Week 4 is finally here and we now have two teams desperately battling to stay in contention.
The Atlanta Falcons had a rough start to the season, losing back-to-back games to the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before pulling off a fourth-quarter comeback against the New York Giants last week.
Washington, on the other hand, has been all over the place. After a close loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1, they battled back from behind and took down the Giants in Week 2.
Some would think beating a divisional opponent in primetime might light a spark in this team, but that’s definitely not what happened, as they were crushed by the Bills 43-21 on the road last week
Both of these teams are 1-2 coming into the week, and neither of them can afford another loss. Both are in competitive divisions and will be competing in this game with full intensity.
2-2 keeps you in the conversation, 1-3 is a tough pill to swallow.
With that said, let’s break down Washington vs Atlanta in the NFL pick of the day series.
Best Bet: Washington Moneyline (-120) at DraftKings
For in-depth analysis on this NFL bet of the day, continue reading. Please note that all odds are current as of Friday, October 1.
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Washington Football Team vs Atlanta Falcons Prediction
Between these two teams, there has already been plenty of disappointment this year. Let’s start with Washington, a team many expected to have a strong year but so far hasn’t looked good at all, which is reflected in the NFL gameday odds.
What once looked like a strength is now looking like a weakness. This Washington defensive line has not lived up to the expectations, nor the draft capital so far with Chase Young failing to record a sack and Montez Sweat with only 1.
Beyond that, the secondary has struggled, allowing 337 passing yards to Justin Herbert, 249 to Daniel Jones, and 358 to Josh Allen. The secondary was never meant to be the strength, but with the D-Line struggling to apply pressure, it’s been exploited often.
The offense will come and go based on matchups. They struggled with the loss of Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1 against a tough Chargers defense and continued that in Week 3 against another good Bills defense.
The only positive was a good offensive performance against the Giants, and with the Falcons being the worst defense they’ve faced so far, there is reason to be optimistic.
Atlanta has been beaten down twice to start the season, getting crushed by the Eagles and Buccaneers. They did end up coming back and beating the Giants last week, but neither team looked particularly good in that game.
The Falcons defense was never expected to be great, but the offense has been a big let down. Calvin Ridley was expected to take a huge step forward this season, but has struggled with all the attention he’s drawing from opposing defenses.
Kyle Pitts, the No. 4 pick in the draft, is still taking time to adjust to the big leagues and will continue to develop this year. The biggest problem, though, has been the O-Line — it’s really hard to improve on offense when you can’t block anybody.
Overall, I’m expecting an ugly game, but Washington should pull it out in the end. If there was ever a time for this defense — chock-full of first-round picks — to make a statement, it’s this week against the Falcons.
Prediction: Washington Football Team 23, Atlanta Falcons 20
Washington Football Team vs Atlanta Falcons Best Bets
Best Bet: Washington Moneyline (-120) at Draftkings
Betting the moneyline instead the spread in these situations is fairly easy. Why lay -1.5 points at (-110) when you can pay (-120) for them to win outright?
Vegas clearly thinks this will be a close game, and I’m much more confident in the moneyline, especially when Washington only won by a point last week.
A lot of my confidence in Washington comes down to the defense. While people across the league are questioning them, we saw almost this exact same squad dominate teams last year.
This season, Jack Del Rio came out with a plan highlighting these defensive linemen and trusting them to win 1-on-1 matchups in order to bring pressure on the quarterback. After three weeks of that plan not working at all, it’s clearly time to go back to the drawing board.
I’m not saying they’ll have an amazing performance out of the gate, but I expect some major schematic changes, which is not good news for the Falcons. A good sign is that Chase Young had 6 total QB pressures last week, something Josh Allen was able to avoid but the less mobile Matt Ryan may not be.
Ryan hasn’t been great so far this season, but I’m not ready to give up on him yet. These offensive problems seem to go much deeper.
Most games are won and lost in the trenches, and if Washington can dominate on the defensive line, I think they can win this game fairly easily. Neither team has looked good on offense, but Washington won’t have to this week.
It’s time for that defense to step up, making this our pick of the day.
Best Bet: Under 47.5 (-115) at Draftkings
This number seems surprisingly high, right? I understand when two conventionally bad teams play each other the score tends to run up, but I don’t think that’s the case here.
Atlanta has really struggled to move on the ball on offense, despite having weapons like Kyle Pitts and Calvin Ridley. The Falcons have only scored 6, 25, and 17 points in their first three games, respectively.
Washington has scored 16, 30, and 21 points this season and hasn’t looked particularly impressive. They struggle to score points without great field position or huge burst plays, which is something that can’t always be relied upon.
I’m expecting this to be a very messy game with a lot of turnovers. I would be truly shocked if both teams scored over 20 points in this one.
Washington vs Falcons Same Game Parlay Picks: (+245) at DraftKings
- Washington Moneyline (-120) at DraftKings
- Under 47.5 (-115) at DraftKings
This parlay logically follows a pretty simple game script. This will be a low-scoring game where both teams struggle to put points up before Washington’s defense ultimately helps them secure the close win.
Once player props become available, a good addition to this parlay would be either Matt Ryan or Taylor Heinicke to throw an interception. It fits this picture we’ve painted perfectly.
Overall, this may not be the most pure football game in the world, but as always, there is money to be made.