It's been a disappointing season for the 3-7 Washington Redskins, who host the 6-4 San Francisco 49ers on "Monday Night Football." Both teams enter the game on two-game losing streaks, and both are dealing with plenty of turmoil.
On the Redskins' side, it starts with Robert Griffin III. The second-year QB simply hasn't been as good as he was last season. While a lot of that can be attributed to his return from an ACL injury, RG III's numbers are down across the board. His QBR is 45.2 (23rd in the NFL), he has lost 193 yards on sacks (28th) and he already has thrown 10 INTs, compared to six all of last season. However, the Redskins' Alfred Morris -led rushing game has been prolific, leading the NFL with more than 155 yards a game on the ground and 5.06 yards per carry. The bigger issue for the Redskins is that RG III's comments could divide this locker room. And that's something that a team can't come back from.
For the 49ers, it's about getting back to basics -- like completing passes. The 49ers' passing game has become downright ugly without Michael Crabtree and with Vernon Davis banged up the past couple of games. In the 49ers' two consecutive losses entering tonight's contest, Colin Kaepernick is 28 for 53 for only 161 yards passing, 41 yards rushing, two TDs and two INTs. Over the entire season, the 49ers rank dead last in the NFL with 168 passing yards per game.
The 49ers were tied for the best ATS record at 7-3 coming into Week 11, and opened as 5.5-point favorites, while the Redskins entered the weekend 3-7 ATS. The public is all over the 49ers in this one, betting them at a clip of 80 percent, according to ESPN Insider's PickCenter.
Let's now turn to analysis of the line and total from Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hotel and an ATS pick on the game from Insider's group of Vegas handicappers.
Spread: Opened at 49ers minus-5; now still at 49ers minus-5
Total: Opened at 48; now 47.5
Jay Kornegay says: "The 49ers opened a 5-point road favorite over the Redskins last Sunday. San Francisco money showed up and pushed the line to minus-6 by midweek. At that point, Redskins money finally made its way to the betting counters and the line dropped to minus-4.5 on Friday. We've seen a steady stream of action on this game, with the majority of the smaller plays coming on San Francisco. The current line stands at minus-5 and expect both teams to get support, keeping the line close to its current number.
"The total also received decent play on both sides after opening up at 48. The number fell to 47 but since then has settled in at 47.5."
Prediction: Line should remain around 49ers minus-5.
Dave Tuley says: "I would normally be all over the home underdog on Monday night (though they haven't been as strong of a play in recent years), but I have no confidence in the Washington defense holding down the San Francisco offense. In contrast, the 49ers' defense has been solid in the two losses since its bye despite losing both (10 points to the Panthers, 23 to the Saints in New Orleans)."
ATS pick: Pass
Sports Boss says: "This is another interesting game this week as we have the Niners, who are often unpredictable and continue winning games without performing impressively in the box score, versus the Redskins, who are performing well in the box score but haven't been able to secure many wins so far in 2013. To give some color on these two teams, according to my performance ratings, San Francisco is currently No. 10 versus the No. 2 strength of schedule; on the flip side, Washington is No. 11 versus the No. 9 SOS. So I have these two teams as performing on essentially the same level versus a very similar schedule strength -- which may surprise people.
"One big difference between the two teams is San Francisco plus-3 and Washington minus-6 in turnover margin. According to my home/road splits, these two teams again are almost identical in performance rating, although the Skins have played the toughest home schedule to date. Really, any way I break this game down, it suggests these two teams are very similar. But that being said, it's tough to put any cash on the Skins with the organization seemingly a disaster and their season pretty much flushed after coming up short last week in Philly."
ATS pick: Pass (Redskins if forced into a pool-play selection)
Wunderdog says: "The San Francisco 49ers' offense hasn't quite lived up to the billing this season. One reason is that they have not faced many cupcake defenses. The only team in the bottom seven in points allowed that they faced (Jacksonville) resulted in San Francisco's highest output of the season at 42 points. They have had to face some tough defenses the past two weeks with New Orleans and Carolina. That won't be the case in this one, as the Redskins' defensive unit has allowed an unthinkable 31.1 points per game. Over the past two seasons, San Francisco is a perfect 6-0 ATS versus teams that allow 24-plus points per game. The Niners' defense is shoring up, having allowed just 14.3 points per game in their last three.
"Washington has faced seven teams this season that are .500 or better on the season, and it has been outscored in these games by 10.6 ppg, going 1-6 in those games with all six losses by six points or more. The Niners are the new kings of 'Monday Night Football' at 21-5 ATS in their last 26 such games. This team has roared back after a futile passing game in which they threw for 150 yards or less, going 9-1-1 ATS in their next game. The Niners are 23-13 ATS as a favorite under coach Jim Harbaugh. The Skins are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight (games) within the conference, and they are simply overmatched here. Lay the points with San Francisco."
ATS pick: 49ers