49ers-Falcons MNF Point Spread Preview, Picks, Score Prediction Week 16
The 2013 Monday Night Football schedule will come to a close in the Week 16 concluder in a game that once figured to be a great match-up on paper heading into the regular season with “Matty Ice” and the Atlanta Falcons squaring off against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. But instead, the game has more to do with this being the final 49ers game ever to be played in Candlestick Park with the Falcons looking to close out a miserable campaign and the 49ers looking to hold onto their playoff positioning.
49ERS – FALCONS WEEK 16 MNF BETTING LINE:
1. Why the SF 49ERS will cover the spread: The Niners enter what will be an emotional home game in extremely good form having won each of their L/4 games played since dropping back-to-back outcomes to the Panthers and Saints off their Week 9 bye. They avenged an earlier season loss to the division rival Seahawks the last time they played in front of the hometown faithful, and followed it up with a decisive road win and cover against a Tampa Bay outfit many thought would give them a run for their money last week.
2. Why the FALCONS will cover the spread: The Falcons enter this one having alternated wins and losses in each of their L/4 games played, and they covered the closing pointspread in three of those contests. Coach Smith’s squad might be missing out on the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, but his troops are hardly playing like it with each of their L/4 games having been decided by an average of just 2.3 points per game.
Having tasted the thrill of victory two of the L/3 weeks, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Falcons would love nothing more than to make things harder for the 49ers clinching a playoff spot after what went down in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome last January.
3. Total Talk: These teams played to an exhilarating 28-24 final in the NFC Championship Game last season, but that was when QB Matt Ryan had a full complement of weapons to get the pigskin to. That’s hardly the case heading into this one, and with the Falcons likely rushing for squat, it will be up to his arm to put the Falcons in any kind of scoring position against a Niners stop unit currently firing on all cylinders; the ‘under’ has cashed in four of Atlanta’s seven road games.
After the defense got out to a rough start at the outset of the season, San Francisco has allowed an average of less than two TDs since; the ‘under’ has cashed in five of their seven games played at the Stick.
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4. Betting Trends for 49ers/Falcons: Win and they’re in. That’s the scenario that Coach Harbaugh’s defending NFC champs are faced with heading into their home finale. On paper, this looks to be a blowout with the Falcons possessing little if anything on the defensive side of the ball to limit what the Niners will look to do most – run the football. Gore, Hunter, Kaepernick, James – the Falcons 29th ranked rush “D” simply won’t be able to prevent San Francisco from doing what they do best, and it will allow for the home team to pull away on the scoreboard and shorten the game by dominating the time of possession battle.
San Francisco has covered 22 of its L/27 Monday night appearances and stands 26-14 ATS the L/40 times it was put in the chalk role. There’s a reason Atlanta has been installed a dog of this margin for the first time since the Falcons turned their fortunes around – they don’t stand a chance!
San Francisco 30 – Atlanta 13