Monday Night Football hasn’t given fans great matchups every week this season, but the TV executives absolutely got it right this week. Seattle’s trip to San Francisco to take on the 49ers is arguably the best game of the NFL slate this weekend.
This game could ultimately decide the NFC West. The 49ers currently lead the pack with a sparkling record of 8-0. The Seahawks are trailing them by a game and a half, but securing a road win could change the complexion of things in a hurry for Seattle.
Oddsmakers think going into San Francisco and pulling out a victory is going to be a tall task for Russel Wilson and company. The Seahawks are 6.5 underdogs at the moment. The 49ers’ home field advantage should account for roughly half of the spread, but it’s interesting to think that oddsmakers believe San Francisco’s roster is significantly better than Seattle’s.
The magnitude of this game is going to earn it a lot of betting action. If you want to be on the right side of the ledger, you need to check out our exclusive Statschecker Site. It’s a one stop shop for everything you need to know before laying your money down. As always, we’ll give you five interesting nuggets from the site in this week’s piece.
1. The Seahawks are tough dogs
If you think Seattle is primed to roll over and get blown out in this game, you need to think again. Pete Carroll’s team has covered the spread eight times in a row as underdogs.
That’s a truly remarkable number. Wilson’s ability to produce big offensive plays out of nothing is a big reason why the Seahawks are always a threat to stay in the game. The 49ers defense is outstanding, but Wilson and his teammates aren’t going to wilt under the pressure of the bright lights.
2. George Kittle is money at night
The 49ers’ tight end has found the end zone in three of his last four night games. In all honesty, he’s an elite pass catcher no matter when the game kicks off.
Kittle should be the first guy the Seahawks secondary tries to take away on Monday night. Of course, doing that is easier said than done. Don’t be surprised if Kittle finds a way to make his mark on this game with a big catch or two down the seam. He’s also underrated as a player who can produce yards after the catch.
3. The over could be a good bet
In addition to being exceptional against the spread as underdogs, the Seahawks also have a strong habit of hitting the over when they aren’t predicted to win. In fact, the over has hit the last six times Seattle has been picked to lose ahead of kickoff.
On the other hand, the 49ers defense has the talent to hold the score down. Their defensive line is going to cause real problems for Seattle’s front. That doesn’t mean Wilson can’t make big plays down the field, but it does increase the probability of him turning the football over as well.
4. The Seahawks have owned the ‘Niners
It’s no secret that San Francisco has fallen on hard times in recent years. That’s a big reason why Seattle has absolutely dominated the series as of late. The Seahawks have won 10 of their last 11 games against their NFC West rivals.
In fairness, this is the best team the 49ers have had in years. They may not be quite as good as their 8-0 start would indicate, but they are a legitimate threat to win the NFC if they can hand on to home field advantage for the playoffs. History may lean heavily towards the Seahawks, but this is a new season. Don’t get too caught up in results from previous seasons.
5. 12.8 is the most important number
San Francisco’s defense isn’t just good, it’s fair to say it’s been great through eight games. That’s why they’re only giving up 12.8 points per contest.
Obviously, if they can hold the Seahawks offense to that number they’re going to be in a great position to win this game comfortably. Big plays are going to be the key for Seattle. If they can hit some big throws to DK Metcalf, they can score points against the ‘Niners. If they try to run Chris Carson into the line on first and second down, they’re going to get shut down.
Back the 49ers to keep it rolling
We’re not sure San Francisco’s roster is really 3.5 points ahead of Seattle’s on a neutral field, but that’s not the question you need to answer on Monday. You simply need to ask yourself whether or not you think the 49ers can win this game by a touchdown in front of what should be a raucous home crowd.
For me, the answer is a clear yes. Wilson will make enough plays to keep Seattle in the game, but the 49ers offense is going to show up nicely at home. Back Jimmy Garoppolo to have a breakout game over an overrated Seahawks defense. Take San Francisco and give up the points on Monday Night Football