Sunday Night Football: Redskins have edge on betting lines vs. Packers

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Something will have to give in the Sunday Night Football matchup, seeing how the Green Bay Packers have a terrible record as an underdog and the Washington Redskins are not much better as the favorite.

Kirk Cousins and Washington are listed as the 3-point favorite against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers with a 50.5 total, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Washington is only 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite but Green Bay is an even more dismal 3-15 straight-up in their last 18 outings as the underdog, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Packers are 4-5 SU and 3-5-1 ATS this season, as both their rushing game and ability to complete deep passes has been limited even though they haven’t faced premier defenses. Green Bay has RB James Starks back in the lineup and picked up RB Christine Michael, so there is a chance they could take advantage of Washington’s 23rd-ranked run defense.

The prospects for WR Jordy Nelson largely hinge on whether the Packers can keep him away from CB Josh Norman and get him lined up more frequently against CB Kendall Fuller.

Green Bay is 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games against Washington, including a wild-card playoff win last season. However, both teams seem to have changed vastly over the last 12 months or so.

The Redskins, who are 5-3-1 SU and 6-3 ATS, have a top-10 offense which will be facing a major test. Washington allowed six sacks during the 2015 playoff loss against Green Bay, but the protection in front of Kirk Cousins has been strong (12 sacks allowed in nine games) in spite of facing a strong schedule.

The Packers are allowing 8.2 yards per pass, so provided that WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is good to go, there should be some room for slot WR Jamison Crowder and TE Jordan Reed to operate.

The Packers are fourth in the NFL in run defense. Washington might have to sacrifice some big-play potential and count on RB Rob Kelley to simply grind out tough yards and keep the Packers defense on the field.

WATCH: Seahawks’ Paul Richardson pulls in absurd touchdown catch against Lions

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It took until the first round of the playoffs, but we may finally have our winner for catch of the year.

On 4th and goal at the Lions’ 2, Russell Wilson lobbed up a pass to Paul Richardson, who was completely covered by Tavon Wilson.

Richardson stuck out his left hand and pulled in a miraculous grab to give Seattle the lead.

[Watch the rest of the second half from Seattle on NBC Sports Live]

Simply amazing.

 

Seahawks, Texans are the betting favorites for Saturday’s Wild Card games

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The Seattle Seahawks’ sporadic scoring output is something to consider when looking at the big point spread against the Detroit Lions. The Seahawks are listed as eight-point favorites against the Lions in their NFC wild card matchup set for Saturday at CenturyLink Field, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Seahawks are 7-0 straight-up in their last seven home games against teams from the Eastern Time Zone and the Lions are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games. However, Seattle scored 10 or fewer points four times at home this season, and none of those instances came against a premier defense.

The Lions, 9-7 SU and 8-8 ATS, are coming into the playoffs on a three-loss skid. One boon to the Lions’ chances is that the Seahawks, without free safety Earl Thomas, have been hopeless at stopping deep passes. Quarterback Matthew Stafford should be able to hit a few deep shots to the likes of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and T.J. Jones in order to compensate for a nearly nonexistent running game. That could help the Lions, who are 0-8 SU in their last eight playoff games, make it interesting.

The Seahawks, 10-5-1 SU and 7-8-1 ATS, have never lost at home in the playoffs during the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era. One can reasonably expect they will find some of their familiar postseason form. Seattle’s pass protection and run blocking has been problematic, so there could be opportunities to disrupt Wilson’s timing. Otherwise, WR Doug Baldwin and TE Jimmy Graham could have big nights.

The total has gone under in eight of the Lions’ last 10 games. The total has gone over in five of the Seahawks’ last six games in the playoffs.

Elsewhere, the Houston Texans are listed as four-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders in Saturday’s AFC wild card matchup.

The Raiders, 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS, will have rookie third-stringer Connor Cook become the first NFL QB to get his first career start in the playoffs. With Cook playing instead of Derek Carr (broken fibula), Houston might not have to honor the deep pass threat and can thus commit to containing RB Latavius Murray and limiting the damage on short-range passes to WR Amari Cooper and WR Michael Crabtree.

The fact erratic Brock Osweiler is back in at QB might account for why the Texans, who are 9-7 SU and 6-9-1 ATS, are not a bigger favorite against a hobbled team. The Raiders simply haven’t stopped anyone when teams have schemed to slow down edge rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. If Osweiler can curb his tendency to be overaggressive and allow WR DeAndre Hopkins and RB Lamar Miller to have opportunities, the Texans should be able to move the ball steadily.

Keep in mind, though, that the visiting team has gone 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four editions of this matchup. The total has gone over in seven of the Raiders’ last 10 games.  The total has gone under in nine of the Texans’ last 12 games at home.