Zylbert’s NFL Over/Unders: Can 49ers Limit Seahawks in Richard Sherman’s Return to Seattle?
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Richard Sherman
Betting odds: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
- Spread: Seahawks -10
- Over/Under: 46
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
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Zylbert’s 2018 NFL Over/Under Betting Record: 6-5-2, +0.4 units
Last Week’s Result: Browns-Bengals Under 47 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
When you’re an undrafted quarterback getting your first taste of NFL action, you’re bound to hit a rookie wall at some point. For Nick Mullens, it looks like that has already occurred following a pair of promising starts to open up his career.
Mullens had a tough afternoon in his third start last Sunday in Tampa Bay. And to make matters even more concerning, it came against arguably the worst pass defense in football.
The Buccaneers yield 274 yards through the air per week while ranking dead-last in opposing passing touchdowns (26), completion percentage (73.1%) and passer rating (119.5). Yet Mullens struggled en route to his worst performance, finishing just 18-of-32 to go with 221 yards, a touchdown and two picks.
How can we not expect a similar outing in Seattle?
The Seahawks sport a solid defense vs. the pass and play in one of the league’s most hostile stadiums. Combine that with the banged-up receiving corps that Mullens has to play with, and it just doesn’t add up to a productive day for the San Francisco offense.
Without question, this will be the 23-year-old’s toughest assignment.
Running back Matt Breida has been terrific in his second season, but the Seahawks can easily afford to stack the box while taking on an inexperienced quarterback who figures to be mostly ineffective in this spot.
Meanwhile, there’s definitely the threat of the Seahawks hanging a crooked number considering the roll they’ve been on as of late to enter a playoff spot ahead of Week 13. They’ve actually recorded at least 27 points in six of their past seven games and are coming off two impressive wins opposite quality opponents.
However, the Seahawks could find more difficulty than anticipated for a similar showing — and there’s a couple of key reasons for that.
First, the 49ers do a good job of limiting big plays, which is the type of defense we want to initiate a grind-it-out affair for an over/under as high as 46. They’re giving up only 7.3 yards per pass attempt, the second best in the NFC. The Niners also allow 4.0 rushing yards per attempt, which also ranks inside the top 10.
Most glaring of all, of course, is that Richard Sherman will be facing his ex-team. The eight-year veteran was a Seahawk for his first seven seasons, and his insight and familiarity with the club’s offense should not be overlooked. He practiced against them every day, after all.
On top of that, this will be Sherman’s first game back in Seattle since he was basically dumped by the Seahawks during the offseason (while injured), so you know he’s going to play a meaningful role that potentially inspires the rest of the defense with his inside knowledge.
Sherman isn’t the only one with a tight grasp of this opponent. Robert Saleh, San Francisco’s defensive coordinator, spent a few years on the Seahawks coaching staff and fared well in his first two meetings against his old squad last season. His defense limited Seattle’s offense to 36 points in those matchups.
Play: UNDER 46 (-110)