Atlanta Falcons strong favorites over San Francisco 49ers


The Week 9 lines are out, and the Atlanta Falcons are heavy favorites over the San Francisco 49ers despite the team’s struggles in recent weeks. The Falcons are seven-point favorites for Sunday’s road trip to Levi’s Stadium, according to OddsShark.

We all of course remember the matchup between these two in the NFC Championship Game in 2012, but this is an entirely different game. The 49ers, who have been an NFC powerhouse in recent years, are now struggling at the bottom and well in contention for the draft’s first overall pick next year.

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After losing countless Pro Bowlers and key players this past offseason, not to mention the man that led them to success in head coach Jim Harbaugh, they are beginning to lose more important players through injury. Running backs Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush are out of this game, and receiver Anquan Boldin is doubtful.

Tight end Vernon Davis was traded to the Denver Broncos this week, and the big news is that quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. The move is said to only be temporary and to give Kaepernick a chance to regroup after a poor start to the season, but the Falcons won’t complain about the timing of the move.

The Falcons have as dominant a trio of quarterback, running back and wide receiver as any in the league. Matt Ryan is among the best passers in the NFL, Devonta Freeman is emerging as an elite running back and Julio Jones is arguably the best wideout in football. These three should be too much to handle for a struggling Niners defense, so long as Atlanta can protect the football.

Despite some poor outings of late, the Atlanta Falcons (6-2) are rightfully favored over the San Francisco 49ers (2-6), and should be too strong even on the road. But we said that last week.