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49ers at Home Against the Falcons on Monday Night Football

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers Preview – NFL Week 16

Start Time: Monday, December 23rd 2013 at 8:30pm ET
Stadium: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California
Station: Watch Live on the ESPN Network

It looks like the San Francisco 49ers 10-4 (9-4-1 ATS) will earn one of the NFC wild card spots. It’s unlikely that they’ll beat Seattle to win the NFC West. Arizona could potentially pass the Niners in the division, but they need two straight wins and SF has to lose both.

I doubt San Francisco is going to mess around at Candlestick Park this week against the Atlanta Falcons 4-10 (5-9 ATS). The 49ers will most likely lock up the wild card with a win. The bigger question is whether or not the 49ers will cover the double-digit point spread.

ATL @ SF Point Spread & Over/Under

This could be the last game that the 49ers play at Candlestick Park, as they’ll be playing in a new stadium next season. This spread is big, but San Fran is going to want to give fans a big win for the last time at Candlestick, so expect them to be extra motivated. The odds above are from the Bovada Sportsbook.

Why San Fran Will Dominate Atlanta

San Francisco is 5-2 at home with losses against the Colts and Panthers. They’ve also won four games in a row. Atlanta is 1-6 on the road with their only away win this season coming in Toronto against the Bills (34-31). They’ve been terrible on the road this year.

Atlanta picked up a win last week over the Redskins (27-26), but it should have been a blow out. Washington has seven turnovers in the game and the Falcons still only won by a point. Now that they’re playing a playoff contender expect Atlanta to look bad again.

The Niners are the 5th ranked rushing team in the NFL (137.1 RYPG). Frank Gore has 1017 rushing yards (4.2 YPA) and 8 TD’s. In the last two weeks Gore has gained 196 rushing yards. Now he gets to go up against the Falcons rushing defense (131.4 RYPG – 29th).

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t had to run the football that much the last few weeks. The coaches want to keep him healthy for the playoffs, which is understandable. However, he has big play potential when he gets out of the pocket and I think he’ll rush for 50+ yards.

Matt Ryan has looked bad the last two weeks against below average defenses (Washington & Green Bay). In those two games he has completed 49 of 73 passes for 416 passing yards, 3 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Part of the problem is that his WR’s aren’t playing well either.

San Fran is ranked 4th against the pass (199.7 PYPG) and at home they’ve been lights out. The Niners only allow 16.3 PPG (3rd) and I don’t expect Atlanta to score over 17 points this week. San Fran is quick on defense and put pressure on the QB consistently.

The 49ers have a +8 turnover margin while the Falcons have a –6 TO margin this season. Ryan has 14 INT’s compared to Kaepernick who has only tossed 8 INT’s. San Fran at home always steps it up on defense and I expect the Falcons to have at least 2 turnovers.

I expect the Niners to convert more 3rd conversions, which will keep drives alive. San Fran converts 37% of their 3rd downs while the Falcons allow teams to convert on 45.9% of their downs. San Francisco shouldn’t have a problem moving the chains on 3rd downs.

Atlanta has done well on 3rd down conversions (42%) this season, but the 49ers defense only allows teams to convert at a 33.2% clip on the year. With a run game that only averages 79.3 RYPG (32nd) Atlanta is likely to punt the football a lot in this game.

Falcons vs. 49ers Picks

Covering the spread is going to be tight at –12, but with this being potentially the last game at Candlestick I’m expecting the Niners to have one of their best games of the season. I’m also betting on the under because I don’t think Atlanta will score over 10 points.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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