Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at San Francisco 49ers (7-6)
The Falcons are 6-7 and theoretically right in the mix for a playoff spot in the NFC, but they have not been impressive, as all six of their wins have come by one score against teams with a losing record, while five of their seven losses have come by double digits, including four losses by 23 points or more, leading to them having a point differential of -108 that ranks 5th worst in the NFL. In terms of schedule adjusted efficiency, the Falcons rank 22nd, 27th, and 30th on offense, defense, and special teams respectively and just 29th in mixed efficiency.
The 49ers, on the other hand, rank 9th, 14th, 21st, and 10th in offensive, defensive, special teams and mixed efficiency and they are much more in line with the teams who have blown the Falcons out than the teams the Falcons have beaten or played close. My calculated line has the 49ers favored by 11 points, so we’re getting some line value with them as 8.5-point home favorites. Unfortunately, this is a tough spot for the 49ers, who play a tougher game next week against the Titans and they do so on Thursday Night Football. Overall just 40.7% of favorites cover the week before a Thursday Night Football game, so I am hesitant to bet on the 49ers, even though I would still recommend them for pick ‘em purposes.
San Francisco 49ers 27 Atlanta Falcons 16
Pick against the spread: San Francisco -8.5