NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions For Falcons-49ers: Bet This Jeff Wilson Prop in NFL Week 15 Showdown
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeff Wilson Jr. (left).
- 49ers vs. Falcons odds have shifted slightly since our analyst wrote this betting preview, but he's not targeting the spread or over/under here.
- For this Week 15 showdown, our expert is betting a Jeff Wilson Jr. prop — find out why with his prediction below.
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
The 7-6 49ers are clinging to a wild-card spot as they battle through a tough NFC West. The West is the NFC’s toughest division, featuring three teams with winning records, while no other division has more than one.
Every game is important for San Francisco the rest of the way with five teams within one game of it in the race for the final NFC playoff spots.
One of those 6-7 teams is this week’s opponent: the Falcons. While Atlanta feels like a much worse team, a win here would put it tied with San Francisco entering the final three regular-season games.
Oddsmakers aren’t giving them much of a chance, though, as the Falcons are around nine-point underdogs traveling to the West Coast.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Falcons vs. 49ers Injury Report
- S Erik Harris (pectoral): Out
- LB Dante Fowler Jr. (calf): Questionable
- RB Elijah Mitchell (knee, concussion): Out
- LB Dre Greenlaw (groin): Out
- DL Maurice Hurst (calf): Out
- LB Azeez Al-Shaair (elbow): Doubtful
- DL D.J. Jones (knee): Questionable
- S Jaquiski Tartt (glute): Questionable
- CB Ambry Thomas (concispion): Questionable
Falcons vs. 49ers Matchup
|Falcons Offense||DVOA Rank||49ers Defense|
|Falcons Defense||DVOA Rank||49ers Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
So, How Are The Falcons 6-7?
The Falcons are one of the league’s most limited offenses, ranking 29th in DVOA while scoring under 19 points per game. The problem has been how one-dimensional they are without Calvin Ridley. Opposing teams have been able to load up on rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, holding him scoreless and under 65 yards in seven straight contests.
The lone bright spot has been RB/WR hybrid Cordarrelle Patterson. Never was this more evident than when Patterson missed most of two games in mid November and the Falcons failed to score a touchdown in either.
Patterson is healthy now, of course, but being used as more of a traditional running back. That may not be the best plan against the 49ers’ top-three rushing defense.
Defensively, the Falcons are somehow even worse, ranking 30th. (It’s amazing this team is 6-7.) Their strength — if we can call it that — is against the run, ranking 29th in DVOA. However, they could be without two key contributors on defense this week.
Outside linebacker Donte Fowler has been one of Atlanta’s better defenders this year. His PFF grade is third among players with at least 200 snaps on the season, but he is questionable for this one. Defensive back Erik Harris is out for the year. He ranks sixth among Falcons defenders in snaps.
How Are 49ers Only 7-6?
After flirting with rookie Trey Lance earlier in the season, it’s been the Jimmy Garoppolo show in the bay.
Jimmy G is finally playing like the adequate quarterback Niners fans always dreamed he could be. He ranks 12th in ESPN’s QBR on the season and is leading an extremely efficient 49ers pass offense that is seventh in DVOA on the season, despite throwing the ball at the fifth-lowest rate.
Most of that credit goes to the 49ers’ talented pass-catchers, though. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk all have the ability to turn short passes into big gains, inflating Garoppolo’s stats.
The real key to Kyle Shannahan’s offense is the ground game. The 49ers are in the top five in rushing DVOA, despite a rotating cast of running backs. Sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell has separated himself from the pack when healthy though. He ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 84.3. He’s topped 100 in half of his games played this year.
San Francisco is similarly strong on defense, ranking eighth overall (how is this team only 7-6?). The Niners’ strength is of course their defensive front. They’re third against the run and rank inside the top 10 in sacks.
San Francisco’s back end leaves something to be desired, ranking 21st against the pass despite a strong pass rush. However, that’s of little concern this week. As long as they can keep a lid on Pitts, the Falcons don’t have much to challenge the 49ers defense with.
Falcons vs. 49ers Predictions
Elijah Mitchell was ruled out on Friday with his knee issue, leading to yet another “next man up” situation with the 49ers backfield. In this case, it’s likely to be Jeff Wilson Jr.
Wilson has filled in capably in three games as the de facto lead back, averaging 14 carries for 43 yards per game along the way.
Those matchups were all against teams ranked (currently) top 13 or better in DVOA against the run. As we know, this matchup is much easier for Wilson.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan traditionally leans fairly heavily on his lead back, and the 49ers are favored. That means we can project Wilson for an uptick in both volume and efficiency compared to his usual rates this year.
With the injuries to the Falcons defense, 18 carries at four yards per seem like a reasonable projection for Wilson. He averages 4.2 yards per carry over his career, and the Niners run the ball at the fifth-highest rate in the league.
As of Saturday evening, FanDuel has the best line on Wilson’s rushing yards. They have it at 62.5, which I’d be comfortable taking the over on. However, keep your eyes open for other books offerings on this one to make sure you get the best line available. These sometimes vary considerably from book to book.
Pick: Jeff Wilson Over 62.5 Rushing Yards | Bet to: 69.5
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