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Opening line has Falcons as 8.5-point underdogs against the 49ers

Expected underdogs once again.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons did their job against a divisional opponent on Sunday, topping the Carolina Panthers 29-21 on the road. It was a win that put them back into the playoff conversation, but the oddsmakers aren’t buying it.

They’re sitting at 6-7 and take their road trip out west to face off against the San Francisco 49ers.

Atlanta opened as 8.5-point underdogs on the road against San Francisco, a (now) 7-6 team after Kyle Shanahan and company took home an overtime win on the road in Cincinnati. The 49ers have played pretty well of late, winning four of their last five and currently sitting as the sixth seed in the NFC playoff picture.

The Falcons desperately need to make a statement in this road game to remain in the hunt for the playoffs, and with its offense seeming to get it together — in particular with the ground game carrying the load — Atlanta appears to have found a spark of production at precisely the right time. Whether that’s enough to propel them past a team that’s over .500 for the first time this season remains to be seen, but the team will be feeling some urgency in this one.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.