The Washington Football Team has been a disappointment in the early going with a 1-2 record, while the Atlanta Falcons are also 1-2 and that’s probably almost a pleasant surprise. The clubs meet in Atlanta on Sunday with the WFT as a short favorite the NFL odds.
How to Bet Football Team at Falcons NFL Odds & TV Info
- When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- TV: Fox
- Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
- Stream Option: NFLSUNDAYTICKET.TV
- Opening NFL Lines: Washington -1.5 (total 48)
Washington is 15-10-1 against the Falcons all-time, including postseason play. Washington is 4-6-1 against the Falcons in Atlanta. The team will be making its first-ever regular season appearance at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Washington will attempt to snap a six-game losing streak to the Falcons and earn its first win against Atlanta since a 33-31 victory on Sept. 14, 2003.
Why Bet on Washington?
Washington was dominated in all phases in last Sunday’s 43-21 loss in Buffalo. Ron Rivera summed up the game in one sentence: “We got our butts kicked.” Washington was out-gained by Josh Allen and the Bills, 481-290, and three turnovers negated much of Washington’s positive plays. On defense, the unit allowed the Bills to convert 9-of-15 first downs.
Heinicke completed 14-of-24 passes for 212 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, adding 21 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. He struggled to ignite the Washington offense for most of the game. Heinicke can still help this team, but that’s hard to do when playing with a defense that can’t stop anyone, which puts pressure on him to pass all game.
Running back Antonio Gibson finished the contest with 12 rushes for 31 yards, one reception for 73 yards and a touchdown. Gibson’s touchdown reception was the second-longest touchdown reception by a running back in Washington history. The longest in Washington history was a 78-yard touchdown reception by RB Matt Jones against the New Orleans Saints in 2015. Gibson’s touchdown reception was the longest touchdown reception by a Washington player since WR Terry McLaurin had a 75-yard touchdown reception vs. the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 of the 2019 season.
What is doing on with 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young? Through three games he has no sacks, forced no turnovers and hasn’t applied enough pressure.
“Sometimes, I think he has a little stutter in one of his moves and that to me it’s not what he does best because the stutter he’s got to stop, start and go again,” Rivera said. “And I would much rather see him keep going vertical because when he is moving, he is a force, and he is difficult to stop.”
Young has shown flashes, but this defense needs playmakers, and in the second half of last season, that’s what Young became. The Football Team’s defensive line was expected by many to have an encore performance heading into Year 2 of its four first-round picks working together.
The positives — Jonathan Allen’s three sacks and Daron Payne’s career-high 11 pressures against the Buffalo Bills — have not been enough to hide the fact that Washington simply isn’t getting to quarterbacks as anticipated after a strong 2020 season. The defense is currently tied for 16th with six sacks.
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Falcons got their first win last Sunday, 17-14 at the Giants. Younghoe Koo kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired. Running back/receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had 20 yards rushing (on seven carries) and a team-high 82 yards receiving. He’s a player quarterback Matt Ryan clearly counts on and can be dangerous from multiple spots on the field.
Matt Ryan completed 27-of-36 attempts for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan stepped up when it mattered most, passing for 53 yards on the Falcons’ game winning field goal drive.
Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts caught 2-of-3 targets for 35 yards. Pitts was an afterthought in this game until the final drive, when he caught a 25-yard pass that set up the Falcons for their game winning field goal. No. 1 wideout Calvin Ridley caught 8-of-11 targets for 61 yards. Ridley is averaging just 8.8 yards per catch this season. He averaged 15.3 YPC last year and has a career 13.8 YPC. Ridley through Week 3 has three targets of more than 20 yards downfield; he’s caught none of them. Last year, he led the league in downfield targets and receptions.
The Falcons are 29th in points per game (16), 27th in total yards per game (301.3), 28th in rushing yard per game (82.7) and 25th in passing yards per game (218.7) and they are 25th in third-down conversion (33.3%). Ryan is not alarmed that the offense hasn’t started off the season by torching defenses.
“I think every year, even when you have a lot of the same guys, every team is different,” Ryan said. “Your identity and who you become is different. It takes some time to sort through that and things change with injuries and things like that. With Russ (Gage) being out last week, we had to do some different things.”
Receiver Russell Gage missed Week 3 and is not likely for this one. Defensive tackle Marlon Davidson is in question after suffering an ankle injury. Cornerback AJ Terrell likely will return after missing the Giants game. After beginning the season on the injured reserve list, Falcons cornerback Kendall Sheffield and guard Josh Andrews returned to practice Wednesday. The team will have 21 days to activate both players.
The Falcons and Washington have had trouble thus far keeping their opponents from scoring ranking 30th and 29th respectively in the league in points allowed.
- Football Team are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Football Team are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
- Football Team are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite.
- Falcons are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games as a home underdog.
- Falcons are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Expert Prediction: Washington 24, Atlanta 23
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