49ers vs Seahawks Best Bets, Odds: Our Staff’s Top 4 Thursday Picks
Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (left) and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (right).
49ers vs Seahawks Best Bets
Brandon Anderson: This is less about matchup and all about the situational spot. Seattle is at home in a division rivalry game with its season effectively on the line getting more than a field goal against a seventh-round rookie QB making his road debut in front of a tough crowd on a short week with no Deebo Samuel.
Look, I don't love the matchup either. San Francisco is red hot, and the Seahawks can't tackle lately and are out here playing the Raiders, Rams, and Panthers even or worse in recent weeks. San Francisco's YAC guys could run rampant through this defense, and the 49ers pass rush could turn Geno Smith into a pumpkin. It doesn't feel good to bet Seattle in this spot — but sometimes that's exactly why we have to do it.
Seattle has won 15 of 18 in this division rivalry, and the Seahawks have won 10 of the last 11 in Seattle. This is one of the last true home field advantages in football, and the 12th Man will be roaring on Thursday night. Geno Smith can beat this Niners secondary with big plays to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He needs to show how much readier he is for this moment than Brock Purdy.
At the end of the day, we're playing the number — I want the +3.5 above the key number — and backing the trends.
And goodness are there myriad trends backing these Seahawks. My BetLabs systems make the biggest trend advantage of any game so far this season: 14 for Seattle, 0 for San Francisco. Some trends that stick out:
- Pete Carroll after a loss: 44-27-4 ATS (62%)
- Carroll on a short week: 7-3-2 ATS (70%)
- Carroll as an underdog: 46-29-3 ATS (61%), including 19-10 ATS (66%) as a division dog
- Geno Smith as an underdog: 18-11-1 ATS (62%), including 9-2 ATS (82%) as a division dog
- Kyle Shanahan as a favorite: 21-28-1 ATS (43%), including 5-9-1 ATS (36%) as a division favorite and 4-8 ATS (33%) as a favorite without Garoppolo
- Division dogs Week 14 forward that lost the last matchup by 8 to 20 points: 81-59-2 ATS (58%)
- Division dogs Week 14 forward that failed to cover the last matchup by 7 to 14: 60-41-1 ATS (59%)
- Home dogs of 3+ vs. opponents coming off at least a 3-game home stand: 34-17-1 ATS (67%), including 16-3-1 ATS (84%) in December
We're going back to the Island one more time for the holidays. I won't get cute and play the moneyline. I'll take a close loss. I'll savor a backdoor cover. I don't care how we get there: Seattle Island, one last time.
John LanFranca: This is a great situational spot for the Seahawks as home underdogs. Brock Purdy will be making his first career road start in a hostile environment, on a short week and against a team that is desperate for a win. The energy in the building should be electric since it's imperative for Seattle to win this game if it's going to grab a playoff spot.
Despite a rough stretch of games that began in Germany in Week 10, the offense remains a top-five unit in the NFL in yards per play (6.0) for Seattle. The 49ers defense, while impressive, has been quite fortunate during their six-game winning streak. The Niners have defeated teams ranked third (Miami), 17th, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 28th in offensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, during this win streak.
There have been only 13 instances in Bet Labs data history featuring an underdog of seven or fewer points that has failed to cover the spread in three straight games, facing off with a team who has covered three straight games. In this exact spot, the underdog is 10-3 (76.9%) against the spread.
I love the Seahawks to bounce back here and would play them down to +3. However, the most profitable time in the NFL to buy a half-point is when you are grabbing the hook with a three-point dog, and that is what I recommend doing here.
I'd play Seattle +3.5 up to -125.
Matt Trebby: Over at Action Labs, Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon are projecting McCaffrey to go over his reception total. Koerner has him pegged for 4.8 catches, while Raybon’s numbers have him at 5.8. As of 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, you can get this prop at plus money at DraftKings.
There’s a lot to like about this matchup for McCaffrey in the passing game.
First, the Seahawks rank 31st in the NFL against opposing running backs in the passing game. Only the Raiders are worse. Seattle is giving up 5.5 receptions on 6.4 targets per game this season to opposing running backs.
Enter one of the premier receivers out of the backfield in the NFL.
Taking out his 49ers debut, which saw him play just 29% of snaps against the Chiefs, McCaffrey has gone over this total in three of his six games with the team, and two of the unders saw him haul in four passes. He has rotated going over and under, and he only had two catches last week against the Buccaneers.
McCaffrey tied his 49ers low with just two targets against the Buccaneers (the other instance was his debut). He’s seen at least six targets every other game since being acquired by San Francisco.
Given the Seahawks’ inability to stop running backs from catching passes and the plus number we’re getting on this prop, it’s an easy bet for Thursday Night Football.
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Billy Ward: The 49ers might be the one team unaffected by quarterback play. They're a run first team, and when they do pass, the bulk of the production comes after the catch.
That's no coincidence, as they're built around players like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle — all of whom are dangerous with the ball in their hands.
Never was this more evident than in Week 14, when Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, led them to 35 points against the Bucs. Of those 35 points, 28 came in the first half.
The 49ers average four more points in the first half of games than the second. Like many run-focused teams, they aggressively build a lead and then play ball-control football. Additionally, Seattle is both worse defensively and better offensively than Tampa Bay, so San Francisco should be pushed a bit more here, at least early on.
Over 21 is -110 on BetMGM, and I'd take it down to -120 — but I would stay away from the 21.5 lines available on some books.