Atlanta Falcons (5-6) at Washington Commanders (6-5)
Opening Spread: Commanders -3.5
Opening Game Total: 43
Opening Team Totals: Commanders (23.25), Falcons (19.75)
Weather: Outdoors, rain expected
The Line Report
- This line opened as Commanders -3.5.
- This line remains at Commanders -3.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Commanders -4.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Commanders -4.5.
- This total opened at 43 points.
- This total has moved down slightly to 42.5 points.
The Commanders Offense vs. Falcons Defense
The Commanders have a below-average offensive line. The Falcons have a below-average defensive front. This trench matchup is a relative draw from a macro sense, though Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has an individual advantage in the interior for Atlanta.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Commanders are 6-4-1 against the spread this season.
- The Commanders are 4-7 on overs this season.
- Taylor Heinicke is 12-16-1 against the spread in his career.
- Taylor Heinicke is 10-19 on overs in his career.
- Ron Rivera is 95-84-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Ron Rivera is 91-91-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Commanders are scoring 19.5 points per game, which is 23rd in the league.
- Washington is 22nd in the league in yards passing per game and 16th in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Antonio Gibson has double-digit carries in four of his last five games. Gibson has three or more targets in all but one game this season.
- Brian Robinson Jr. has double-digit carries in five of his seven games. Robinson only has four targets on the season.
- Since Taylor Heinicke took over, Terry McLaurin has at least seven targets in each of those five games. McLaurin has breached 100 yards receiving twice during that span and has at least four receptions and 55 yards receiving in each of those contests.
- Curtis Samuel had eight targets in Taylor Heinicke’s first game as Washington’s starting quarterback, but he has four or less in the next four.
- Since returning from injury No. 16 overall pick Jahan Dotson has three total targets over those two games.
- Logan Thomas has ten total targets over his last two games.
- The Falcons have allowed 24.9 points per game, which is 27th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Falcons have allowed the 14th-most yards rushing per game and the 19th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Atlanta has given up the fourth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Atlanta has given up the fourth-most PPR points per game to both perimeter and slot receivers.
- The Falcons have allowed the eighth-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Falcons Offense vs. Commanders Defense
Atlanta has a league-average offensive line. The Commanders have a top-ten-level front that could get back edge Chase Young this week. Even without Young, Washington has a premium interior duo on defense. Washington has an advantage in the trenches, especially in the interior.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Falcons are 7-4 against the spread this season.
- The Falcons are 7-4 on overs this season.
- Marcus Mariota is 40-41-2 against the spread in his career.
- Marcus Mariota is 47-35-1 on overs in his career.
- Arthur Smith is 13-14-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Arthur Smith is 14-14 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Falcons are scoring 23.5 points per game, good for 13th in the league.
- Atlanta is 31st in the league in yards passing per game and third in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Marcus Mariota is sixth among quarterbacks in yards rushing. Mariota has breached 200 yards passing once in his last eight games.
- Since returning from injury Cordarrelle Patterson has double-digit carries in two of his three contests. He’s only breached 50 yards rushing once during that span, with 52 yards on the ground last week. Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Bears last week.
- Drake London has breached 50 yards receiving three times this season, and those instances all came in the first three games.
- Kyle Pitts is on injured reserve.
- Per TruMedia, Drake London has played 445 snaps on the perimeter and 57 in the slot.
- The Commanders have allowed 20.3 points per game, which is 12th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Commanders have allowed the fifth-fewest yards rushing per game and the fifth-fewest yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Washington has given up the eighth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Washington has given up the fifth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- The Commanders have allowed the fewest yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Commanders vs. Falcons
Now that we’re venturing towards the end of the season, motivation becomes a more important factor in NFL games. This is one of the few games on the Week 12 slate where both teams have a lot to play for, while a couple more losses could effectively derail their season.
What to Expect Betting on the Commanders
A bet on the Commanders is a bet on their improving defense that’s headlined by their ultra-talented front four. From a pure talent standpoint, you could argue that Washington has the best front four in the league when they are at full strength. The Commanders could get Chase Young back this week, but he’ll likely need a few games under his belt before he reaches peak performance, if that’s in the cards at all this season. So a bet on the Commanders starts as more of a bet on their premium interior duo.
On offense, the Commanders have a talented collection of skill position players. However, Washington also has a below-average offensive line. Further, Taylor Heinicke has only exceeded 215 yards passing in one of his five games this season. While the team has gone 4-1 under Heinicke, it’s not because he’s shredding Washington’s adversaries week in and week out. Your biggest concern with a Commanders’ bet is that Washington has a turnover-heavy game on offense while the Falcons continue to find a way to keep another game close.
What to Expect Betting on the Falcons
A bet on the Falcons is a bet on a team that has far exceeded my personal expectations already. When you ask yourself the question “what do the Atlanta Falcons do well,” there aren’t a lot of great answers to that query. They have a handful of true impact players, but Atlanta is a run-centric offense that doesn’t exactly have an above-average defense. What the Falcons are from a betting perspective is a team that’s gone 4-3 in games decided by four points or less. If you’re betting on the Falcons you are betting on them keeping it close against a Commanders’ team that is 4-2 in one-score games themselves. Your biggest concern as a Falcons bettor is that Washington’s front derails this game.
Awards Market Ramifications: Ron Rivera is an emerging Coach of the Year candidate.
Winner/Confidence Pool: I’m going to take Washington in winner pools. I expect to be adjacent to the consensus on this contest in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I’d have some interest in Washington -3, but I’m going to completely stay away from this game at Washington -3.5, as this is a matchup between two teams that I have limited confidence in.
Survivor Pool: Washington would be an aggressive survivor pool play in a week with a number of strong options.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 35-20
Props 2022: 36-21