Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#327 Atlanta Falcons 45.5 vs.
#328 49ers -10.5
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:25pm EST
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara
Written by Scott Reichel

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#327 Atlanta
#328 San Francisco
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Week 15 of NFL football continues as the Atlanta Falcons travel to Levi's Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4:25 P.M. These two teams have not met since 2016 when the Falcons beat the 49ers at home by the score of 41-13.

Coach Quinn Still Remains On The Hot Seat

Dan Quinn has the Falcons in terrible form headed into this game. The Falcons have just four wins up to this point and they are still in possession of last place in the NFC South. However, the Falcons were able to get a home victory last week against the Panthers as they coasted to an easy 20 point victory. Now, Atlanta is still eliminated from playoff contention and it has nothing to play for besides pride. However, Coach Quinn is still on the hot seat as his future with the franchise is still unknown. As a result, some of the players will continue playing hard just to try their best to keep him with the organization for a new season.

Leading the Falcons offensively is quarterback Matt Ryan who has been okay this season. He currently has 3,559 passing yards along with 22 passing touchdowns. However, he has thrown 12 interceptions so he has not done a great job when it comes to taking care of the ball. To make matters worse, his job is about to get even harder now that wide receiver Calvin Ridley is officially out for the season.

The loss of Ridley means even more attention will be paid to star wideout Julio Jones. That also means more playing time for Russell Gage, Christian Blake, Olamide Zaccheaus and Justin Hardy, who get a chance to get more playing time.

Defensively, Atlanta has been below average up to this point in the regular season. The Falcons are allowing 26.4 points per game which ranks 26th in the league. In addition, the Falcons are allowing 366.4 yards per game which ranks 21st in the league. Now, Atlanta will look for another solid defensive performance after allowing just 20 points last week.

49ers Look To Stay In First Place

San Francisco enters this game with an 11-2 record after a thrilling road victory last week against New Orleans. The 49ers trailed with less than a minute remaining but managed to get themselves into field goal range as they eventually scored the game-winning kick with no time remaining as they won by the score of 48-46. Now, San Francisco is in possession of first place in the NFC West and it is in great position to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The 49ers get to return home where they will be looking for another victory that will bring them one step closer to that bye in the first round.

Leading the 49ers offensively is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who has been extremely solid this season. He currently has 3,245 passing yards along with 25 passing touchdowns. In addition, he also enters this game in great form after throwing for 349 passing yards and four passing touchdowns in last week's game while also leading his team on a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, San Francisco has been amazing to this point in the regular season. The 49ers are allowing 17.6 points per game which ranks third in the league. In addition, the 49ers are allowing 267.4 yards per game which ranks second in the league. Now, San Francisco will actually be looking for a much better defensive performance after giving up a season-high 46 points last week.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though this is a pretty high point spread, San Francisco is the significantly better team in this matchup and I expect it to show on Sunday. San Francisco is currently in possession of the one seed in the NFC which makes this game extremely important for it to win if it plans on keeping its home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Meanwhile, Atlanta has nothing to play for and it has been dealing with some injuries to key personnel. Give me the home team.

Prediction: San Francisco -11

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams managed to score at least 40 points last week in their respective games so I think that this total is too low. Atlanta's defense has been porous all season long and I expect San Francisco to score at least 30 points in this game. At the same time, Atlanta's offense has been solid this season and I think that it should be able to score at least 17 points in this game since the weather should be pretty uneventful. Give me the over as a result.

Prediction: Over 47

Half-Time Side Pick

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San Francisco has been amazing at home this season while Atlanta has been awful on the road up to this point so I think that this game could get ugly early on. San Francisco has the much better defense and a significant advantage in the trenches so I expect the 49ers to dominate the time of possession within the first 30 minutes of the game as they should end halftime with a double digit lead. As a result, I have to side with the home team in this game.

Prediction: San Francisco 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.