Seahawks v 49ers Predictions: Time to cash in on anytime touchdown scorers
15 December 2022
This week’s Thursday Night Football game features a highly anticipated NFC West battle that is littered with playoff implications. Who will come out on top: San Francisco or Seattle?
Both of these teams have had recent success within their division - the 49ers have won the NFC West three times since 2010, while the Seahawks usurp them with five titles in the same timeframe - but, at the start of this season, neither would have expected this Week 15 clash to be so pivotal in deciding who would add to their haul.
Reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, have blown out this year and surprisingly sit at just 4-9. That is the same record owned by the Arizona Cardinals, who continue to lack explosive talent on either side of the ball.
That leaves the 9-4 San Francisco 49ers and 7-6 Seattle Seahawks to play it out for top spot. Should the former win on the road this Thursday, they will wrap up the divisional title and a playoff berth as they will possess a three-game lead and a superior head-to-head record over their rivals. Let’s dive deeper into this match-up.
Hawks out for revenge
The Seattle Seahawks have proved extremely difficult to predict this season. Five of their six defeats have come against rivals with losing records, which includes every team in the NFC South (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints). Their only other loss came against the 49ers back in week two.
San Francisco hammered the Seahawks 27-7 at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers defence, which is now the best in the league in numerous categories, held Seattle to just 217 total yards, sacked Geno Smith twice on crucial plays and turned the ball over three times. It was just a pounding in front of their home crowd.
A strong defensive unit has also been the foundation of the Seattle Seahawks for so long, but, despite boasting leading tackler Jordyn Brooks and star rookie corner Tariq Woolen, this year’s group is among the worst in the league. Seattle are giving up the fifth-most yards (378.7 per game), second-most rushing yards (160.5 pg) and third-most points (25.7 pg). Don’t expect those holes to close up here.
Injuries yet to stop San Francisco
Trey Lance - injured. Jimmy Garappolo - injured. Elijah Mitchell - injured. Deebo Samuel - injured. The San Francisco 49ers are missing four key offensive players as they enter crunchtime in the NFL regular season, however they are now playing better football than they have all year.
Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who played four years for Iowa State at collegiate level, has taken the reins like a seasoned professional and produced stellar performances to beat the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the last two weeks. But Deebo was his safety blanket in both games, so, as they are without their star wideout against the Seahawks, Purdy (who is questionable to play with a rib injury) will have to look elsewhere.
Perhaps they will put even more focus on their run game. As previously mentioned, this Seahawks run defence is abysmal - the Panthers amassed 223 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against Seattle last week. Even when it was obvious that Carolina was going to run the football, they couldn’t do anything about it.
San Francisco has perhaps the best running back in the league in Christian McCaffrey, and they averaged a whopping 5.8 yards per carry against the Buccaneers in their blowout win last week. Expect CMC to get rolling early and often.
So, what’s the verdict?
The 49ers should win this game - I certainly wouldn’t put you off backing them against the spread (-3) - but I’d rather take the points in a game that means so much for both of these teams. The line is set at 43, which seems a little too low.
With a fair whack of points comes numerous touchdowns, so the anytime scorer market is worth exploiting. The aforementioned Christian McCaffrey looks a solid option at a reasonably short price, while there is a bit more value in DK Metcalf, who was held to just four catches in the first meeting between these two sides but has historically performed well against the 49ers.
Seahawks v 49ers Predictions
Over 43 points @ 1.91
DK Metcalf anytime touchdown scorer @ 2.88
Christian McCaffrey anytime touchdown scorer @ 1.74
15 December 2022