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Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers - Week 15

Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at San Francisco 49ers (7-6)

Atlanta's biggest weakness has been their offense, checking in at #24 in the league with a mere 326 yards per game. A big part of their failure has been the quality (or lack thereof) of their rushing attack, which has been #4-worst in football with just 3.76 yards per carry. This has manifest itself in the #6-least rushing yards per game: 88. It can be tough to get the ground game going without a mobile quarterback (after all, quarterbacks get an extra 2 or so yards per carry more than running backs), and that's not a luxury Atlanta has had this season, calling just 4.4% of their carries for their QB. Wide receiver rushing plays can create confusion for the defense and generally average an extra couple yards per carry, but Atlanta has gotten their receivers involved just 0.1% of the time.
In terms of their defense, the Falcons have ranked #26 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 265 yards per game through the air against them (#23 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #16 with 4.44 yards per carry. Positionally, perhaps their best defensive asset has been their cornerbacks, which rank #6 in the league in locking down route-runners. Atlanta has been least effective in shutting down opposing wide receivers, giving up a 70.8% completion rate (#3-highest).

San Francisco's primary advantage has been their defense, which has allowed a scant 347 yards per game -- #8-best in the NFL. They've succeeded in large part due to their pass defense, which has held opposing air attacks to the #8-least yards per game: 236. The San Francisco 49ers pass defense has had the most success in covering opposing tight ends, who have managed just 39 yards per game against them (#29-least in football). San Francisco's best coverage unit has been their linebackers, which grade out as the #6 unit in the NFL in this regard. San Francisco's pass rush has been led by their defensive ends who, ranking as the #4 unit in the NFL, have given opposing quarterbacks fits.

When it comes to their offense, the 49ers check in at #14 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 238 yards per game (#17 in football). Their run game has ranked #13 with 4.59 yards per attempt on the ground. They hit their peak effectiveness when targeting tight endss, who have accrued 10.00 yards per target (#2-best in the league).
The visiting Falcons will have to travel cross-country for this game. They will travel over ~2127 miles and across 3 time zones to get to San Francisco. Historically, cross-country road trips have an adverse effect on the visiting team, so it's possible the Falcons and may have to battle jet lag or a disruption to their normal weekly routine. The long travel should help San Francisco's home field advantage. The last time these two teams played each other was Week 15 in 2019. That game resulted in a road win for the Falcons with a final score of 29-22. This will be 3 consecutive road games for the Falcons. Meanwhile, this will be 3 consecutive home games for the 49ers. The big difference in travel time between these two teams would favor the 49ers and may enhance their home field advantage this week.
This matchup has the #3 highest Game Total this week. Large Totals imply there will be a lot of scoring opportunities and also correlates to a lot of offensive yards. There has been some line movement on the Game Total toward the Over. It opened 45.5 before it was bet up to 48.0. The betting handle for this Game Total is notable, because there is two sided action. The majority of the Bets have been on the Over, however there is more Cash on the Under. The Over has approximately 79% of the Bets, however the Under has 73% of the Cash. This means there has likely been relatively big wagers on the Under. Compared to all the other game action this week, the Over has the highest percentage of bets this week.
San Francisco 49ers - 26.43
Atlanta Falcons - 18.43

Win Probability:
SF 77% / ATL 23%

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