Washington Redskins (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Week 5 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: MT&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: WAS +3.5/MIA -3.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Washington Redskins come to MT&T Bank Stadium on Sunday to face the Baltimore Ravens. The Redskins have overcome a ragged 0-2 start by posting consecutive wins to even their slate after four games. On Sunday, they followed a road win over the Giants with a 31-20 win over Cleveland. Baltimore tried to make to 4-0 last week and appeared to have done enough when coming back from a final-quarter deficit to lead 27-21, but a late Oakland TD had Baltimore looking at its first loss, 28-27. They look to get back on the winning track on Sunday.
For the Ravens, they were looking stuck-in-the-mud against the Raiders for much of the afternoon, scoring just 12 points with just a half quarter remaining. Two quick TD drives by the Ravens to take a 27-21 lead looked to be enough, but the late-dramatics went the Raiders way. Still, the first quarter of this season has to be considered a success, with a one-point loss the only setback thus far. Baltimore is forging an identity on offense, while their defense looks to have made a major improvement from last season's struggling unit.
On Sunday, the Ravens' defense gave up more than it had all season, having given up just 44 combined points in 3 games. The defense looks good against the run, having prevented running backs from turning it loose. But they've been even better against the pass, holding passers like Derek Carr and Blake Bortles to very little. And against Washington with Kirk Cousins getting sharper and sharper, they're going to need that. They have a super-loaded middle, with Terrell Suggs coming back strong so far this season with CJ Mosley emerging into a real player and Zachary Orr growing into his starting role. The secondary has gotten a nice boost from safety Eric Weddle (questionable), along with Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright, and Ladarius Webb.
Joe Flacco again leads an offense that is devoid of star power, but still manages to get the job done. They parted with Justin Forsett, who surprised in 2014 replacing Ray Rice and having a great season. But he couldn't follow up, leaving Baltimore with a ragged ground game that averages 3.7 yards a run. Led by Terrance West, we'll see what they come up with, though it doesn't look good. The aerial attack is still pretty robust, aided by Steve Smith, Sr., who still has it, along with Mike Wallace, who has been reborn in this offense with a slinger like Flacco. They've also gotten some production from dangerous tight end Dennis Pitta, and they'd definitely benefit from Breshad Perriman, should the 2nd year receiver start fulfilling his first-round draft status at some point.
The Redskins looked pretty ragged in weeks one and two, following a division-winning season the previous season. A lot of people pegged the 'Skins to come down to earth and through two games, they looked to be correct with Washington dropping two home games to open the campaign. A road win over the Giants gave them some hope, with the win over the Browns evening the slate. On Sunday, there were some good developments, with a slow-starting Cousins throwing three TDs and Matt Jones going for 117 rushing and a score. A continued potent run game will really open things up for Cousins. Twice he connected with TE Jordan Reed. Chris Thompson caught the other one. DeSean Jackson has been strong at points this season. With Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder also in the mix, Cousins has a ton of targets and should continue giving opposing defenses a lot to think about with so many viable options.
QUIT THROWING AWAY YOUR HARD EARNED LOOT! BET ON THE REDSKINS VS. RAVENS GAME AT DISCOUNTED ODDS -105 TODAY AT 5DIMES
The Washington defense got off light with a lot of people blaming Cousins for their early troubles. But the defense hasn't been at its best thus far. They allowed 20 to the Browns last week, their first somewhat-respectable showing after allowing 92 points in their first three games. The secondary has been battered, with DeAngelo Hall out for the season, with Su'a Cravens, David Bruton, and Bashaud Breeland also banged up and questionable. The middle is also banged-up, with Ryan Kerrigan and Will Compton both questionable for Sunday. Still, they're getting good play from guys like Trent Murphy, who is rushing the passer well, and corner Josh Norman starting to deliver. And they're making turnovers happen more in recent weeks.
The Ravens should be able to exploit the Redskins' banged-up "D" to some extent on Sunday. But the Ravens defense has a lot of different things to worry about with this Redskins' offense being able to spray the ball around to different receivers, with TE Jordan Reed a bonafide red-zone threat. We anticipate some scoring take place at MT&T Bank Stadium this Sunday and we're going with the over.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm taking the over in the Washington vs. Baltimore game. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Washington vs. Baltimore game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!