Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins need to continue their history of not faltering against sub-.500 teams in order to preserve their playoff hopes. Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Washington is listed as a six-point favorite against the visiting Carolina Panthers with a 51-point total in the Monday Night Football matchup. Washington is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games against teams with losing records while Carolina is 0-6 straight-up in their last six road games against teams with winning records.
Carolina, which is 5-8 SU and 4-7-2 ATS, is just playing out the string, so how focused Cam Newton and Co. will be is hard to predict. Newton has been resting his arm in practice after having an MRI on his right shoulder, but it’s doubtful he would not play. On paper, there is potential for the Panthers offense to be productive. Newton’s favorite receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, will likely occupy the attention of shutdown CB Josh Norman, but teams can pick on CB Bashaud Breeland and CB Kendall Fuller.
The Redskins allow 4.5 yards per rush (28th in the NFL), so Carolina should be able to create some lanes for veteran Jonathan Stewart. That said, the Panthers are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
Washington, which is 7-5-1 SU and 9-4 ATS, is third in the NFL in yards per pass (8.2) and fewest sacks (18). Coincidentally, Carolina has yielded the third-most passing yards, so there is a strong likelihood Cousins and his receivers should thrive. The Panthers are thin in the secondary and they might face a pick-your-poison predicament when it comes to covering speedster DeSean Jackson and possession receivers Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon.
As much as this season has been a disaster for Carolina, the Panthers have maintained a strong run defense. Washington’s potential to be balanced on offense by establishing a ground game with RB Rob Kelley might depend on the health of C Spencer Long (concussion protocol) and LG Shawn Lauvao (ankle), who would be slated to line up against run-stuffers such as DT Kawann Short and DT Star Lotulei.
The total has gone over in the Panthers’ last five games as the underdog. The total has gone over in the Redskins’ last six games.
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