NFL Betting: Public Bettors Fascinated By Falcons In Week 15

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:18 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 3:18 PM UTC

Everyone loves offense, and everyone hates the San Francisco 49ers, so expect the Atlanta Falcons to be a popular NFL pick for Sunday’s matchup at the Georgia Dome.

Record: 22-18-1 ATS, 4-8 Totals

If you’re going to bet on the Atlanta Falcons this week, you might want to get your money in now. The Falcons are 14-point home faves on the NFL odds board for Sunday’s game (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX) against the San Francisco 49ers, and our expanded consensus report shows 98 percent of the very early action coming in on Atlanta. It’s not big money at $77 per wager, maybe not enough to move the lines – but when the public starts pounding the Falcons, watch out.

And they probably will. Atlanta has become one of this year’s most popular teams, with MVP candidate Matt Ryan (30 TDs, seven INTs) leading the most potent offense in the league. The 49ers, on the other hand, wouldn’t win a vote even if the Russians helped them. But that just makes them a better value for your Week 15 NFL picks, especially if they move to +14.5 when all that public money starts pouring in.

Cardinal Numbers

Okay, so the Niners (1-12 SU, 3-10 ATS) are having another epically bad season in Santa Clara. But we got paid in Week 10 when they covered against the public Arizona Cardinals (–13.5 at home) in a 23-20 loss. Interestingly, the line on that game moved from –14.5 after we made our picks early in the week. That’s not how it’s supposed to happen.

In the name of investigative journalism, I’ve gone back and looked at the numbers, and most books had the closing line at –14. There was a burst of action on San Francisco the morning of the game, but Atlanta started rallying again before kick-off. You can also look at the consensus reports archive and see the Cardinals had both sharp and recreational money on their side.

Anyway, the Niners are an absolute mess right now with injuries galore, and FiveThirtyEight have projected them as 15.5-point road dogs using their Elo formula, so let’s not go crazy with the bet size this week. But the Falcons (8-5 SU and ATS) have been a little shaky since starting the season hot, and Sunday will be their first game of the year as double-digit faves. Fade on, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

Free NFL Pick: 49ers +14 (–130)Best Line Offered: at Sportbet

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