The Washington Commanders face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 of NFL action on Sunday.
The Commanders are on a three-game skid thanks to a porous defense while the Falcons are fresh off a win against the Texans but need to get their sluggish offense going. NFL odds opened with the Falcons as 2.5-point home favorites with the Over/Under at 41.5 for this NFC clash.
Here are my best free Commanders vs. Falcons NFL picks for October 15.
Commanders vs Falcons odds
Commanders vs Falcons predictions
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a 21-19 win over the Houston Texans where Arthur Smith finally opened up his offense and allowed Desmond Ridder to throw the ball downfield. After throwing for just 744 yards through the first four games of the year, Ridder completed 28 of 37 passes for 329 yards against Houston.
That success through the air might convince Smith to continue to attack vertically against a terrible Washington Commanders defense. The Commanders have allowed more than 30 points in four consecutive games, punctuated by last week's humiliating 40-20 loss to the previously winless Bears. The Commanders have struggled against both the run and pass, ranking 28th in the league in defensive dropback EPA and 27th in defensive rush EPA.
While the Commanders haven't been efficient on offense, they have shown a willingness to throw the ball. They are second in the league in passing play percentage (68.3%) with that number ticking up to 73.3% over their last three games.
Quarterback Sam Howell hasn't been great but he has thrown for at least 290 yards in three of his last four games. He also has a trio of speedy receivers in Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson who should be able to move the chains against a Falcons defense that ranks 21st in the league in dropback EPA.
With this total sitting at a low 42.5 and the Commanders giving up a boatload of points, I'm betting the Over here.
My best bet: Over 42.5 (-106 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Commanders vs Falcons same-game parlay
Desmond Ridder Over 203.5 passing yards
Curtis Samuel Over 34.5 receiving yards
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Ridder barely threw the ball through the first four weeks of the season, which is why we're getting such a low number here. However, he finally aired it out last week with 329 passing yards. Given that those yards resulted in an Atlanta victory, it would make sense for Smith to rely less on his ground game moving forward, especially against a Washington defense that has allowed 267.3 passing yards per game and 8.2 yards per pass attempt over its last three games.
McLaurin is Washington's best receiver but with defenses focusing on stopping him, Samuel has been nearly as productive. Samuel had a season-high 65 receiving yards on six catches last week and he has eclipsed the 50-yard mark in four of five games this year. Samuel primarily runs routes out of the slot and Atlanta is weak in that area with Dee Alford allowing a 72.7% catch rate and a passer rating of 110.3 against throws in his direction.
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Commanders vs Falcons spread and Over/Under analysis
This line hit the board with the Falcons at -2.5. That number briefly slimmed to -2 before moving back up to -2.5 by the weekend. The Over/Under opened at 41.5 and has ticked up to 42.5.
The Commanders opened their season with back-to-back close wins against the Cardinals and Broncos. They've lost three in a row, getting clobbered by the Bills, losing in overtime against the undefeated Eagles, and then getting shredded versus the previously winless Bears last week. The Commanders have a talented defensive line but their linebackers and secondary have been terrible, leading to one of the league's worst defenses.
The Falcons also opened their year with back-to-back victories before losing by double digits to the Lions and Jaguars in consecutive weeks. They bounced back with a 21-19 victory against the Texans last week but were unable to cover the spread as 2.5-point home faves, which is an identical spread to what we have for this clash.
The Falcons are just 27th in the league in EPA/play on offense. They have a strong ground game anchored by rookie RB Bijan Robinson but they need to start passing the ball better to prevent opponents from stacking the box.
Commanders vs Falcons betting trend to know
The Washington Commanders have led at the half in six of their last nine road games (+8.50 Units / 85% ROI). Find more NFL betting trends for Commanders vs. Falcons.
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Commanders vs Falcons game info
|Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
|Sunday, October 15, 2023
|1:00 p.m. ET
|Falcons -2.5, 42 O/U
Commanders vs Falcons latest injuries
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