Redskins vs Ravens Preview & Winning Free Pick [10/9/2016]

Washington (2-2) at Baltimore (3-1)
When: Sunday, October 9th 2016
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX

The Battle of the Beltway takes place this Sunday afternoon as the Baltimore Ravens host the Washington Redskins in a Week 5 matchup. The line is currently -4, but you can find all of the latest NFL betting odds on William Hill online. The Redskins, who are defending NFC East champions, got off to an 0-2 start, but have their offense clicking now and have won their last two. Kirk Cousins has thrown for five touchdowns over the last two games, including three to tight end Jordan Reed who had two TD grabs in last week’s 31-20 victory over Cleveland. Reed hauled in nine receptions versus the Browns and eclipsed the 200-catch plateau in just his 38th game, the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach that mark. Running back Matt Jones has shown no signs of a shoulder injury that sidelined him in the preseason. Jones had a career-high 22 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown last week against Cleveland. After shadowing Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants) and Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland), cornerback Josh Norman will be tasked with covering a man he called a teammate for the first two years of NFL career –  former Carolina star Steve Smith, who has 24 receptions for 281 yards for the Ravens. Cornerback Shareece Wright has allowed four touchdown passes in the last two games for a secondary that is already caught the injury bug. Washington signed three-time Pro Bowler Donte Whitner on Wednesday after fellow safety David Bruton Jr. was placed on injured reserve.

The Ravens defense limited Oakland’s third-ranked offense to just 13 first downs and 261 total yards before sustaining their first loss of the season to the Raiders 28-27. Linebacker Zach Orr has 33 tackles on the season which is 10 more than any other teammate and the Ravens own the top-ranked defense in the league allowing 256 yards a contest. Quarterback Joe Flacco is ranked 30th in the NFL with an average of 6.3 yards per attempt as a result of the Ravens’ conservative play calling. “We just make it so tough on ourselves,” Flacco said after attempting 52 passes last week against the Raiders. “We throw the ball 50 times, and we only have 300 yards. You know, we have to move the ball down the field so methodically.” Terrance West rushed for a career-high 113 yards and a touchdown last week, but the rushing game will have a new look this week as rookie Kenneth Dixon is expected to make his NFL debut on Sunday. Dixon, who scored the second-most touchdowns in NCAA history, has adjusted to wearing a brace after he sprained the MCL in his left knee during a preseason game on August 27th. Baltimore will be in New Jersey the next two weeks to face the Jets and Giants before having their bye and getting ready for their first of two meetings with rival Pittsburgh.

The Ravens 3-1 start is a bit misleading as well as their defensive stats. Prior to Oakland, the Ravens had played three teams with below-average offenses in Buffalo, Cleveland, and Jacksonville. The Redskins are starting to play like they were expected and I can see Cousins having another big game. I’ll take the points in this one as I can see Washington winning outright.

Pick: Redskins +4