We have a NFC West battle on Monday Night Football, as the undefeated San Francisco 49ers host the 7-2 Seattle Seahawks led by MVP candidate Russell Wilson.
From the first snap to the final whistle we break down the odds with our best bets and predictions for this marquee matchup.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-6, 47.5)
49ers tight end George Kittle is doubtful for this game due to a knee injury. Kittle is the Niners leading receiver with 46 catches for 541 yards.
Kittle has an incredible 17 catches for 194 yards in the first quarter alone this season. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could struggle to move the chains early in this contest without his favorite target. Take the Under on San Francisco’s first quarter team total.
PICK: First quarter team total – San Francisco Under 6.5
FIRST HALF BET
The 49ers defense has taken the league by storm this season, holding opponents to just 12.8 points per game and leading the league in defensive passing DVOA according to Football Outsiders.
That said, this is a list of the starting quarterbacks they have faced: Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, Jared Goff, Case Keenum, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. Out of that group, Goff might have the best track record and he’s the 23rd ranked passer in the league this season.
Murray has probably played the best out of any of those QBs and he had success against the Niners last week, throwing for 241 yards and two touchdowns, while scrambling for another 34 yards on the ground.
This week, the Niners have to play the top-rated passer in the league in Russell Wilson who has thrown for 2,505 yards and 22 touchdowns against just one interception despite often facing pressure from opposing defenses.
Don’t expect San Francisco’s stop unit to display it’s usual dominance against a Seahawks squad that averages 14.4 ppg in the opening half. Bet Seattle’s 1H team total Over.
PICK: First half team total – Seattle Over 9.5 (-110)
While the 49ers have a terrific defense against the pass, against the run they rank just 20th in DVOA. Over the last three weeks they’ve allowed Adrian Peterson to rush for 81 yards on 20 carries, Christian McCaffrey to rush for 117 yards on 14 carries and Kenyan Drake to run for 110 on 15 carries.
Seahawks running back Chris Carson has rushed for at least 90 yards in five of his last six games, averaging 101 rushing yards per game during that span. With the 49ers losing one of their best defenders in linebacker Kwon Alexander to a season-ending injury last week, take the Over on Carson’s rushing yards.
PICK: Chris Carson Over 78.5 rushing yards
FULL GAME TOTAL
Although Seattle has a poor pass defense, giving up 278.1 passing yards per game, the 49ers might not be properly outfitted to take advantage of that weakness. San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for less than 200 yards in three of his last five games and doesn’t have many downfield weapons, especially with Kittle likely out.
However, both teams are among the best in the league at running the ball. San Fran ranks second in the league with 171.1 rushing yards per game, while the Seahawks rank seventh with 131.7 ypg. And both defenses allow a generous 4.7 yards per rush to their opponents.
When it comes to rushing attempts the 49ers are first in the league with 37.9 rushes per game and Seattle is fifth with 30.3.
Expect both sides to lean on their running games and soak up the clock. Bet the Under.
PICK: Under 47.5
FULL GAME SIDE
San Francisco has been ridiculously good at home this year, with an average scoring margin of plus-23.3 ppg. But Seattle has been terrific on the road going 4-0 SU with an average scoring margin of plus-7.5 ppg.
San Francisco will get both of their starting offensive tackles back for an offensive line that has been among the best in the league. But the losses of Kittle and Alexander will really hurt, Kittle as their most dangerous receiving threat and Alexander as the player often described as “the heart and soul” of their defense.
Russell Wilson will be the 49ers first truly elite quarterback they’ve gone up against. Even though the Niners have an excellent pass rush, Wilson is used to excelling under pressure after years of having a subpar O-Line in Seattle. And the Seahawks running game should find success against a San Fran run defense that’s been exposed lately.
Take Seattle and the points.
PICK: Seattle +6