Washington vs. Bills Odds, Picks, NFL Sunday Predictions: Bet This Week 3 Under & Underdog?
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Bills QB Josh Allen
- The Bills are coming off a blowout win. Is now really the time to fade them?
- Find Bills vs. Washington odds in our betting preview for this NFL Week 3 matchup below.
- Our analyst details why he sees value on the underdog to cover Sunday's spread (and more picks).
Washington vs. Bills Odds
|Moneyline||+280 / -365|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
Buffalo recovered from its disappointing home loss to Pittsburgh with a 35-0 dismantling of Miami. Now the Bills return home to face a Washington Football Team coming off a 10-day layoff after their last-second home win over the Giants.
Washington’s offense started to fire in Week 2, with quarterback Taylor Heinicke and Terry McLaurin building rapport. However, Ron Rivera’s defense has been disappointing, ranking just 18th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA through two games.
Can Washington cover the 7-point spread in a tough road environment, or will Buffalo carry over last week’s offensive explosion to a comfortable win at home? Let’s take a look.
Washington Can Keep This Close
Washington is healthy heading into Sunday, with only defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis (knee) listed as questionable. Starting running back Antonio Gibson was limited in practice throughout the week (shoulder), but was a full participant on Friday and should be set to play on Sunday.
The Football Team is still in search of an early-season identity, though.
Entering the year, they were projected to have one of the NFL’s strongest defenses after finishing 2020 ranked third in defensive DVOA … then they barely escaped with a 30-29 win over the Giants last Thursday, thanks to Dustin Hopkins’ second-chance at the game-winning kick.
That said, Washington is still averaging three sacks per game, including four against New York.
The biggest question on offense is at quarterback, where backup Taylor Heinicke will need to build off a solid Week 2 performance in which he completed 73.9% of his passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw an interception, but was able to find consistent success with leading wideout Terry McLaurin. The duo connected on 11 receptions (14 targets) for 107 yards and a touchdown. Heinicke also started to light the fire under explosive rookie Dyami Brown.
Washington has a dynamic pair of pass-catching running backs in Gibson and J.D. McKissic, who will play critical roles against a Buffalo defense that stifled Najee Harris and Myles Gaskin in their first two games.
Sprinkle in dynamic tight end Logan Thomas, and this team has a solid group of offensive weapons. As long as the defense can continue to generate pressure, Heinicke should be to keep this game close with a deep group of receivers.
The Bills’ Offensive Struggles
Despite an impressive 35-point win over Miami, this Buffalo offense has struggled so far this season — that margin of victory was primarily the result of the Dolphins’ mistakes and the loss of Tua Tagovailoa.
Buffalo ranks just 26th in offensive DVOA, including 28th in run DVOA. The Bills cannot get their running game started, with just 181 total rushing yards from their running backs. If you eliminate Devin Singletary’s 46-yard touchdown run, Buffalo’s top rushers (Singletary and Zack Moss) are averaging just 4.1 yards per carry.
The key to the Bills’ ground attack is Josh Allen’s rushing ability, but the Football Team should be much better prepared to contain his efforts on the ground after just giving up 95 yards on a robust 10.6 yards per carry to Daniel Jones.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be a tough matchup for a Washington secondary that’s allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, but that should be offset by the Football Team’s 10 days of preparation for this game.
If Ron Rivera can limit Allen’s rushing ability and generate the same amount of sacks the team had in the first two games, Buffalo will be in a battle well into the fourth quarter.
Rivera has been historically great against the spread in these spots. His teams have covered 63% of the time when they’ve been an underdog of at least a touchdown, per our Action Labs data:
Rivera’s familiarity with Bills head coach Sean McDermott should keep this game close and low-scoring.
Heinicke almost led Washington to a playoff upset of Tampa Bay last season, losing 31-23. Heinicke passed for 306 yards, rushed for 46 yards and tallied two touchdowns in that game. Now with extra time to prepare — and backed by a strong pass rush — Heinicke should keep this game within a touchdown.
I’m backing Washington down to +7 and the under down to 45 points in a battle of two even-matched teams with familiar coaching styles.
Pick: Washington +7 or better; Under 45 or better