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San Francisco vs. Atlanta NFL Preview: Week 4 Free Pick

San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons NFL Week 4 NFL Gambling & Free Predictions

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Week 4: 49ers at Falcons Preview

Date: Sunday, October 3, 2010
Venue: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Broadcast: FOX
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons Betting Lines from Betus.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: Falcons -6.5
Over/Under: 42
San Francisco 49ers (0-3)
Bet now @ BetUs.com!

Nightmare. Can we describe the San Francisco 49ers’ start any other way? They were supposed to break out and seize the wide-open NFC West this season. Instead, they’re dead last, even trailing the St. Louis Rams. They played New Orleans tough at home in Week 2 but got crushed by Seattle and Kansas City of all teams in Weeks 1 and 3 by a combined score of 62-16.

Are the Seahawks and Chiefs’ defenses better than we all anticipated or is San Francisco’s offense simply anemic? The Niners’ front office believes the latter; offensive co-ordinator Jimmy Raye got his pink slip this week.

San Francisco should at least run its plays without delay-of-game penalties now but will it run them well? Alex Smith still doesn’t look like the answer at quarterback. He’s thrown two touchdown passes versus five interceptions through three games. If he keeps up that pitiful effort, it won’t matter how talented Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis are as pass catchers. Worse yet, the reliable Frank Gore will start seeing more eight-man fronts if defenses don’t have to respect San Francisco’s aerial attack.

Perhaps the most alarming trend over San Francisco’s first three games is its defense. The 49ers are allowing a league-worst 29 points per game and have just three sacks as a team in three weeks.

Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

The Falcons sure look determined to return to the playoffs so far this season; their overtime win over the Saints in New Orleans was a big statement. That Matt Ryan is averaging 235 passing yards per game with five touchdown passes and no picks shouldn’t come as a surprise. Neither should his continued rapport with Roddy White or Michael Turner’s return to prominence. Most bettors expected the Falcons’ offense to bounce back this season.

But Atlanta’s defense continues to impress. Its 339.7 yards allowed per game isn’t great but the 15.7 points allowed per game shows that the Falcons are a bend-but-don’t-break group so far. They’ve also sacked opposing signalcallers seven times (including the mighty Drew Brees twice) and intercepted an NFL-best six balls so far.

The pick:

Given how badly the 49ers struggled against Seattle and Kansas City on offense, I can only imagine things will get worse against an arguably superior Atlanta “D” at the Georgia Dome on Sunday. The Falcons specialize in capitalizing on mistakes and Alex Smith specializes in making them. It’s a match made in hell.

Atlanta should move the ball well enough through the air to put a decent chunk of points on the board – especially if the 49ers can’t find a way to pressure Ryan. Since I expect their “D” to make Smith’s life miserable too, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Falcons rout the 49ers this week. Would that be enough to cost Mike Singletary his job?

Atlanta at New Orleans Gambling Trends:

San Francisco is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
San Francisco is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Atlanta is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Atlanta is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games at home
Atlanta is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against San Francisco
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Francisco’s last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Francisco’s last 6 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 5 games at home

49ers vs Falcons prediction: Falcons 30, 49ers 13

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Falcons -6.5
Over/Under: OVER 42

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