Dogs Bite the Books: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Preview and Prediction

I got my NFL underdog picks off to a strong start with Green Bay’s 10-3 upset over Chicago last Thursday night getting three points on the road. That game was tough to watch, but it is all about cashing winners at your favorite online sportsbook. I also liked Buffalo on the road as a 2.5-point underdog against the New York Jets in another Week 1 division matchup.

Heading into Week 2, I am sticking with the strategy of betting underdogs in divisional matchups. A higher level of familiarity can often times lead to a higher level of predictability. 

The Washington Redskins have opened as five-point home underdogs against the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. I am also throwing in the typical overreaction to Week 1 results as a reason to take the Redskins and the points at home.


See the recap for every Week 1 NFL game


The Cowboys got their top offensive player back into the lineup just in time to run all over the New York Giants Sunday 35-17 as seven-point home favorites. With Dak Prescott throwing the ball all over the field and Ezekiel Elliott adding 53 yards and a score in limited action running the ball, the Cowboys’ offense appeared to be in mid-season form.

This dominating performance undoubtedly caught the betting public’s attention to drive up the opening spread for this game. Week 1 overreactions are a bettor’s dream if you know where and how to look for the best value in the odds.

Top Underdog Bet- Take the Redskins (+5) against Dallas

The Redskins opened their season with a 17-0 lead against the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles as heavy 10-point underdogs on the road. Reality set in after halftime in the eventual 32-27 loss. Washington still came away with the backdoor cover with a late scoring drive.

Discounting another overreaction, I am more focused on what Washington did right in the first half of that game then on the second-half collapse. Case Keenum looked very comfortable running the offense and the Redskins’ defense did have the early answer for keeping Philly’s high-powered offense in check. 

The better team won this game but I am still giving quite a bit of credit to Washington given just how sharp it looked in the first two quarters. This was the biggest spread on the board in Week 1 and the Redskins still found a way to cover.

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Turning to Sunday’s matchup between the Cowboys and the Redskins at 1 p.m. on FOX, giving up five points on the road in a bitter rivalry is a hard number to cover. Dallas should find a way to win this game just like the Eagles did on Sunday. However, Washington is not going down without a fight.

Playing this game at home is a big edge in an early division clash. The Redskins know that things only get tougher from here with Chicago and New England also coming to town in the first five weeks of the season.

Jay Gruden is officially on the hot seat as the favorite to be the first head coach fired this season. Dallas is basking in its performance against a Giants’ team that is probably worse than first expected. This could actually be seen as an early trap game for the Cowboys, who have always struggled against Washington closing as favorites.

One trend going against me in this pick is the Cowboys’ 4-1 record (SU and ATS) in their last five road games against Washington. Yet, they dropped a 20-17 decision their last trip to town in October of last season.

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