Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:45 AM EST
WASHINGTON +7 -105 over L.A. Rams
1:00 PM EST. The 3-1 Rams were a no-show against the Giants last week and yet their psychic imprints alone were enough to win the game (but only score 17 points). The 1-3 Redskins lost their last three games and the last two were both by 14 points to the Browns and Ravens. We’re going to trust that the market will give the Rams a mulligan for their disappointing effort against the Giants last week but we’re not going to follow suit. A close look at the Rams reveals that things aren’t as peachy as they appear.
In Week 1, the Rams squeezed by Dallas 20-17. In a year in which Dallas’ defense is giving up boatloads of everything including points, the Rams scored 20. In Week 2, the Rams beat Philadelphia 37-19 but won the turnover battle 3-1. The Eagles had plenty of opportunities to change momentum and even take a lead but they failed. In Week 3, the Rams were down 28-3 to the Bills and eventually lost 35-32 after a furious rally but it was more a case of Buffalo letting up thinking they had the game locked up. Last week, the Rams had that weak effort against the Giants. To recap, the Rams three wins have come against all NFC East teams. Their only loss was against a Bills’ squad that had them down 28-3. L.A’s 3-1 record is more impressive than the performances. Situationally speaking, L.A. will travel east again for an early start just like they did when they fell behind by 25 points to the Bills. Next week, the Rams travel to San Francisco for a Sunday Night showdown with the hated 49ers (♪ I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night ♪). STFU.
The Football Team might be the best name ever created for a sports franchise but more importantly, they were involved in perhaps the most misleading score last week when they lost 31-17 to the Ravens. In fact, the score was 31-10 with under a minute to go when Washington scored a garbage TD to make the final 31-17. Although it doesn’t seem like it, if you wagered on Lamar Jackson and friends, count your blessings if you didn’t lose any money. Washington held a time of possession edge, they matched Baltimore yard for yard, Dwayne Haskins threw for 314 yards and the Football team deserved better than a blowout loss.
Ron Rivera preaches patience but he’s now switching gears in an attempt to win now — benching Dwayne Haskins to start Kyle Allen at quarterback. Rivera said the move was mainly due to the circumstances of the NFC East and Washington’s upcoming schedule: At 1-3, Washington is just a half-game behind the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1) for the division lead. The NFC East is off to the second-worst start in the NFL’s past 50 years, and after the Rams game, Washington faces New York, Dallas and New York again in a pivotal three-game divisional swing. By turning to Allen, Rivera believes Washington will be “better off ” with someone who is well versed in offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense. Allen, who was acquired in the offseason, started 12 games for Carolina last year with Rivera serving as his head coach for 10 of them before his firing in December.
Advanced metrics grade Haskins as one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. According to Pro Football Reference, Haskins leads the NFL in “bad throws” with 34 — and made a bad throw 23.6% of the time, behind only Denver’s Jeff Driskel and Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky, both of whom have been benched. Rivera had criticized Haskins’ mechanics and situational awareness in recent weeks.
In 2019, Allen went 5-7 as a starter, throwing for 3,322 yards and 17 touchdowns. But there was a stark difference in how he performed over the first half of the season compared to the last. In Allen’s first six starts, the quarterback posted an 87.4 passer rating (nine touchdowns, four interceptions) as Carolina went 5-1. But over his next six, Allen’s passer rating fell to 75.3 (eight touchdowns, 11 interceptions) and the Panthers lost all six games. Allen started those games because of Cam Newton’s season ending foot injury. An undrafted 2018 free agent, Allen said he was “thrown to the fire” in 2019 and believes it will help him for this season.
The Football Team ranks No. 1 in adjusted sack rate after four games at 11.0%. That’s not surprising because Washington was fourth in adjusted sack rate a year ago and added Chase Young to the defensive line this season. They have a new QB replacing a horrible one to go along with a strong defense. They were a lot closer to beating the Ravens outright last week than the score suggested and now they catch the Rams in a horrible scheduling spot with that Sunday Night game in San Francisco on deck. Upset possibility.
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WASHINGTON +7 +104 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.08)