NFC Championship Game Free Pick
PREVIOUS WEEK: The San Francisco 49ers are favored in this game for a reason. They dominated a good Green Bay team at home last week, 45-31, laying 3 as Colin Kaepernick rushed for a record 181 yards. The Atlanta Falcons were a little less impressive last week at home, as they had to come back to defeat Seattle, 30-28, giving 2.5.
NFL Odds: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the 49ers are 5-point favorites over the Falcons, while the over/under total is currently sitting at 49 points. San Francisco is currently 12-4 overall and 5-2 on the road this season, while Atlanta is 14-3 overall and 8-1 at home.
Line Movement: The 49ers opened as a 3-point favorite but the spread jet up to 5, while the total has gone from 47.5 to 49.
Public Betting: Of the wagers currently placed on this game, 69% of NFL public bettors currently favor the 49ers. This information is subject to change leading up to kickoff, however, so make sure you click on the link provided for the most up-to-date NFL public betting numbers.
NFL Playoff Free Pick: Take the over. According to latest NFL trends, Green Bay is: 5-0 Over last 5 games overall, 6-1 Over 7 last 7 vs. NFC, 5-1 Over last 6 games following a S.U. win, 4-1 Over last 5 games in January and 4-1 Over last 5 games following a ATS win. Atlanta is 4-0 Over last 4 playoff home games, 7-2-2 Over last 11 games in January.
Atlanta finally won a playoff game for the first time in nearly a decade. They blew a 20-0 halftime lead against Seattle, fell behind 28-27 after a Marshawn Lynch TD run and then Matt Ryan found a way to toss two passes to give Matt Bryant a chance to kick the game-winning field goal. Ryan will test San Francisco's defense with two of the best receivers in the game in Roddy White (1,351yds) and Julio Jones (1,198yds). Defensively, on paper, they should struggle against the read-option offense. They allowed Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to rush for 202 yards in two games during the regular season and they have also allowed 8.9 yards per rush by quarterbacks this season, which is worst average in the NFL Atlanta allows 123 yards per game on the ground which is also not a good sign against the 49ers. The San Francisco 49ers are led by a strong-armed, athletic young quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. After throwing an interception on his first series, Kaepernick set a playoff record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 181 and passed for 276, totaling four touchdowns along the way against Green Bay last week at home. These teams haven’t played since 2010 but they both faced Seattle. This will be the 14th NFC Championship Game for the 49ers, who are 5-8 and have lost two straight and five of six. Last week, San Francisco downed Green Bay, 45-31 as QB Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and two scores, while throwing for 263 yards and four TDs. San Francisco used more read-option against Green Bay, because the Packers couldn’t show they could stop it even against Minnesota. This week, expect more from the read-option and Frank Gore, who rushed for 119 yards last week and a score. WR Michael Crabtree leads the Niners with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and caught 9 passes for 119 yards and one TD last week. The teams have not met since the 2010 regular season, when Ryan led a game-winning drive for a field goal with two seconds left in a 16-14 triumph. Atlanta has taken four straight in the series.
2013 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FREE PICK: 49ERS/FALCONS OVER 49