NFC Championship Game 2013 odds: 49ers settle into their favorite status

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

We take a final look at the 49ers-Falcons odds, including reasons why each team might cover the spread.

This week, the 49ers have settled in as approximately a 4 1/2 point favorite heading into their NFC Championship Game showdown with the Falcons (5 at some, 4 at others). While many of us are not huge fans of the favorite status, the 49ers are in that position, it is a position where the 49ers can really make a statement. Tim Kawakami had an interesting take on the 49ers position as a favorite, and the potential for a big moment.

The last few weeks I've had a chance to work with the folks at covers.com to provide some insight as to why I think the 49ers will cover the spread in their game. I gave them my "one reason" the 49ers would cover, and Dave Choate from The Falcoholic provided his own reason:

WHY SAN FRANCISCO COVERS

The 49ers will cover on Sunday because the Falcons will be unable to sufficiently game plan against Colin Kaepernick. If they keep a linebacker to spy on him, it potentially opens up the middle of the field. If they don't spy him, they risk getting burned on the ground. They will be playing down either way.

WHY ATLANTA COVERS

For the Falcons to cover, they'll need to slow down a high-flying 49ers offense and bring firepower of their own. The key? Stop Michael Crabtree and the 49ers' dynamic tight ends and hold the edges against Colin Kaepernick. Also, don't be afraid to pass the ball deep and challenge the Niners secondary.

I suppose the reason could be more about just game-planning against the entire 49ers offense. Colin Kaepernick is a huge reason for that, but I think we'll see all sorts of looks from the 49ers on Sunday. I think we see a bit more traditional run game, but this offense has become quite unpredictable (sometimes in good AND bad ways). It's enough that it factors into why Dave thinks the Falcons will cover.

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