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Will the Skins Ever Be Underdogs Again?

The Rams--worst in the NFL according to Vegas. (By Tom Gannam - AP)

Two weeks ago, the Redskins were double-digit dogs on the road. Now, they're double-digit favorites at home.

Does this have a lot to do with their opponents in those games, the Cowboys on the road and Rams at home? Sure it does. Vegas says Dallas is still the best team in the NFL, while St. Louis is the worst. But does it also have a lot to do with the fact that the Oddsmakers--here represented by Las Vegas Sports Consultants--have dubbed the Redskins the fourth-best team in the League? Hip Hip.

The NFC East rose to its highest Vegas stature yet this week, with all four teams ranked among the six strongest in the NFL, and the Redskins rose to 4th, their highest Vegas ranking in years. Washington is now within 2.7 points of the top-ranked Cowboys, which would suggest their next meeting (at FedEx) would be a virtual pick'em. The Giants are 1.5 points better, also in pick'em territory for their visit here.

Other than that, Washington would look to be favored at home against Philly, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, which are all ranked below the Skins by Vegas, and on the road against Baltimore, Detroit, Seattle, Cincinnati and San Fran, which are all ranked 21st or lower by Vegas. This actually raises the possibility that the Redskins could be favored in each of their remaining 11 games.

(The LSVC projections have Washington finishing 10.8-5.2 and earning the NFC's second wild card, with a first-round trip to Chicago. But they give Washington a 77 percent chance of making the playoffs, second in the NFC behind only Dallas.)

As for Bodog, I mentioned before the season that the Redskins' odds for division, conference and Super Bowl titles were 13-2, 18-1 and 40-1. The current listings are 3-1, 6-1 and 12-1. A 6-1 chance that the Hip Hip Hoorayride spends early February in Tampa? Like I said last week, Zoinks.

Some more rankings from around the Web: says Washington is 3rd, the Football Outsiders' math stuff says Washington is 5th, Sportsline says Washington is 3rd, says Washington is 2nd, as does Fox Sports, which notes that "Zorny may be corny with his old school 'Hip Hip, Hooray!' cheer, but winning on the road against NFC East foes Dallas and Philly in back-to-back weeks never goes out of style." Corny For Zorny doesn't quite have the same melodic lilt as Horny For Zorny.

The full week 4 LVSC report:

1. Dallas 145.2
2. N.Y. Giants 144.0
3. San Diego 142.9
4. Washington 142.5
5. Pittsburgh 142.0
6. Philadelphia 141.9
7. Tennessee 141.1
8. Indianapolis 141.0
9. Jacksonville 140.1
10. New England 139.6
11. Carolina 139.5
12. Buffalo 139.3
13. Minnesota 138.9
14. Denver 138.8
15. New Orleans 138.6
16t. Chicago 138.2
16t. Tampa Bay 138.2
18. N.Y. Jets 137.5
19. Green Bay 137.0
20. Arizona 135.8
21. Baltimore 135.7
22. Seattle 134.9
23. Houston 134.8
24t. Miami 133.7
24t. Cleveland 133.7
24t. Oakland 133.7
27. Cincinnati 132.7
28. San Francisco 132.6
29. Atlanta 132.2
30. Detroit 130.5
31. Kansas City 130.4
32. St. Louis 129.9

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 8, 2008; 4:02 PM ET
Categories:  NFL , Redskins  
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That would mean the NFC Wild Card round would be Dallas at Arizona, Washington at Chicago. Talk about unexpected playoff matchups...

Posted by: I have DC's only Jay Schroeder Jersey | October 8, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey SteinBog not bad for a "likely sub .500 team" huh?

Posted by: jonthefisherman | October 8, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: freddr055 | October 8, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

this HipHipHooorayride isn't over yet. The Redskins have played five games of a sixteen-game season, winning four and losing one. That leaves eleven games to play. The Fun'n'Gun went 3-1 in '03 and finished an abysmal 5-11.

Don't get me wrong--I like the fact that the national press has begun using words like "dominant" to describe the Redskins. But I'm enjoying that one win at a time.

Posted by: ouij | October 9, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Must suck to be a football fan in misouri this season, and last year, and the year befor that I am guessing.

Posted by: Alex35332 | October 9, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

It sucks to be in Missouri every year, every season, every moment.

Posted by: I'd Rather Not be in Rolla | October 10, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

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