The 2016 NFL season’s first two weeks are in the books, which means it’s time to look at Week 3’s picks against the spread. Early Sunday afternoon, we have an NFC East showdown between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. Who has the best odds in this one?
Game Time: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Betting Line: -4 NYG; 46 O/U
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The Giants come into this game with a ton of momentum, starting the season 2-0 — defeating both the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. Washington, meanwhile, is off to a horrid start, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cowboys — and both games were at home.
On Sunday, the Redskins will play their first road game of the year, and they could really use a victory. After all, a loss would already put them in a three-game hole to climb out of if they intend to contend for the division crown once more.
So far, though, this defense has been mediocre, and the offense can’t seem to get anything going on the ground. The sad part about that, is that they have run the ball well — they just never do it. Washington has only run the ball 29 times in two games, even though they’ve averaged over four yards per carry, totaling 137 yards and two touchdowns. Instead, it’s been Jay Gruden’s ineptitude, as he continues to rely solely on Kirk Cousins to carry the offense.
We get it, you were right about Cousins and Robert Griffin III; and to his credit, the former Michigan State quarterback had a great 2015 campaign. But, he’s not Tom Brady or anything, and you can’t ask him to be 75 percent of the offense like he has been the first two weeks (89 pass attempts to only 29 team rushes — three of them by Cousins himself).
That lack of balance is going to kill the Redskins week after week, and it keeps the defense on the field longer when they don’t take much time off of the clock on offense. And Gruden hasn’t even mentioned the lack of a running game this past week — that’s not a good sign.
New York, on the other hand, has had much less success per carry than the Redskins. But, they have still remained committed to the ground game, running it 56 times through two games. That’s a solid number, especially when compared to the 69 passing attempts. Overall, even though they’ve only averaged a little over three yards per carry, it’s made teams respect the fact that they’re willing to run.
The difference in this game may come down to time of possession, especially since the Giants defense has been so terrific after a great offseason.
Bets to Make: lay the points with the Giants. That defense has been solid, and the Redskins don’t pose much of a threat to change that — even more so because there’s no commitment to the run. New York should win this one by more than four as the Redskins try to figure out their very simple problems. As well, take the under; this game likely won’t be a shootout.
Score Prediction: Giants 26, Redskins 17