Last week I went 6-7 against the spread on my picks and 9-4 straight up. That brings the season totals up 63-70 against the spread and 86-47 straight up.
The performances of the Falcons, Seahawks, and Raiders were the most disappointing aspects. My backdoor cover action in the Falcons-Panthers was obliterated when Matt Ryan threw that pick six. Had that wound up being a touchdown drive for the Falcons, I would have won that game. The Seahawks were very lackluster at home no less and had to come back from a 17-point deficit midway through the third quarter to win in overtime. And a week after jumping off their bandwagon, the Eagles dismantled the Raiders by 29 points on the road. Apparently, I should know better than to bet against the Eagles on the road.
Washington Redskins (3-5) at Minnesota Vikings (1-7)
Thursday, November 7 at 8:25 pm ET on NFL Network
Line: Vikings (+2.5)
This matchup will feature two of the more porous defenses in the league, particularly when it comes to defending the pass. With Christian Ponder starting for the Vikings, and their offense at its best when Adrian Peterson is getting a lot of carries, that appears the advantage is in the favor of the Redskins.
But the problem is that the Redskins offense hasn’t been able to generate a ton of big passing plays like they were able to do last year when all their run-action opened up downfield plays for RG3. But they have started to get more big plays in recent weeks vs. Chicago and San Diego.
The other issue for hte Vikings is the injuries. Kyle Rudolph, who is in fact Minnesota’s most reliable receiving option, along with Phil Loadholt and Charlie Johnson are out. That means starts for J’Marcus Webb at right tackle, and backup center Joe Berger will man the left guard spot. I’m not sure that that is going to help the Vikings create more holes for Peterson.
The key for Minnesota is that they need to get off to a fast start. That way Peterson gets more carries. On the short week, you would think the home team would then have the advantage. But what is interesting is that in many of the Thursday night games thus far this year, the road team has been able to get out to the quickest lead.
If Washington is going to try and make this NFC East title run, they need to start rattling off some wins. They have four very winnable games in their next six, including one against the second place Eagles, before they face the Cowboys in Week 16. How well they play tonight could go a long way to determine if they’re ready to repeat last year’s second-half success.
Spread Pick: Redskins
Straight Pick: Redskins