Washington vs. Falcons Point Spread: NFL Pre-Season Week 3 Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Aug 20, 2019

atlanta falcons 2019

Atlanta was 7-9 last year as well but has a chance to be good in 2019 if things break right. The Falcons, who are 3-point underdogs this week, have a win total of 8.5.

August 22, 2019, 7:30 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Pointspread -1.5 -110
Moneyline -128
Over / Under o +40.5
Pointspread +1.5 -110
Moneyline +106
Over / Under u +40.5

Something has to give Thursday night in Week 3 of the pre-season when Washington visits Atlanta. Both teams are yet to win a game this year. The Skins, somewhat unusually, are 3-point road favourites at Sports Interaction.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

We’ll remind readers in each Week 3 preview that in theory a team’s starters should play the most they will in the entire pre-season this week, often the first half. But if you see an unusual spread, that means perhaps that oddmakers don’t think one team will play any of its key guys, especially the starting quarterback.

If you look at any hot seat ranking for an NFL head coach entering 2019, both Washington’s Jay Gruden and Atlanta’s Dan Quinn will at or near the top – Gruden is widely considered the favourite to be the first one fired. Washington was 7-9 last year and has a win total of just 5.5 this year. Atlanta was 7-9 last year as well but has a chance to be good in 2019 if things break right. The Falcons have a win total of 8.5.

One reason the Falcons are dogs here: Quinn has an all-time pre-season record of just 5-14. Gruden, meanwhile, is 12-10. These teams have split their past four pre-season meetings. Atlanta won the most recent 23-16 in 2016. The last regular-season matchup was in Washington in Week 9 a season ago, a 38-14 Falcons win. Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four scores. Alex Smith was the DC quarterback then but he’s out all this year after suffering a horribly broken leg later last season.

Washington Redskins

They haven’t looked good on either side of the ball, losing 30-10 in Cleveland in Week 1 and then 23-13 at home to Cincinnati last week. It sounds as if the team’s quarterback battle has been resolved. Washington drafted Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State at No. 15 overall this year but never wanted him to start the regular season as the guy. Better for the raw Haskins to sit and learn. He has shown promise in the two pre-season games but also that he needs some work. Veteran journeymen Case Keenum and Colt McCoy were to battle for the job, but McCoy still isn’t fully healthy from his broken leg. So it will be Keenum in Week 1 of the regular season. Expect Haskins, though, to play the most Thursday again. Washington remains without Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has threatened to retire rather than play for the team again. Second-year running back Derrius Guice tentatively will see his first pre-season action this week. He blew out his knee in training camp last year.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta is the only 0-3 team this pre-season because it played in the Hall of Fame Game and lost to Denver. Ryan didn’t play the first two weeks but did in the Week 2 22-10 loss to the Jets. He was 10-for-14 for 118 yards. Ryan is good enough and has been around long enough that Quinn likely won’t play him too much Thursday. Better to be safe than sorry with the former NFL MVP and with a banged-up offensive line. Expect plenty of Matt Schaub and especially Matt Simms under centre. Star receiver Julio Jones hasn’t played in the pre-season and won’t. Neither has rookie offensive tackle Kaleb McGary and he won’t, either.