New England Patriots (4-0) at Washington Redskins (0-4)
Ordinarily, the Redskins would be in a great spot to bet on this week. While the Patriots have to play again in 4 days on Thursday Night Football, the Redskins have the easiest game of their season on deck, a trip to Miami for a game against the Dolphins in which they are currently favored by 6 points. While favorites are 57-78 ATS since 2012 before Thursday Night Football, home underdogs are 42-20 ATS since 2012 before being road favorites. Based on historical trends, the Redskins are much more likely to be fully focused for this game.
However, the Redskins also have a likely lame duck head coach in Jay Gruden and an uncertain situation at quarterback, with long-time backup Colt McCoy getting the nod this week over a banged up Case Keenum and first round rookie Dwayne Haskins, who was disastrous in relief of Keenum in his NFL debut last week. They might not play their best game given those circumstances and even if they do it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Patriots still win by 20, even if the Patriots don’t play their best game. The talent gap between these two teams is just that big, especially with the Redskins continuing to be without top offensive lineman Brandon Scherff due to injury.
Also, the Patriots play the Giants next week, so it’s not like they have a big look ahead game, even if it’s on Thursday. Double digit favorites are 45-31 ATS before being double digit favorites again since 2002, and, though they are just 2-4 ATS before Thursday Night Football, that’s still worth noting. The Redskins seem like the right side for pick ‘em purposes, but it would be hard to bet on them this week, even as 16-point home underdogs.
New England Patriots 27 Washington Redskins 13
Pick against the spread: Washington +16