Both the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers have hopes of making the playoffs and Sunday’s game will go a long way to deciding their respective fates this season. The 49ers have been on a roll recently and are in pursuit of the Cardinals and Rams in the NFC West.
Meanwhile, the Falcons can’t catch the Bucs in the division but a wild-card spot isn’t out of the question. Don’t miss your NFL betting picks and predictions for the Falcons vs. 49ers.
Falcons vs 49ers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The points total for this game opened at 44.5 but it’s jumped to 46.5 at the time of this writing. The 49ers have become stronger favorites through the week too, moving from 8-point favorites to -9.5 by Thursday evening.
Falcons vs 49ers predictions
Predictions made on 12/16/2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Falcons vs 49ers game info
• Location: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
• Date: Sunday, December 19, 2021
• Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
• TV: CBS
Falcons at 49ers betting preview
Falcons: Dante Fowler LB (Questionable), Erik Harris S (Out), Calvin Ridley WR (Out), Matt Gono T (Out).
49ers: Jaquiski Tartt S (Questionable), Azeez Al-Shaair LB (Doubtful), Dre Greenlaw LB (Out), Elijah Mitchell RB (Out), Maurice Hurst DT (Out), Dee Ford DL (Out), Mike McGlinchey T (Out), Javon Kinlaw DT (Out), Jason Verrett CB (Out), Raheem Mostert RB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their past five games overall. Find more NFL betting trends for Falcons vs. 49ers.
Falcons vs 49ers picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
One look at the standings may suggest there isn't much separating Atlanta and San Francisco. The Falcons are second in their division at 6-7 while the 49ers sit third in the NFC West with a slightly better record at 7-6.
However, that really doesn’t tell the whole story. The Falcons have to be one of the worst 6-7 teams in recent memory. That they have any chance of making the postseason is certifiably insane.
The Falcons defense is awful. They rank 30th in defensive DVOA, which is worse than the Jaguars and only marginally ahead of the Lions, who only have one win on the year. They allow an average of 27.2 points per game, tied with the aforementioned Lions. The offense isn’t much better, ranked 28th in weighted offensive DVOA, just one spot ahead of a Jaguars team with just two wins and behind the likes of the Bears and Giants.
Calvin Ridley’s unfortunate absence is one reason why the offense has struggled, but they’ve been poor beyond that. Mike Davis, the free-agent signing at running back, has been outplayed by Cordarelle Patterson. Kyle Pitts, for all his promise, has only one touchdown on the season. The hype was loud for the rookie TA and he’s not delivered.
Meanwhile, the Niners started the season badly and found themselves struggling in their division, but they’ve improved greatly as the season has dragged on and are now chasing the Rams and Cardinals. They’ve won four of their last five, including a total demolition of the Rams, and they would be a dangerous wild-card opponent for anybody.
Kyle Shanahan’s offense has improved dramatically and is now ranked fourth in defensive DVOA. The way they've used receiver Deebo Samuel, specifically, has been incredible to watch. Despite injuries to their running backs, the 49ers always find a way to dominate on the ground even if it’s using wideouts like Samuel in creative ways.
The solid Niners defense is ranked ninth in defensive DVOA. Only five teams allow fewer passing yards per game and they’re among the very best at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Shanahan has built a powerful and dynamic team capable of putting up big wins. Expect them to cover the spread here.
Prediction: 49ers -9.5 (-110)
We’ve spoken enough about the 49ers' ability to put up points. This is a top-caliber offense with Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Elijah Mitchell all able to cause serious damage. They average 25.3 points per game and that number is only going to get higher as San Francisco continues to improve.
The Falcons have struggled on offense, but they’re still averaging 18.8 points per game and should be able to find the end zone against the Niners, who often give the opposition chances despite overall ability. Back the over here.
Prediction: Over 46.5 (-110)
It’s not the most exciting wager in the world, but the prop markets for this game offer more questions than answers. The best possible wager for this game is a simple one: backing the Niners to cover.
A 9.5-point spread is always tricky to cover, but this is a Niners team on a mission. They’re well-coached and hungry to reach the playoffs. Despite sitting third in the NFC West there’s an argument that they've been the league’s best team over the past six weeks. They're superior on offense, defense, and special teams and are in a situation where they need to keep on winning. They will do just that and they’ll cover the spread in the process.
Pick: 49ers -9.5 (-110)