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Thanksgiving: Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys Money Line

Washington Redskins(6-3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys(9-1)

  • Where: AT&T Stadium. Arlington, Texas
  • When: November 24, 2016 4:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Redskins +7.5 (-115) vs. Cowboys -7.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Washington +285, Dallas –357
  • Over / Under: Over 51 (-110) vs. Under 51 (-110)

Thanksgiving football is one of the oldest and fondest traditions in football, giving families across the nation the opportunity to avoid awkward conversations. The Cowboys host a game every year, and this season it’s an exciting matchup against their division rivals the Washington Redskins.

The Cowboys have suddenly sprung into relevancy this season after Jerry Jones struck gold in the draft and ended up 11 weeks later with the best record in football. Meanwhile the Redskins have sneakily crept into the playoff picture on the back of their strong passing attack and emerging run game.

While running back Ezekiel Elliot might be a prohibitive favorite to win Fox’s Galloping Gobbler award this year, let’s take a look at other wagers that might hold value in this matchup.

Dallas Cowboys Can Grind Out Games on the Ground

The two Dallas rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot have been two of the biggest storylines of the season, with both players in contention for both offensive rookie of the year as well as for MVP.

However, the true MVP of this team has not been getting as much attention: The Dallas offensive line.

The incredible play of the league’s best O-Line was well-illustrated last game against the Baltimore Ravens, who came up against The Big D with a big D of their own, sporting the top ranked defense through 10 weeks.

Dallas began their 4th-quarter drive up 7 points with 8:10 left in the game. Both teams, at the beginning of the drive, had all three timeouts remaining. This is the kind of situation where a rookie quarterback could be pressured, panic, and either turn the ball over or give the ball back to the trailing team on a quick three-and-out, leading to a close game decided by whoever has the ball last.

Instead, by pounding the ball on the ground, Dallas was able to burn 6 minutes of clock and force the Ravens to use all three of their timeouts. The ‘boys ended up knocking in a chip shot field goal to go up two scores after the two-minute warning had passed, giving the ball back to the Ravens with less than two minutes to score 10 points and no way to stop the clock.

When a team scores over 400 yards of total offense for 8 straight games and can finish games like that, they’re darn-near impossible to stop.

Redskins Surged Past the Packers on Sunday Night Football

The Washington Redskins came into last week’s matchup as a young team starting to gain confidence, and hoping to take that next step. Coming off of their bye week and a hard-fought defensive victory against the Minnesota Vikings, the ‘skins knew they would need to keep rolling in order to keep pace in what is likely the strongest division in the NFC.

Luckily, the team ranked 4th in the league in yards on offense played a team in the Packers with a decimated secondary. In fact, Green Bay started its 5th-string cornerback against the Redskins, only to lose him for the rest of the season to a gruesome leg injury during the second half.

Notwithstanding the strength of the opponent, however, the Washington Redskins notched 42 points and tallied up 515 yards of total offense. Washington scored on all five of its second-half possessions, ending the game with 3 consecutive touchdown drives. Two of these drives moved the ball a total of 150 yards in a total of less than 1:00 of game time.

In summary, the Redskins came out on national television last week and demonstrated their ability to move the ball down the field and make quick strikes, and also made an important and emotional statement for young quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The game was also a big step for undrafted rookie Robert “Fat Rob” Kelly, who went off against the leaky Packer defense for 137 yards on 24 attempts, including a 66-yard scamper, and scored 3 touchdowns. The development of a tough, ground-and-pound running game with Fat Rob could be the missing piece that propels the Redskins forward for the rest of the season.

Call Me Crazy, But I’m Taking the Moneyline Value Bet

All signs point to the Cowboys in this matchup: The Cowboys are the better team. The Redskins just played on Sunday night. The Cowboys are home for the second week in a row. The Redskins travel.

However, barring serious injury it’s very unlikely that the Cowboys will lose any of their three remaining games against non-division opponents (Vikings, Buccaneers, Lions). They do play all three NFC East teams, and this game, against the Redskins, could easily be the best chance they have to lose a game.

There’s nothing to say that they can’t run the table and win 15 straight – but I can’t help but be suspicious of an 11-game increase in win total after a single offseason on the back of a rookie quarterback.

So while there may not be much of statistical argument for taking the Redskins’ moneyline, on national television, in a divisional game, after a short week, with a storyline to fall in line behind, I can’t help but take the best value bet on the table for this matchup. After all, anything can happen on Turkey Day!

I recommend the Washington Redskins’ moneyline, listed at +285 at the Bovada sportsbook.

David HeinenThis article was written by David Heinen

David Heinen is a freelance psychology writer by day, inveterate NFL junkie by night. Born and raised on the Green Bay Packers, David is a die-hard Cheesehead, not to mention a cheese enthusiast in his spare time.

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