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Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints Point Spread - Pick

Washington Redskins (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: WAS +7.5/NO -7.5
Over/Under Total: 51

The Washington Redskins come into the Superdome on Sunday to face the red-hot New Orleans Saints in week 11 NFC action. The Saints have won 7 in a row, making the way they started the season a faded memory. After another dominant win on Sunday, a 47-10 road win against the Bills, they now host an incoming Redskins bunch. Washington gave it a good go, but fell to the Vikings on Sunday at home, 38-30. At 4-5, they are now running out of chances to regroup and can ill afford another setback. Can the Redskins catch the Saints sleeping and put their high-potency offense to good use? Or will the Saints keep marching on?

Seemingly every season, a team will turn things around, but seldom as drastically as the Saints. In a 0-2 start, they were really struggling on both sides of the ball. To snap out of a funk is one thing, but to go on a 7-game win streak where they're cleaning opponents' clocks is an amazing about-face. In this streak, the closest game they had was 8 points, with the average margin of victory in this 7-game stretch being 20 points. In the last four games, the Saints have given up a total of 49 points. With an offense in a state of high-flight, that's going to be more than enough. Right now, an argument can be made that the Saints are the best and most-dominant team in the NFL. And not a lot of people saw that coming, especially after that 0-2 start where they looked anything but a contender.

The Saints don't make it up to Buffalo all that often and it is a tough place to play against a good, albeit waning team in the Bills. To put up a blowout win in that setting is impressive. The run-game has really started to explode for the Saints. With 47 points of offensive output, you'd suspect Drew Brees had a huge game. He was efficient on 18-for-25 passing, but with 184 yards and no touchdowns, he was relying on those around him to produce the scoring. Mark Ingram was huge on the ground with 131 yards and three touchdowns. Also big on the day was Alvin Kamara, who ran for 106 yards and a TD, while also catching five balls. Another rookie in Trey Edmunds ran for a TD on 48 yards rushing, as the Saints nearly ran for 300 yards on Sunday. Through the air, Brees connected well with Michael Thomas, who had 117 yards receiving.

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The rising Saints defense was again stout on Sunday. They kept the Bills aerial game in check with just 129 yards. LeSean McCoy was held to 49 yards, as the Bills couldn't get their ground-game cranked up. With Buffalo scoring a garbage touchdown late in the 4th quarter, the Saints held them to almost nothing throughout the game. They kept the Bills to under 200 yards of total offense and just 2-for-11 on third downs. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins had an interception and a sack, with the middle having another big game. Alex Okafor also had a sack. The secondary with Ken Crawley, rookie Marshon Lattimore, Vonn Bell, Marcus Williams, and others, a perennial team liability has become an asset.

The Redskins need a positive development. After a 3-2 start, they have gone 2-4 since and can't seem to establish a foothold. Key among their issues is a defense that has been bothered by injuries and partially as a result, is one of the easier teams to score on in the conference. On defense at home against the Vikings, they couldn't really create anything positive. And the offense, while prolific on occasion, is sort of a mish-mosh, with no clear go-to guys. It's just whoever happens to step up on a given week.

Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins was good on Sunday with 325 yards. He was able to connect well with Jamison Crowder and Vernon Davis, both of whom had 76 yards. Unheard-of receiver Maurice Harris caught a few big ones, including a touchdown. Jordan Reed is banged up and Terrelle Pryor has apparently fallen out of favor. Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, amd Chris Thompson try to add production on the ground, but this is an offense that depends on the pass. And with that part of their game lacking a clear identity, it just seems to lack that little indefinable quality to get them over the hump.

Giving up 38 points to the Vikings at home in a must-win game would qualify as a letdown for the Redskins defense on Sunday. The secondary was readily exploitable, with guys like Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, DeAngelo Hall, and DJ Swearinger needing to be stouter. Swearinger did pick off two balls. But the pass-rush was practically nonexistent and when needing a big stop or a key clutch play late, this defense was nowhere to be found. After a spirited performance the previous week on the road at Seattle, one would have expected better on Sunday.

Washington has a lot of elements you look for when scouting for an underdog. They can put up big offense through the air and are desperate now to create something positive before this season starts really starts looking like a lost cause. A lot of guys are playing for their careers. The Saints, meanwhile, could be due for a letdown after a long stretch of dominance and more margin for error. I wouldn't bank on that. They're still in a contested division race and after the way they started the season and coming off three 7-9 seasons, they don't seem to be a team that would feel they can just slack off in given weeks. I still see the Saints having their hands full with a desperate Redskins team this week. I'm taking the points.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Washington Redskins plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Redskins vs. Saints game 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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