The Chiefs are rather suprisingly a +8 point underdog against the red hot Falcons in ATL week 5. Overconfidence on Atlanta may factor into this line but our NFL picks are on the underdog sunday.
Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons (-8) 1:00 ET
The Washington Redskins travel to Atlanta to face the biggest surprise team in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta is 4-0 SU ATS with new HC Quinn at the helm, the former DC of the Seattle Seahawks. After the Falcons soared to a 42-0 lead last week against Houston, then cruised to a 48-21 victory, it is doubtful that anyone will be interested in fading them this week.
But these Atlanta Falcon players bring a lot of baggage with them from their previous indiscretions. It is certainly positive that Quinn has righted both the offensive and defensive ship. With QB Ryan at the controls, the Falcons are averaging 34 PPG. It is a positive that they average 31 carries a game, and are racking up 403 YPG on offense. In addition, they are controlling the defensive line of scrimmage, allowing the foes only 19 carries for 85/4.2. But the 65% completion average on defense has resulted in foes passing for 306 YPG. That is all part of a 6.2 YP play defense in the bottom 25% of the league. Those long term numbers I was earlier referring to may come to haunt the Falcons today, for they are just 1-18 ATS following three consecutive spread wins, 2-14 ATS at home following back to back wins and covers, and 2-17 ATS at home in a win vs lose set. The Falcons will need to overcome a lot of history while shoring up their defense if they are to succeed at this price point today.
At 2-2 SU ATS, the Redskins don’t deserve to be a Big Dog, not with their numbers. They come off a 23-20 home dog victory vs the Eagles, in which they outrushed Philly 32/127 to 18/87. The total yardage advantage was 417-320 against their division rivals. For the last couple seasons, the Redskins have been working on rebuilding their OL and DL. This year, they are reaping what they sewed. As we enter week 5, Washington has the top ranked rushing game in the league, averaging 32 carries for 100 RYPG. In a similar way, they are allowing opponents to carry the ball just 20 times for a 78/3.9 average. These numbers are second in the league only to the New York Giants. Those types of numbers have resulted in them winning the yardage battle in all four of their contests. It is also far from the profile of a more than TD underdog.
There may be a bit of overconfidence for the 4-0 SU ATS Falcons, who jumped out to a 42-0 lead before cruising to a 48-28 win. Note that four critical turnovers by the Texans were largely responsible for that, as Houston actually outgained Atlanta 428-378. With the Redskins owning top rated numbers at the line of scrimmage, we comfortably line up with them as our NFL Pick as our Big Dog play for week 5. As you can see, the NFL Odds are clearly in our favor.
NFL Pick: Redskins +8 (-115) at Bovada