49ers vs. Falcons NFC Title Odds
ATLANTA, GA (The Spread) – The 49ers opened and have remained favored over the Falcons for today's 3:00PM ET kickoff. Let's preview the 2013 NFC Championship Game.
SAN FRANCISCO: Thanks to a massive night by first-year starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers destroyed the Green Bay Packers 45-31 in the Divisional Round playoffs last Saturday night. Kaepernick completed 17-of-31 passes for 263 yards and two passing touchdowns, while also rushing for 181 yards on 16 carries and added two more scores from the ground. Michael Crabtree also had a huge night, catching nine passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, while Frank Gore rushed for 119 yards on 23 carries and a score. On the other side of the ball, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Navarro Bowman and Justin Smith frustrated Aaron Rodgers, who completed 26-of-39 passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The numbers don't tell the whole story, however, as Rodgers was out of rhythm for much of the night. The Niners easily covered as a 3-point home favorite and are now 10-7 against the spread this season. On the road, San Francisco was 5-3 against the number during the regular season, while the over was 9-6-1 overall. (The over also hit in their Divisional Round win over the Packers last weekend.)
ATLANTA: The Falcons raced out to a 20-0 halftime lead versus the Seahawks last Sunday but saw their 27-7 fourth quarter lead evaporate quickly when Seattle stormed back. Russell Wilson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth and then threw a touchdown pass to tight end Zach Miller with 9:13 left to play. Wilson then led Seattle down to the Atlanta goal line before Marshawn Lynch punched the ball in on a 2-yard run to give the Hawks a 28-27 lead. But following a good kickoff return by Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Ryan put the Falcons into field goal range on just two passes and with 8 seconds remaining, Matt Bryant hit what would be a 49-yard game-winner. Ryan completed 24-of-35 passes for 250 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and Michael Turner turned in perhaps his best performance of the season while rushing for 98 yards on 14 carries. Roddy White also added five receptions for 76 yards while tight end Tony Gonzalez caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown to notch his first postseason victory of his career. Despite the win Atlanta failed to cover as a 2.5-point favorite but finished 9-6-1 against the number in the regular season. At home this year, the Falcons were 4-5 against the spread, which includes their ATS loss versus the Seahawks last week. That said, they were 2-0 as an underdog in 2012.
ODDS: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the 49ers are 4.5-point favorites versus the Falcons while the over/under total is currently sitting at 48.5 points. You can find San Francisco as low as a 3.5 or 4-point favorite, however, so shop around if you've settled on the Niners. Also, at some online books the total is listed at 49 and at the MGM Mirage, the o/u is sitting at 49.5.
TRENDS: The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams while the underdog is 9-3 against the spread in the last 12 meetings. The Falcons are also 0-5 against the number in their last five playoff games and 1-4 ATS in their last five home postseason games. The Niners, meanwhile, are 4-1 ATS in their last five games versus a team with a winning record and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in January.