Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction: Don't Expect a Shootout

NFL Expert, Ben Gretch is here with his prediction and pick for the Week 13 NFC West game between the Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers.
Ben Gretch |
Sat, December 4, 5:38 PM EST | 4 min read
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Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction: Don't Expect a Shootout

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, December 5, 2021

Game Time: 4:25 pm ET

Where to Watch: CBS

  • Key Note: Deebo Samuel is officially out for San Francisco, marking the first game they’ll play in 2021 without easily their leading yardage gainer at 1,209 yards from scrimmage

Click Here For Seahawks vs 49ers Odds

Seahawks vs. 49ers Prediction

San Francisco heads to Seattle as three-point road favorites against a team it has beaten just twice in their past 16 matchups dating to the 2013 NFC Conference Championship. However, the 49ers have been rolling offensively, leaning heavily into their ground game as so many past Kyle Shanahan teams have and allowing Jimmy Garoppolo to play a game-manager style of quarterback off of that in which he has thrived of late.

The big change for San Francisco is the injury to Deebo Samuel. Samuel has been a force all season, operating as a downfield weapon early on, then lately as more of a weapon out of the backfield as something of a change-of-pace No. 2 running back behind starter Elijah Mitchell, with Brandon Aiyuk coming on to pick up some of the slack in the passing game. Samuel’s versatility makes him an incredibly challenging piece to replace, but the Seahawks’ poor defense means this might not be the matchup where the loss is felt.

Mitchell has led the 49ers’ ground game with 27 rush attempts in both of his past two games, and he’s gone over 100 rushing yards four times now this season despite injuries limiting him to just six games with double-digit carries. Seattle’s defense is beatable in all phases, rating particularly poorly against the pass but also well below average in success rate against the run. Nevertheless, they are the type of defense opposing teams can impose their will on, and San Francisco looks likely to lean into their ground game again, given those parameters.

Seattle’s side of the game is a bit of a black box. Russell Wilson is obviously struggling since his return from a significant hand injury, although he made a few more throws last week that looked like the Wilson fans are used to seeing. He also had his fair share of very bad misses, something that’s been a pattern over the past three weeks. San Francisco’s defense sits in the top 10 in success rate against both the run and the pass over the past six weeks, so it’ll be a difficult spot to get right, especially as the Seahawks continue to be insistent on establishing the run despite poor results.

To that end, Alex Collins is unlikely to play Sunday. Still, the team has signed and activated Adrian Peterson, who only made it a few weeks with the Titans after Derrick Henry’s injury, owing to the fact that Peterson looked and played his age. Peterson is likely to be accompanied by replacement-level back DeeJay Dallas and perhaps one or both of Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer, both of whom are questionable. As a result, the Seahawks don’t seem likely to get much out of their rushing attack but do seem likely to run the ball more than they should, even given the lack of passing success they’ve found recently.

Recent trends would suggest the 49ers can overcome the recent loss of Samuel to still win this game, especially with how Aiyuk has played of late and with a healthy George Kittle they have not had to rely upon much since his return. Of course, the way that bet misses is if Wilson is far enough removed from his injury to look like the high-end quarterback he certainly can be. The better play for me here is betting Samuel’s absence negatively impacts the 49ers’ offensive efficiency enough to keep their scoring in check against the Seahawks’ poor defense, while their run-heavy tendencies — and Seattle’s poor offensive approach and results over the past several weeks — conspire to keep this game low scoring.

Seahawks vs. 49ers Pick

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch

Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.

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