I've always said that it is folly to try to predict the outcome of an NFL game five minutes before kickoff. Trying to do it now, nearly three months before kickoff and before any free agent moves have taken place, is sheer insanity.
But that does not stop the folks in Las Vegas. They need to get some action coming in on the NFL, regardless of the fact that we're not even sure that all of the games will be played due to the NFL lockout. Cantor Gaming, which operates four Nevada sports books, recently released point spreads for all 256 regular-season NFL games. At this early stage, it is safe to say that they are very bearish on the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins are favorites in just four of their 16 games.
They are seven-point favorites at home against the Cardinals on Sept. 18, they are road favorites by a point at Carolina on Oct. 23, they give the 49ers two and a half points at home on Nov. 6 and they are two-point favorites at home against the Vikings on Christmas Eve.
These bookies see the Redskins keeping some other games close. They are underdogs by a point and a half in three games--against the Bills in Toronto, when they host the Cowboys, and when they play the Seahawks at Qwest Field.
The Redskins are underdogs by a touchdown or more twice. The Patriots are 7.5-point favorites when they come to FedEx Field on Dec. 11 and the Eagles are favored by seven when they host the Redskins in the season finale.
Cantor Gaming did not give out explanations for its point spreads, so we can only guess that their analysts don't like the Redskins' quarterback situation, aren't convinced that the running game will be strong enough to compensate, and want to see improvement from their 3-4 defense before they believe it.
Here are the spreads for each game:
Sunday, Sept. 11--N.Y. Giants (-3) at Washington
Sunday, Sept. 18--Arizona (+7) at Washington
Monday, Sept. 26--Washington (+6) at Dallas
Sunday, Oct. 2--Washington (+3) at St. Louis
Sunday, Oct. 16--Philadelphia (-3.5) at Washington
Sunday, Oct. 23--Washington (-1) at Carolina
Sunday, Oct. 30--Washington (+1.5) at Buffalo (in Toronto)
Sunday, Nov. 6--San Francisco (+2.5) at Washington
Sunday, Nov. 13--Washington (+4.5) at Miami
Sunday, Nov. 20--Dallas (-1.5) at Washington
Sunday, Nov. 27--Washington (+1.5) at Seattle
Sunday, Dec. 4--N.Y. Jets (-4) at Washington
Sunday, Dec. 11--New England (-7.5) at Washington
Sunday, Dec. 18--Washington (+6) at N.Y. Giants
Saturday, Dec. 24--Minnesota (+2) at Washington
Sunday, Jan. 1--Washington (+7) at Philadelphia
What do you think? Do any of these spreads make you scratch your hear? Will the Redskins win more than four games in 2011? Go here to see the spreads for every 2011 NFL game.