49ers vs. Falcons Prediction
Will the 49ers stay within two touchdowns of the Falcons today when the former NFC West rivals clash at 4:05PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Falcons are now 14-point home favorites versus the 49ers after opening as an 11-point favorite earlier in the week. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 51.5 but has been bet down a full point to 50.5.
Colin Kaepernick has been dealing with a neck injury but he didn't miss any practice time this week and is no longer listed on the team's injury report. That said, Torry Smith (concussion) is out for today's game after suffering a scary-looking injury last week in the Niners' loss to the Jets. With only three weeks remaining in the season and San Francisco playing for nothing but pride, it's unlikely Smith will be in uniform for the rest of 2016.
The Falcons will once again be without their leading receiver, as Julio Jones will miss his second straight game due to a toe injury. Coach Dan Quinn suggested that Jones will return in Week 16 when the Falcons travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers, but for now Atlanta will have to make due with Mohamed Sanu, who also missed last week's game against the Rams due to a groin injury, and Taylor Gabriel, who has emerged as a legitimate playmaker for the team.
OUR PREDICTION: Call it a hunch but I believe the Niners will keep this game close. Carlos Hyde has averaged 109 yards over his past four games and if he can get going against the Falcons' leaky run defense, the Niners can control the clock and keep Matt Ryan on the sideline. On top of Jones being out, Atlanta will also be without defensive end Adrian Clayborn and could be down another corner if Jalen Collins (knee) can't play. Not that Kaepernick will lit it up today, but he should be able to produce some big plays. Falcons win, but it's closer than the point spread would indicate.
NFL WEEK 15 PREDICTION: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +14