how this squad plays. The Redskins have won their last 5 games at FedEx Field going 4-1 ATS. Kirk Cousins has completed nearly 75% of his passes at home, throwing for more than 1600 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions! That has been good for a passer rating of 113.
On the road however, it's been a different story, where they still winless. The performance of Cousins has also been erratic away from home. He's thrown for just 1155 yards with 5 touchdowns vs. 8 interceptions on the season for a passer rating of just 69.8. There is no question those performances have skewed the perception of this team, however at home; they should have the advantage in this contest. Tight-end Jordan Reed has emerged as one of Cousins' favorite targets and Pierre Garcon is also having a solid season! That means even if DeSean Jackson sits this one out somehow or is at less than 100%; we believe Washington still has the better offense than the Cowboys and should do enough to win and cover.
This is also a revenge game for the Skins. The Cowboys have managed to pick up two consecutive victories over Washington in this venue and now that they are banged up and come limping into this game, this is Washington's best opportunity to pick up a W and avenge those previous losses! The Redskins are currently atop the NFC East and with a victory tonight, they can achieve quite a few milestones. They could end the Cowboys' already slim playoff hopes while creating separation from the Eagles and Giants because failure to do so will see all 3 of those teams sport 5-7 records. A win will also get them back to a .500 record and at the least give the appearance of a respectable team which many are not currently looking at them as. Goldson and company no doubt want respect from the media and the best way to make sure they get that is to put on a show on a national stage. A loss however would place them in a tie for the division lead and keep the the Cowboys in the hunt. Given that they have not had to travel and are at home for the second consecutive game against a team that is all but out, we don't expect them to miss out on this opportunity.
Washington has been great at protecting the football at home this season and we expect them to remember that in this contest. The Cowboys may come into D.C. fairly flat and deflated as while mathematically still in it, they have very little chances of making the poseason especially since this game is followed by another road showdown in Green Bay and Dallas may well need to win out from here on! If the motivation is not there and Washington can get explosive RB Matt Jones going to compliment Alfred Morris in the backfield, that should enable the Skins to balance out their passing attack and move the ball with relatively ease, picking up the win and covering this short number.
The Redskins will come into this game high on confidence after putting in an inspired effort and getting the better of another division rival in the New York Giants! That was a morale-boosting performance and we expect some of that momentum to carry over into this contest. Meanwhile, the Cowboys' season basically ended on Thanksgiving night with the loss of that game and Romo and we believe it will be hard for them to stay competitive this contest. This game should be close for the most part but at one point, Washington will pull away as they are keen to make the most of home games like this, knowing tougher games are coming up ahead. Look for them to use this opportunity to put together consecutive wins while giving themselves a little bit of breathing room atop the division.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Redskins have outgained opponents by an average of 405 yards to 325 in home games!
- Cowboys are 0-8 ATS in recent years after a loss in which they had 10 more rushing attempts than their season average!
- Redskins have 8 covers and 2 pushes following their last 10 home games after they dominated time of possession (34+ minutes)!
2) Take Villanova at -4 spread against Oklahoma for 3% of the bankroll.
This is an intriguing matchup between undefeated teams from Bloch Arena in Hawaii tonight.
This Villanova team is a much different version than we have been used to seeing in the past. This is a team that is usually loaded with capable shooters and have has a sure fire lottery pick in their rotation. While they still employ a three and four guard set with capable shooters, there is not one player that is standing out above the rest. They are playing extremely well cohesively as a team with multiple players stepping up when needed.
Kris Jenkins is 6 foot 6 junior who has stepped up this season and is averaging 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds at the power forward position. In their last win over St. Joe's, Jenkins and small forward Josh Hart led the team with 18 points apiece while senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono added 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting! While known for their offense, the Wildcats also have size in their lineup and have shown an increased awareness on the defensive side of the ball.
The Wildcats will likely need some of that defensive pressure tonight as they take on an Oklahoma team who currently ranks 13th in the nation in points scored, fourth in three-point percentage and third in rebounds per game. Expectations were high in Norman this season and the Sooner have opened up the year 5-0. If there has been one knock on their resume thus far it's that they have not truly been tested this season. Their lone quality win this season came against a rebuilding Wisconsin team. Oklahoma may be an experienced team, but we believe the Wildcats have been the more battle tested ones in the early part of the season and the fact that Oklahoma is just 3-7 ATS last 10 vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games played on a neutral site, should give the edge to the Wildcats in this contest.
Villanova has been the more dominant team this season. They are 7-0 with each and every victory coming by way of double digits. They have wins over Stanford, Georgia Tech and Nebraska on their resume and made it look easy in the process. At 6 foot 11, Daniel Ochefu makes a big difference inside as both a rebounder and intimidator and is already shaping up to be a dominating presence inside. This should be an entertaining contest between two NCAA tournament teams this year, but we believe the Wildcats are the better overall team and should do enough to pull away in the second half and pick up a big win and cover.
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