After pulling off a Week 14 win over the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons (6-7) are on the road again––this time to take on the San Francisco 49ers (7-6). Meanwhile, the Niners are coming off an overtime win of their own.
Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 04:05 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium
The Falcons entered Week 14 as 2.5-point underdogs and remain the team getting the points this week. As for San Francisco, they were 2.5-point road favorites last week but are the heavy favorite for the NFL picks. According to Heritage Sports, San Francisco is a 9.5-point favorite over Atlanta with the over/under at 46.
The Falcons were just a 2.5-point underdog against the Panthers last week and came out on top with an 8-point margin win. Both sides of the ball did their part but the defense really came through with two interceptions, including a pick-six for a 66-yard touchdown, and a fumble recovery. The defense also held the Panthers to 91 rushing yards after letting them run all over them on Halloween.
Tight end Hayden Hurst’s return was also very beneficial as he scored a touchdown in his first game back. They even boosted their playoff chances from 5% to 12% with the win. It’s safe to say that first-year head coach Arthur Smith deserves some respect for putting the Falcons in this position in December.
Now, they are about to face a Niners team that blew a 20-6 lead and trailed 23-20 in OT until QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw only his second touchdown of the game to wideout Brandon Aiyuk for a walk-off victory. The Niners also had their swiss army knife weapon in WR/RB Deebo Samuel available. While Falcons have a similar one in Cordarrelle Patterson.
Also just like the Falcons, the Niners have been dominant on the road, but have recently picked up two straight home victories. Facing the Falcons should be considered an easier win for the 49ers, whose head coach Kyle Shanahan spent a lot of time as Matt Ryan’s offensive coordinator.
Not to mention the fact that the 49ers are a much better team overall than the Panthers and have the defense to take down Ryan who endured zero sacks last week, for once.
December football means meaningful football and it looks like the Falcons are taking that straight to the heart and finally coming together. Matt Ryan should enter this game a bit p*ssed off at Shanahan, who lost Ryan’s only chance at a Super Bowl and bring his A-game. The rest of the pieces should follow behind him as they have in other wins.
All that being said, this nearly double-digit spread is a bit disrespectful for a team that’s getting it together facing a team that’s allowed 23 plus points in their last three matchups.
*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.