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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 13: Seahawks Vs. 49ers

Seattle Seahawks Vs. San Francisco 49ers: SEA +1, Over 39.5 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Last week the line for this game was set at San Fran -1.5. After Sunday, it reopened at a "pick em", but we've now seen a move back to -1.  I'm not sure I understand the thinking on this line. I know Seattle isn't the team we saw last year, but the same can be said about the 49ers. I think the wrong team is favored in this spot, and so far 58% of the bets are on the Seahawks.

Bottom Line

Let's start with the good things we can say about the 2014 edition of the 49ers. The defense is putting up better underlying numbers than what we seem to see with the "eye test".  They rank in the top 10 overall, based mostly on their efficiency versus the pass and keeping teams out of the end zone. The troubling thing for them is two-fold. One, they have been abysmal on third down. And two, they rank dead last in consistency.  When they are good, they're really good, but mixed in there are some pretty uneven performances.

For Seattle to move the ball and put up points on Thursday, they just have to do the same that they've done all year - rely heavily on Lynch and Wilson's legs. The WR situation is a mess, but they are stuck with what they got for the rest of the season.

The area where I think Seattle have the edge is when the 49ers have the ball. The main weakness for the 'Hawks D is inside their own 20, but San Fran have to get there first, right?  Unless Kaepernick morphs into a good QB overnight, I don't see that happening often enough to win this game.  The offense just doesn't excel at anything in particular, and their OL has been shockingly poor for most of the season. Seattle isn't as dominating up front or in the air like they were last year, but they don't need to be to have success against this offense.

With a favorable point spread, I have no problem taking Seattle. They still qualify as the better team, and when push comes to shove, I trust Wilson in the 4th quarter a lot more than I do Kaep.

I also like this game to go over the low total of "39.5" as well.  Both of these defenses are flawed enough to allow some points to be put on the board, and "overs" are amazingly 28-9 in prime-time games this year. We might even be able to get a better number as it has dropped from the opener of 41, so keep an eye on which direction it goes in the coming days.

NFL picks: SEA +1, Over 39.5.
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