Falcons vs Seahawks Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Running Under the Total

Both the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks feature a lack of QB talent and coaches with run-heavy philosophies, so our free NFL picks and predictions aren't expected much of an aerial attack (or offense in general) when these teams clash on Sunday.

Shawn Wronka - Contributor at Covers.com
Sep 25, 2022 • 08:36 ET • 4 min read
Rashaad Penny Seattle Seahawks NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are winless through the opening two weeks of the 2022 season but, to their credit, they have been competitive against quality teams, dropping games to the Super Bowl champion Rams and playoff-hopeful Saints by a combined five points.

This week they will face off against the Seattle Seahawks, who followed up their Week 1 Russell Wilson spoiler party with a 27-7 dud against the 49ers.

This NFC matchup pits two underappreciated defenses against reclaimed quarterbacks in Marcus Mariota and Geno Smith. Will Mariota lead the Falcons to their first win with him as the full-time starter — or can Geno and Pete Carroll recreate some of that Week 1 magic?

I'll tackle that question in my free NFL picks, while also breaking down the Week 3 odds for Falcons vs. Seahawks contest.

Falcons vs Seahawks best odds

Falcons vs Seahawks picks and predictions

For the first time in the eight years they have both been in the league, Marcus Mariota and Geno Smith are full-time starting quarterbacks at the same time and get the opportunity to face off against each other on Sunday.

Both former high picks (Smith a 2013 second-rounder and Mariota the second-overall pick in 2015), both of these QBs have spent the last few seasons as backups, with Smith behind Russell Wilson on the Seattle Seahawks depth chart and Mariota the No. 2 on the Raiders, hoping to get another starting opportunity.

Enter the Atlanta Falcons who, stuck in a rebuild and a saddled massive dead cap hit resulting from Matt Ryan's departure, brought Mariota on to serve as their starting QB and a veteran presence for their young roster to lean on. Results through two weeks may not look the greatest in the win-loss column, but the Falcons were one blocked field goal by the Saints away from a Week 1 upset while were 24 yards away from completing a 25-point comeback upset of the Rams.

More or less, these two teams are largely the same. On top of both featuring reclaimed starting quarterbacks, they also feature head coaches who heavily lean on the run and try to grind out games in a more old-fashioned way. Carroll needs no introduction in that regard, with former first-rounder Rashaad Penny and rookie second-round pick Kenneth Walker III to lean on.

Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith is in his second year after coming from Mike Vrabel's staff, which has long entrenched themselves behind RB Derrick Henry, and Smith has carried that same approach to the Falcons.

To help illustrate: Atlanta ranked 26th in pass rate over expectation (PROE) — which aims to measure how often a team passes the ball, compared to the expected probability that a team should call a pass given the context of each play — while Vrabel's Titans ranked 28th.

It's this run-first approach, as well as the shortcomings of Smith and Mariota as passers, that also somewhat wastes the talents of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London, among others.

These coaches, and these QBs, have shown who they are and the type of game they like to play... and it isn't conducive to an excess of scoring.

My best bet: Under 42 (-107 at PointsBet)

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Falcons vs Seahawks betting preview

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Spread analysis Over/Under analysis Trend to know Game info Injuries Weather

Spread analysis

Given the lacking QB talent and old-school game approaches, this game projects to be an ugly coinflip. Depending where you look, the NFL odds for this game range from a pick 'em to the home Seahawks sitting at -1.5.

And if not for anything else, it might just be the external factors that play into the Seahawks' favor for this Week 3 matchup.

For one, you have the Falcons, traveling coast-to-coast for an afternoon game that will see them cross three time zones. Second, it's Lumen Field with the notoriously loud 12s in the crowd.

As evident by the spread, there isn't necessarily much separation between these two teams. For that reason, it likely would be best to stay away from this game altogether — but if the trigger finger is itchy then the home side makes more sense.

Over/Under analysis

The total of 42 is one of the lower ones of the weekend and for good reasons... as mentioned already.

Weather-wise, it projects to be a pleasant, 70-degree game with minimal winds (7 mph) and no rain on the radar.

And Seattle in particular brings a rush defense that ranks ninth this year, through an admittedly small sample of two weeks, but this comes a season after ranking eighth in the league in stopping the run.

Falcons vs Seahawks betting trend to know

Seattle has averaged 17 ppg on offense in Geno Smith's six games as the primary QB. Find more NFL betting trends for Falcons vs. Seahawks.

Falcons vs Seahawks game info

Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

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Falcons vs Seahawks weather

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