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Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys Point Spread - Pick

Washington Redskins (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, November 30, 2017 at 8:25PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: WAS +1.5/DAL -1.5
Over/Under Total: 44

The Washington Redskins take on the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football in an NFC East battle. Both teams played on Thanksgiving a week ago with different results. The Redskins were able to get a needed victory, beating the Giants at home, 20-10, to go to 5-6 on the season. The Cowboys, however, fell at home to the Chargers, 28-6, and the swoon is now official, as the Cowboys have dropped three straight games and are circling the drain. Who can come out ahead in this divisional battle on Thursday Night Football?

Dallas has gone through different phases this season. During one of their better phases, they were able to beat the Redskins at FedEx Field, 33-19 on October 29. The Cowboys' main offensive weapon in that game was Ezekiel Elliott, who is no longer available. And despite there being some hope without him, the Cowboys offense has spiraled downhill in his absence. They go long stretches without hitting the scoreboard and after putting up 101 total points during their 3-game win streak that now seems like distant memory, they have put up a ridiculously-low combined 22 points in their last three games.

The Dallas offense is definitely in crisis-mode. Even a normally-dependable offensive line has sputtered with some injuries and inconsistency. Elliott's absence was supposed to coincide with an upsurge in the aerial game and instead, Dak Prescott has thrown zero touchdowns in their last three games. Between Rod Smith and Alfred Morris, they can still run the ball some, but it has just a fraction of the menace that Elliott brought to the table. Guys like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley aren't really making much of an impact. Granted, at home against what can be a dicey Redskins' defense this week, they could find relief, but there isn't much to like about what they're doing on this side of the ball lately.

The Dallas defense hasn't been able to make up for the deficiencies on the other side of the ball, though what defense could? Even so, they've been more-vulnerable over the course of the last three games than at any point in the season. They seemed to be getting it together previously, with better plays and guys back in the mix after being injured. On Sunday, they couldn't stop Philip Rivers, who put up 434 yards and had his best game of the season. Injuries have again reared their head and not having Sean Lee in there makes them a diminished unit. They got no sacks, no turnovers, and nothing that really helped the team on Thursday. There are some difference-makers on this group, with guys like pass-rushing Demarcus Lawrence, but they haven't looked good lately and aren't getting any support on the other side of the ball.

Washington was able to bounce back on Thanksgiving after losing a heartbreaking overtime game the previous Sunday to the Saints where they were up by 15 with three minutes left. For them to turn up ready to go was impressive in its own way, even if it came against the Giants. The defense shined brighter than the offense, but there were some decent signs all around and maybe Washington can salvage something from this season, even if the postseason appears to be out-of-range.

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The Washington offense has suffered a lot of injuries, inconsistency, and has yet to forge a real identity. They are missing guys who make plays, as well as beef up-front. But one definite positive development for a team that has struggled to find a ground-game is the performance of rookie Samaje Perine. After being quiet for most of the season, he has put together consecutive 100-yard games. Against the Giants, Kirk Cousins threw two touchdowns on 242 yards. Catching touchdowns in the game were Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder. Lately, we've seen some big plays from Doctson, while Crowder has stepped up with some big games and is now the team's leading receiver. Perine has also shown signs of becoming a useful short-pass option.

Again, the Giants are pretty bad on offense, but the Redskins really showed some fire on defense on Thanksgiving. With 7 of the Giants' 10 points coming on a defensive touchdown, the Redskins' defense didn't allow much on the night, giving up just 170 total yards and seven first downs. Ryan Kerrigan was shot out of a cannon, and registered two sacks, along with Junior Galette and Anthony Lanier getting to the QB. CB Kendall Fuller picked off his fourth pass of the season on Thursday. And with the crippling amount of injuries the Redskins have suffered on this side of the ball, they'll take whatever positive developments they can get.

Obviously, the Redskins are in a decent spot to exact revenge and even the season series with their divisional foe at home this Thursday. By the same token, a similar argument could be made on behalf of Dallas, as they now face an inconsistent team they have previously beaten a month ago. It's just that the way these teams are playing, Washington looks far-closer to where they need to be. In their last four games, they beat Seattle at home, lost a one-score game to a scorching Vikings team, nearly beat the Saints, and won on Thanksgiving. I see them playing well this Thursday and covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Washington Redskins plus 1.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Thursday Night Football game from the comfort of home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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