About four months before the first game kicks off Covers.com, a Vegas-based sports book operator, has the point spreads for each NFL team’s first 15 games. Covers.com has published lines for every game except those played in Week 17. I’m not sure why they are confident enough to make a line on, say, Bears at Bengals in Week 14 in December (Bengals by 6.5, if you’re interested) but not for Redskins at Giants in Week 17 but who am I to question.
In all, the Redskins are favorites in six games and underdogs in nine. So they will have to pull a few upsets to avoid a disappointing season.
Here are the lines on each of the first 15 games with a bit of analysis on each of them. Note that any advice given is for recreational purposes only.
Week 1 Philadelphia Eagles at Washington (-3)
The Redskins have won five straight against the Eagles. But they are pretty evenly matched teams and Washington getting the standard home field three points seems about right.
Week 2 Washington at Los Angeles Rams (+2)
The Redskins have been road favorites just three times since Jay Gruden became coach, all of them last year. They went 2-1 both straight up and against the spread.
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Week 3 Oakland Raiders at Washington (+1)
This will be a pivotal game for the Redskins. The Raiders are a good team but they should be beatable in Washington. Redskins were 1-1 ATS and straight up as home underdogs last year.
Week 4 Washington at Kansas City Chiefs (-5)
The Redskins have never won at Kansas City. I’m not sure what Hank Stram, Len Dawson and Otis Taylor did when facing George Allen, Billy Kilmer, and Charley Taylor has to do with anything, but there you go. Oh, and it’s a Monday night. I’d say give the points.
Week 5 Bye
The Redskins aren’t a powerhouse but they’re beyond the point where the joke that they are four-point underdogs to the bye doesn’t make sense any more, right?
Week 6 San Francisco 49ers at Washington (-8)
I would suggest caution here, even though the 49ers are still going to be bad. Since 2014 the Redskins have been favored by a touchdown or more four times. Their only win, outright or ATS, came against the Browns last year.
Week 7 Washington at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
It’s kind of odd that they Redskins get three points for home field but the Eagles only get 2.5.
Week 8 Dallas Cowboys at Washington (+2.5)
The Redskins are 7-10 ATS all-time as home underdogs against Dallas.
Week 9 Washington at Seattle Seahawks (-8)
It’s a long road trip to play a good team in a noisy stadium. But the Seahawks did tend to play down to their competition at home on occasion last year. If the Redskins are playing well going in I might consider taking the eight.
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Week 10 Minnesota Vikings at Washington (-1.5)
The Redskins have been home favorites against the Vikings five times. They have won outright twice and the only time they covered was last year, when they won 26-20 while giving 2.5.
Week 11 Washington at New Orleans Saints (-2.5)
The Redskins have not lost in the Superdome since 1992 despite going in as underdogs by five to 9.5 points.
Week 12 New York Giants at Washington (-1)
The Redskins have never played at home on Thanksgiving so not much to pull on here. They are 2-1 on Thursdays at home but the only loss was 45-14 to the Giants in 2014
Week 13 Washington at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
If the Redskins have a rushing defense by this time maybe look at taking that touchdown. If not, give the points and bet the mortgage.
Week 14 Washington at Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5)
This is the one game where the spread doesn’t make much sense. The Chargers were 5-11 last season and their home field advantage consists of a 30,000-seat soccer stadium. I would think this is at least a push or the Redskins should be slight favorites.
Week 15 Arizona Cardinals at Washington (-2)
Which way are the Cardinals headed this season? Will Blaine Gabbert be playing quarterback?
Week 16 Denver Broncos at Washington (+1)
Redskins are 7-5 ATS as home underdogs since Gruden arrived. More important to their possible playoff hopes is that they are also 7-5 straight up as home dogs in that time.
Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.