The Seattle Seahawks are gearing up to take on their division rival San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, and the stakes are high, to say the least. Following a loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks playoff hopes are dwindling. San Francisco holds a 2-game lead in the NFC West; Seattle, on the other hand, sits a half-game behind the Washington Commanders and New York Giants, who currently occupy the 6th and 7th seeds in the NFC. But even so, they aren’t out of the race for the NFC West. The best way to jump-start a playoff push would be to beat the Niners at home, which would give Seattle a 4-1 division record, with one more date looming with the LA Rams.
DraftKings Sportsbook is projecting a fairly modest spread; they currently list the 49ers as only 3.5 point favorites. This is surprising to me, given that they beat the Seahawks by 20 points early in the season and are currently only allowing a hair over 15 points per game. ESPN also has San Francisco as only slight favorites in this one. They give the Niners a 50.9% chance to win (with a .6% chance for a tie).
To be fair, Pete Carroll has been able to manage an 8-3 record against the 49ers since Kyle Shanahan took over, according to StatHead. But Christian McCaffrey looks like Seattle’s worst nightmare right now; he has scored 6 touchdowns since joining the team (3 rushing, 3 receiving) and is averaging nearly 5 yards per carry. Their quarterback situation may be unsettled at the moment with Brock Purdy’s injury status, but the person taking the snap seems far less significant than who he is handing the ball off to. The Niners also have rookie Jordan Mason, who is averaging over 5 yards per carry. This spells trouble for Seattle.
So what are the experts saying? Well unsurprisingly it’s lopsided for the 49ers.
Matt Barrows and Dave Lombardi of the Athletic are both predicting that San Francisco will prevail in low scoring game, but only Barrows thinks they will cover the spread. Similarly, the folks over at 12th Man Rising aren’t overly optimistic. That is, literally only one member of their staff has Seattle winning this one, and only two with Seattle covering. Confidence is obviously low when the consensus is that not only will the Seahawks lose, but they won’t even cover a 3.5 point spread... at home. On Thursday Night Football.
Still, not everybody is hopeless.
Unfortunately, I don’t share this optimism.
The Pick: Under 43.5, 49ers win straight up and cover.
Here are the Field Gulls staff picks, courtesy of Tallysight: