The first NFL Championship game of the weekend sees the Atlanta Falcons as home underdogs up against the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons opened the week at +3.5 and taking a look at the Latest NFL Lines we see the point spread is currently trading between Atlanta +3.5 San Francisco -3.5 up to ATL +4 SF -4. In over under totals betting the line opened the week at O/U47.5, currently it is sitting between O/U48 and O/U48.5, depending on the sportsbook. The moneyline odds market opened with the Falcons at +160 ($2.60) and the 49ers at -178 ($1.56), currently Atlanta's odds are trading between +170 ($2.70) up to +183 ($2.83) while San Francisco are priced between -230 ($1.43) up to -189 ($1.53).
Where is the money going? Well early wager counts from a leading offshore sportsbook reveal that San Francisco are attracting around 69% of the point spread wagers at -4, moneyline wagers are favoring Atlanta at around 59% and the over 48.5 is by far the more popular pick with early players.
These playoff games also draw significant proposition betting action for the sportsbooks and with hundreds of prop bets available on each game gamblers are not short on choice. A few popular props for this game include Team to score first - ATL +104 SF -121, Most gross passing yards - Matt Ryan -24.5 at -155 verse Colin Kapernick +24.5 at +133, or how about Will Kapernick score a rushing TD? Yes +101 or NO -118. It's a good idea to scan multiple sportsbooks proposition odds as there are often variations in spreads and odds which can be used for scalping or low risk middle opportunities.
During the regular season the Falcons averaged 26.19 points per game on offense while conceding an average of 18.69 on defense for a differential of (+7.5). By comparison the 49ers averaged 24.81 on offense and 17.06 on defense for (+7.75). It is interesting looking at the first half of the season averages as opposed to the second half. The Falcons first eight games saw them average 25.13 and conced 16.25 per game (+8.88) and their last eight regular season games they went 27.25 offense and 21.13 defense for (+6.12). By contrast the 49ers defense was superb in the first eight games allowing an average of only 12.88 points per game while offense was racking up an average of 23.63 for a differential of (+10.75). The second half of the season their much hyped defense allowed some 67 more points, conceding an average of 21.25 while their offense led mostly by Kapernick increased the scoring to 26 points per game giving them a points differential of (+4.75).
The Verdict - Our handicapping numbers here at TheFootballLines.com show value on the Falcons. We have taken Atlanta against the point spread at +3.5 +100 ($2.00) and we have also taken them against the moneyline odds at +175 ($2.75).