Falcons vs. Commanders NFL Week 12 Betting Preview: Washington Winning with Heinicke at the Helm

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Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Commanders hands the ball off to Antonio Gibson #24 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images/AFP

The switch from Carson Wentz to Taylor Heinicke under center has given the Commanders new life, as well as postseason aspirations. But can they keep their winning ways intact with a victory over the Falcons?

Let’s check out the NFL odds and analyze this matchup as we look to keep cashing our NFL picks!

Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Commanders

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at FedExField

The Falcons entered last week after a lackluster performance in which they fell to the lowly Carolina Panthers, 25-15. But instead of retreating, Atlanta hung tough and eked out a gritty 27-24 win over the Bears in front of the fan friendlies.

Marcus Mariota continues to be Atlanta’s primary offensive weapon despite the lack of an aerial attack. In their victory over the Panthers, Mariota was 13-of-20 for 131 yards with one touchdown through the air and another on the ground. Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson carried the majority of the rushing duties, combining for 107 of the team’s 149 yards.

The Falcons are now 5-6 (6-4-1 ATS) on the season, yet are very much in contention for a division title. That pretty much summarizes the level of competition in the NFC South as the Bucs are currently in the top spot with a 5-5 record while the Saints (4-7) and Panthers (3-8) trail the pack. Nevertheless, the opportunity to remain playoff eligible with a chance to claim the division crown will keep the Falcons incentivized and focused…at least one would think.

Commanders Continue to Roll

Washington began with a 2-4 record, averaging 17 points per game under Carson Wentz, but things took a substantial turn for the better once Taylor Heinicke supplanted the injured former 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Since that time, the Commanders have won four of their last five games, averaging 22.4 points per game. In their last outing, Washington dispatched the lowly Texans, 23-10, in hostile territory, with Heinicke serving more as a game manager than a game-changer in passing for 191 yards with no touchdowns, but more importantly, zero interceptions.

The emerging backfield tandem of Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. did most of the heavy lifting, combining for 129 of the team’s 153 rushing yards. But the defense played the biggest role of all in the victory as Kendall Fuller returned a 37-yard pick-six and held Houston to just 143 combined yards.

Head coach Ron Rivera left little doubt as to who he will tap as his starter when Wentz returns from his broken finger. "We are going to go with Taylor, and we'll work Carson back in and see where Carson is in terms of when he's ready to be the backup," Rivera said. "Then, we'll go from there."

Total Trends

  • Under is 8-2 in the Falcons’ last 10 games following a straight-up win.
  • Under is 20-6 in the Falcons’ last 26 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Under is 8-2 in the Commanders’ last 10 home games.
  • Under is 6-1 in the Commanders’ last 7 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-1 in the Commanders’ last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.

Falcons vs. Commanders: Pick and Prediction

Kyle Pitts is done for the year after suffering a torn ACL, so there is one less weapon for Marcus Mariota to target. Although truth be told, Pitts was underwhelming this season despite his vast potential and freakish athleticism, with only 28 receptions on 59 targets, 356 yards, and just two touchdowns. It’s a loss for the Falcons, but it doesn’t loom nearly as large as some would insist.

The big weapon the Falcons have is their rushing attack, which ranks 3rd in the league, averaging nearly 160 yards per game. However, the Washington defense has been outstanding lately and their run-stop unit is ranked 6th, allowing just over 103 yards per contest.

And while the Washington offense is middling, even with Heinicke pulling the trigger, the Falcons’ defense is ranked 30th in total yards and 28th in points allowed. I don’t see this as being anything but a lopsided mismatch in favor of the surging Commanders. I made this line Washington -6 before I scanned the odds at all of the best online sportsbooks and found the majors were hanging the Commanders at -4 to -4 ½ depending on where you shop.

This looks like a good spot to bet the home chalk and watch this game go under. If defensive sensation, Chase Young, returns after being sidelined for over a year recovering from an ACL tear, then so much the better for both bets. And remember you can use our betting guide on the best Washington sports betting sites for all your gambling needs.

Score Prediction: Commanders 26 – Falcons 13

NFL Pick: Commanders -4 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Commanders -4 (-108)
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NFL Pick: Under 42 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 42 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.