Thursday night NFL: Free betting preview and tips as Washington travel to Dallas

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins

Our David John is going for a Washington victory on the road in Dallas when the pair clash in the NFL on Thursday night.

Washington at Dallas (Friday, 0125 GMT, Sky Sports Main Event and Action)

The pressure is building for two big rivals from the NFC East as their respective play-off hopes dangle by a thread at 5-6 for the season.

Defeat on Thursday night would just about mean curtains for one of these much-storied franchises looking at the bigger picture in the conference so expect around three hours of intense competition.

The latter may have to make up for a paucity of skill as neither have enjoyed much in the way of success so far.

The Redskins continue to play erratic football as they veer from spells of above average to pretty dreadful while Dallas are in the midst of a genuine crisis that has seen them lose three on the bounce.

The manner of those defeats has been of great concern and coincided with running back Ezekiel Elliott finally being pinned down by the NFL and made to serve out his six-game suspension.

He is not due back until Christmas Eve by which time the Cowboys could even be looking for new coaching staff if continuing their downward spiral that has seen them thumped by Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Diego.

The offense has managed just 22 points in those games with last season’s offensive rookie of the year Dak Prescott unable to throw a touchdown pass and responsible for eight turnovers.

"I want accountability," screamed hard-nosed owner Jerry Jones this week but the situation can’t just be laid at the doorstep of Prescott or head coach Jason Garrett – this is a team that has made errors across the board on both sides of the ball and is watching confidence ebb away by the day.

The layers actually expect some sort of magical recovery and make them 1.5-point favourites but that says it all about the visitors’ own shortcomings.

They have suffered as much as any team in the league this season with injuries but that still can’t be lent on as an excuse for blowing a 15-point lead with six minutes left in a desperate 34-31 overtime defeat to New Orleans in week 11.

They did manage to beat the New York Giants on Thanksgiving but defeating a team with just two victories is hardly an excuse to go full Mardi Gras as the Redskins under Jay Gruden remain incredibly unpredictable and a team difficult to trust implicitly when it comes to having a wager.

Their losing record at the moment masks the fact quarterback Kirk Cousins is having a pretty good season as he attempts to finally sort out his long-term future and a lot will rest again on his shoulders for this trip to Texas.

He will have his shots too against a below-average pass defense with wide receiver Jamison Crowder coming off his best performance of the year, Josh Doctson finally getting to grips with the playbook and veteran tight end Vernon Davis still capable of a big play in the absence of Jordan Reed.

SPORTINGLIFE REQUESTABET - Washington to win, Vernon Davis and Alfred Morris to score a TD anytime - 14/1!

Rookie Samaje Perine bought much-needed stability to the running game with a 100-yard outing against the Giants so there is some momentum to build on if they can repeat the trick – the 'if' though remains substantial.

The pair met on October 29 and Dallas ran out 33-19 winners but they will tackle the rematch without Elliott, who was the clear difference-maker on the day as he rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

His back-up Alfred Morris should be motivated going up against his old team but he is a considerable drop-off operating behind a disappointing offensive line that used to be a great strength of the team

The Redskins are no good things but should have enough overall to plunge Dallas even further into the mire, considering as well this is emotionally a huge week for the team from the capital on the 10th anniversary of the murder of their legendary safety Sean Taylor.

Prediction: Washington 22-17 Dallas

Recommended bets: Thursday NFL

2pts Washington to beat Dallas at 21/20

Click here for our transparent tipping record.

Posted at 1240 GMT on 28/11/17.

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