Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins
Date and Time: Friday, August 24, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Opening NFL Odds: Redskins -3, 43.5
Broncos vs. Redskins TV Coverage: Local TV
Though the No. 1s have gotten very limited action through the first two weeks, there’s reason to be extremely worried about the Broncos heading into the regular season. For starters, the offense has looked listless with new QB1 Case Keenum running the show. It’s actually looked its best with third stringer Chad Kelly running the attack which allowed him to leap from Paxton Lynch in the pecking order.
Now I get that Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb haven’t been unleashed upon opposing offenses at the same time just yet, but the defense has been in a word, ugly. It’s allowed the Vikings and Bears to rack up 734 yards of combined offense to go along with 51 combined points the last two weeks. That type of defensive output simply isn’t going to get the job done in the AFC West which is littered with potent offenses up and down the division!
Had Guice not gone down in Week 1, the Redskins would’ve likely finished off the Patriots after getting out to a 17-0 second quarter lead. Unfortunately, the franchise will have to wait for their running back of the future to heal up and get back on the gridiron. Still, Washington’s backups proved they simply didn’t have the depth or talent to hang with arguably the best franchise in the league.
And they tried their damndest to give last week’s home game against the Jets away as well. Up 12-3 in the fourth quarter, New York went on to score a touchdown with just over 11 minutes remaining to claw to within two points. They then kicked the go ahead field goal right after the two minute warning. But then third stringer Kevin Hogan led the Skins on a game winning scoring drive that ended with Dustin Hopkins fifth made field goal of the game. While the team was psyched to come out the victor, the offense did next to nothing to impress.
Player to Watch
Alex Smith – So far, the veteran has done very little to make D.C. forget about Kirk Cousins. He’s competed 4 of 6 passes for 48 yards without a touchdown thrown. While the reps have been limited, we need to see more from him to get a gauge on how to treat the Redskins offense in the regular season. It’s a mixed bag right now with none of the regulars seeing much of any playing time.
It’s high time Smith started to build a rapport with the likes of Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed in live game action as opposed to the practice field where the pressure is ultimately turned down. I for one am very interested to see just how good this offense can be when it limits turnovers, and for that to occur, Smith best get at least a half if not more in this one!
Broncos vs. Redskins Free Picks
Since losing his first dress rehearsal back in 2013, Gruden has gone on to win each of his last three and went on to cover the closing NFL odds in each. His squad scored an average of 25 points per game in those matchups with the over cashing twice. Bottom line, he makes it a point to win this game. On the flipside, Joseph went undefeated in the preseason last year and went 3-0-1 ATS. After getting out to an 0-2 SU and ATS start this season, it’s safe to say he’ll have the ear of his club entering this tilt.
The betting market looks to be as undecided on this matchup as I. Washington was lucky to win last week, while Denver has stunk up the joint the first two weeks. With that, I lean ever so slightly towards taking the points with the Broncos even though Smith is fully acquainted with what the defense will throw at him. Denver simply just needs this one more, and they’ll get it.
NFL ATS Pick: Broncos + at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Broncos 20 – Redskins 14