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NFL Week Four Predictions: 49ers vs. Falcons

Finally, the Vegas odds have caught-up with the 49ers play. A week after being picked as a road favorite at Kansas City and getting beat 31-10, the Vegas odds have the San Francisco 49ers as +6 ½ at the Atlanta Falcons in week four of the NFL season. Vegas got it right this time.

At 0-3, the 49ers are the most disappointing team of the young season. Predicted by many to win the NFC West, the 49ers cannot buy a win. Both the defense and offense have taken turns letting the team down and, after nearly upsetting the Saints at home on MNF behind the arm of Alex Smith, the team could get nothing done against Kansas City. With six penalties and only 4-17 on third down, the offense could nothing started. Frank Gore ran 15 times for a measly 43 yards, the only rushing attempts the team tried, while Smith tossed the ball 43 times, many for short yardage. Looking for a positive? Gore caught nine passes for 102 yards, but Vernon Davis was blanketed by the Kansas City defense, not surprising the way they handled San Diego’s Antonio Gates during the second half of the opening game. With just 6 catches for 81 yards, San Francisco really needs to get wide receiver Michael Crabtree going and, after Atlanta had allowed the Saints 355 yards in passing, this could be Crabtree’s week.

The Falcons (2-1) did allow the New Orleans’ offense to pile-up 398 total yards but they forced three turnovers and, at the end, allowed only 24 points to a hot offense. Once again, linebackers Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon led the way in tackles and they will be hunting for Gore’s number on Sunday. Thomas DeCoud continues to make plays in the secondary and, while he is still looking for an interception, Dunta Robinson has paved the way for his team to haul-in 6 picks.

There is a lot to like about Atlanta this week – a west coast team visiting the east coast, a weak 49ers offense, momentum from two strong wins – and they should cover and coast to a double-digit victory against the pretenders from the Bay.

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