The 49ers have the top seed in the NFC, and will be looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win against Atlanta. For the Falcons, Matt Ryan and company will face their former offensive coordinator in 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, so this one could shape up to be quite interesting.
Which team will emerge victorious? Here’s a preview of the game followed by trends and our prediction.
Jimmy Garoppolo has received loads of criticism for his turnovers this season, but he was clutch when it counted last week in the team’s huge win against the Saints. Garoppolo and the Niners suffered a major blow this week when they lost center Weston Richburg for the rest of the season with a knee injury, however. How well the team navigates having a new center will be huge in this game.
The 49ers defense has been a primary reason for their success this season. They rank third in the NFL with 45 sacks, and they’re allowing just over 17 points a game to go with 267.4 total yards, which is second in the league behind the Patriots. They’ll be facing one of the better air attacks in the NFL when Atlanta comes to town.
The Falcons are 3-2 over their last five games after starting out 1-7, so they have certainly come alive over the last month and a half. They’re coming off a 40-20 drubbing of Carolina, and they’re playing much better of late.
Matt Ryan has Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to throw to, and the Falcons are third in the league with 295.7 passing yards a game. They’ll be facing a 49ers secondary that has been the stingiest in the league so far, allowing a league-low 150.8 passing yards per contest, so how well Richard Sherman and company shut down Ryan’s top targets will be a key factor.
Trends, Betting Line and Predictions:
The following numbers and trends are all courtesy of Odds Shark.
Spread: Falcons +10
Over/Under: 48.5 points
Odds Shark currently have the 49ers winning the game by a projected score of 31-16, with San Francisco covering the spread and the total score going under 48.5 points.
Some relevant trends surrounding the game courtesy of Odds Shark to consider:
- Atlanta is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta’s last 7 games.
- Atlanta is 3-8 SU in their last 11 games.
- The Falcons are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games on the road.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Francisco’s last 7 games.
- The 49ers are 11-2 SU in their last 13 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Francisco’s last 6 games against Atlanta.
- San Francisco is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home.
The line hasn’t moved all that much. Bovada had the 49ers starting out -11 (-110) and the over/under start at +46.5 (-110). Those numbers have shifted to -10.5 (-110) and the over/under has moved to + 48.5 (-115).
We’re with Odds Shark here. While not having his starting center could mess with Garoppolo, the 49ers are simply too dominant on defense and too hungry for a playoff spot to lose this one. We like them to win and cover the spread.
Final Prediction: 49ers 27, Falcons 14