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Why Vegas Is Correct in Saying 49ers Are Favorites on Sunday

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Why Vegas Is Correct in Saying 49ers Are Favorites on Sunday
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

All the Atlanta Falcons did was go 13-3 in the regular season, 7-1 at home, send three offensive players to the Pro Bowl and beat the hottest team in the NFC in the divisional round.

How did Vegas reward them? 

By making them five-point underdogs at home (h/t Bovada) in the NFC title game against the No. 2-seeded San Francisco 49ers, making them the biggest home underdogs in a conference championship game in over 30 years. 

Not to mention, Atlanta's arguably elite quarterback has a 34-6 career record inside the Georgia Dome.

How nice of Sin City. 

But no, Vegas does not have a grudge against the Falcons, the City of Atlanta or Matt Ryan

It correctly listed the 49ers as favorites on Sunday. 

While the five-point spread initially appears to be relatively outrageous considering San Francisco's 5-3 road record during the regular season, when considering all factors, a spread within the three-point-to-five-point range is accurate.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

These 49ers—the vastly talented team lead by the innovative coaching style of Jim Harbaugh—have demonstrated some worrisome inconsistency this season, which could lead one to believe the five-point spread is a little steep.

But in reality, with Colin Kaepernick under center, San Francisco has been the better, more capable team.

The zone-read, or read-option—whatever you want to call it—is a nightmarish wrinkle for defenses to stop, and it puts significant strain on defensive ends. 

You think Harbaugh will frequently test the banged up John Abraham? 

Should the 49ers be favorites?

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You can bet on that one.

Not only can Kaepernick destroy a defense with his deceptive speed, he's also a fine thrower of the football.

Remember, Wilson went 385 yards through the air a week ago.

Defensively, the 49ers boast the two most well-rounded linebackers in the game, and it is likely a slower, less invigorated Michael Turner will be seen. 

For this one, he doesn't have the luxury of two weeks rest.

No, the 49ers aren't a lock to beat the Falcons in Atlanta, but they are rightfully road favorites in the NFC title game.

 

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