Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction: Take 49ers to Win Big

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers prediction and pick for Week 15's matchup between the two teams. Handicapper Mike Spector is here to break it all down
Mike Spector |
Tue, December 14, 1:35 PM EST | 4 min read
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Copy Link
nfl-falcons-cordarrelle-patterson-2021.jpg

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction: Take 49ers to Win Big

The Week 15 matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers is a critical battle between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. At 7-6, the 49ers currently hold the No. 6 seed in the NFC. The 6-7 Falcons are in a logjam of five teams tied for the No. 7 seed. Will San Francisco further separate themselves from the teams below them, or will Atlanta improve their playoff standing with a big win on Sunday?

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers INJURY REPORT

ATLANTA

Questionable: LB Adetokunbo Ogundeji, S Richie Grant, LB Dante Fowler Jr.

OUT: LB Emmanuel Ellerbee, S Erik Harris

SAN FRANCISCO

QUESTIONABLE: RB Elijah Mitchell, DT Maurice Hurst, CB Dontae Johnson, LB Dre Greenlaw, LB Fred Warner, CB Ambry Thomas, LB Azeez Al-Shaair

OUT: CB Emmanuel Moseley, RB Trenton Cannon, RB Trey Sermon

Falcons vs. 49ers odds

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco Betting Line Movement

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction

Atlanta earned their fourth straight road win against division rival Carolina last week. Matt Ryan secured his 12th consecutive season throwing for at least 3,000 yards in the process. In addition, Cordarrelle Patterson continues to be a bright spot for Atlanta, as he is now the first player in franchise history with five or more rushing touchdowns and at least five receiving touchdowns in a single season.

The Falcons have alternated wins and losses for the last four weeks, and their home/road splits have been peculiar to this point. Atlanta is 1-5 at home as opposed to 5-2 on the road. Of the five teams tied at 6-7, the Falcons have by far the worst point differential, as the next closest team to their -108 differential is Washington at -58.

San Francisco has turned their season around with a stretch of four wins in their last five games. Much of the 49ers’ success in that span is a strong running game that has churned out at least 100 yards on the ground in four of those five games. In fact, in their three-game winning streak against the Rams, Jaguars, and Vikings, San Francisco’s rushing output increased each week (156, 171, 208 yards, respectively), and those were their three highest rushing outputs of the season.

While the 49ers have rushed for a combined 171 in their past two games, it serves as a reminder of how good quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s play has been. Entering last week, Garoppolo’s 72 total QBR since Week 8 ranked second in the NFL. In addition, he led the league with 9.3 yards per attempt in that span.

Much of San Francisco’s success is predicated around Garoppolo’s ability to protect the football. The 49ers are 1-5 in games where he has thrown at least one interception and are 6-0 when he commits no turnovers.

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa is coming off an impressive performance against Cincinnati. His 42% pass-rush win rate was a career-high, and he ranks sixth in pass-rush win rate among edge rushers this season.

An interesting storyline in this game is 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan facing his former team, with who he served as offensive coordinator from 2015-17. Thus, it is possible that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan remembers Shananan’s offensive philosophies and playbook and imparts that wisdom to his defensive coaching staff this week.

Despite Atlanta’s success on the road this season, San Francisco is a formidable opponent playing their best football of the season at the moment. They have gotten healthier on both sides of the ball, which has allowed them to play the physical “run first” brand that made them successful in their Super Bowl run two years ago. That effective running game has elevated Garoppolo’s play, and he showed tremendous poise going 6-for-6 for 78 yards in their game-winning overtime drive last week against Cincinnati.

Tight end George Kittle became the first 49er since Terrell Owens in 2002 with 150 or more receiving yards in consecutive games. In addition, the 49ers were glad to have Deebo Samuel back after a one-game absence, as Shanahan continues to find creative ways to get him touches out of the backfield.

San Francisco is 4-1 ATS in their last five games, while Atlanta is 1-5 ATS in games against teams with a winning record. The Falcons have also had a hard time gaining any traction off wins, as they have covered the spread in just one of their last seven games following a straight-up win. As long as this number stays less than -10, the best bet is to lay the points with the 49ers.

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers Pick

Mike Spector
@MikeSpector01

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

0Betslip

Almost there!

We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.

Bonus Bets
Bet $10, Win $200Bet $10, Win $200 If Your Team Scores on Wild Card WeekendCLAIM OFFER