Washington vs. Cowboys NFL Week 16 Sunday Night Football Picks

Garrett Gilbert #19 of the Washington Football Team. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP

The Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys are set to bring down the curtain on Sunday’s NFL betting card when they collide in Sunday Night Football at the AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys have the 1-0 head-to-head edge in the series with the Football Team, having beaten their division rival only a few weeks ago in the nation’s capital.

This series advantage along with home advantage correlates to favorable NFL odds for the Cowboys, who are also looking to sew up the NFC East title with a victory over (ironically) the defending division champions.

Lookahead NFL lines projected Dallas at -9 and the game total at 48 points before Week 15. Following Dallas’ win over the NY Giants and Washington’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the line reopened with the Cowboys up by a point. The game total, however, was down by half a point.

Since betting opened, the NFL line has swelled further with some shops showing the Cowboys laying as many as 11 points. Similarly, the game total has shot up to 47 and 48 points depending on the choice sportsbook.

Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, December 26, 2021, 8:20 PM EST at AT&T Stadium

The Football Team Fall to the Eagles

The Football Team put in a valiant effort against the Eagles on Tuesday night, but they came out on the wrong side of the 27-17 decision. The NFL odds were stacked against Washington right from the off after the team was decimated by Covid-19. Coach Ron Rivera was forced to field a third-string quarterback after both Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen failed to clear the league’s health and safety protocols.

Four days prior to the rescheduled game taking place, Washington signed Dallas cast-off Garrett Gilbert to the roster. The circumstances for Gilbert were less than ideal. Gilbert completed 20 of 31 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns and put in a respectable performance considering the short notice, but the Football Team simply ran out of gas against the well-rested Eagles who were coming off a bye week.

Washington started brightly and raced to a 10-0 lead in the first half, exploiting Philadelphia’s early rust in the game. However, as the game wore on, the Eagles settled into a tempo and turned the tables on the Football Team. More specifically, they exploited the shorthanded Football Team, taking advantage of some of the missteps made by the second and third-tier players that started the game. Washington had 23 players at one point on the reserve/Covid-19 list before the game.

Cowboys in Driver’s Seat to Title

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys faced a woeful Giants side in Week 15 and easily clinched the 21-6 victory to improve to a 10-4-0 record on the season. In a fortuitous twist of events, the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered shocking defeats the same weekend, propelling the Cowboys up to the No.2 spot in the NFC. This means that the Cowboys, all of a sudden, are in play for the NFC No.1 seed and not just the NFC East title.

Of course, snagging the desired top seed is easier said than done when the Green Bay Packers are the current occupants of first-place in the standings. The Cowboys would have to win out and hope the rest of the field falters along the way. It’s worth noting, the Cowboys are set to face Arizona in Week 17 of the NFL season.

Dak Prescott had a straightforward game as he threw for 217 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dalton Schultz trotted for 67 yards on eight catches and a touchdown. Tony Pollard rushed for 74 yards and Ezekiel Elliott added 52 yards and a score.

Prescott and the Dallas offense didn’t have to do much as the defense did most of the heavy lifting. Dan Quinn’s unit was relentless with the pressure on rookie Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon. They forced four turnovers while cornerback Trevon Diggs had an NFL-best 10th interception as they made life more miserable for the G-men in front of their fans at MetLife Stadium.

NFL Predictions and Picks

At the face of it, this is a total mismatch between a 10-4 and a 6-7 side. The fact that the NFL betting lines and odds are skewed towards Dallas isn’t surprising at all. Considering everything, Dallas should win this game and do so convincingly.

And yet, the last time this pair met, the outcome was too close for comfort. Dallas started brightly but Washington rallied and closed the gap on the scoreboard. The Cowboys won 27-20, but they were left with lots to think about when all was said and done.

Dallas’ offense has taken a step back in recent weeks. It hasn’t cost them because the defense has picked up the slack, but it’s something to consider before placing NFL picks on the hefty point spread that is on offer. Contrary to their heady stats, the Cowboys don’t regularly blow teams out of the water. Only five games this season featured double-digit margins of victory.

Of course, if Washington goes into this game without Heinicke or Allen and half of its roster still on the Covid-19 list, then it’s quite possible that the Cowboys will win and cover handily. Should Washington welcome back some of its key starters, it might be more competitive than the NFL odds would suggest.

Thus, it might be best to wait until closer to game time before pulling the trigger on the point spread. That said, there is value in betting on Washington right now and grabbing the points before the value is lost. Should Heinicke or Allen be cleared, it’s likely that this line will drop.

NFL Pick: Washington +11 (-110) with Caesars Sportsbook