NFL Football Pick: 49ers vs Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers (2-9 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (6-5 SU, 6-3-2 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date/Time: Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 4:25PM EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
By Loot Levinson, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF +10/SEA -10
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The San Francisco 49ers come to CenturyLink Field to battle the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in NFC West action. This is the first matchup of these divisional teams this season. The Seahawks are coming off two straight wins, including a nice 30-27 road-win over the Panthers on Sunday with a last-second drive leading to a game-winning FG. San Francisco, meanwhile, fell to 2-9 on Sunday with a rough 27-9 loss to a Tampa Bay team that had lost 4 in a row. Despite that, I see some value with the Niners this week.
Seattle—Finding Their Way
With two straight wins, each by a FG, the Seahawks have poked their heads back into postseason contention. And this is a must-win game. They’re a team that has struggled to get the results, despite sources of hope on both sides of the ball. The wins have sometimes been hard to get and most of them are of the hard-earned variety. Even at their best, the Seahawks were never ideal double-digit favorites, especially in divisional games.
Is San Francisco Still in It Mentally?
The 49ers are in rough shape. For them to not manage to be competitive against a spiraling Tampa bunch is a bad testimonial on where they stand going into week 13. Nick Mullens offered some early promise at quarterback, but has thrown two picks in each of his last two games and the luster is off. The story of this team is injuries. And just this past week, Rueben Foster went from a difference-maker on defense to getting cut after another transgression. Anybody who was supposed to be somebody on offense is either out or has missed a lot of time. And on the other side of the ball, the situation is no less-sketchy with a slew of missing pieces.
Be that as it may, this is not a team one should expect to tank heading down the stretch. There are things to work out on this team. They at least have the injury excuse, as no team could thrive in the midst of losing so many pieces. Still, they have a pretty strong ground-game, led by rising back Matt Breida. With Seattle laboring against the run, especially against quick backs like Breida, it looms as an area where SF can help keep this one respectable. Seattle allows almost 5 yards per scamper, so who knows? Receiver Dante Pettis has made some noise lately and with a solid tight end like George Kittle, the offense could make some noise on Sunday.
The Moxie of the Seahawks
Russell Wilson is still a heck of a quarterback. Aerially, there is some weaponry that could exploit the San Fran secondary. The Niners have some definite difference-makers on defense with Richard Sherman facing his old team for the first time, along with S Jaquiski Tartt, DE Solomon Thomas, and others. Still, after giving up Jameis Winston’s biggest game of the season, Wilson could do damage with Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin.
The Seahawks are starting to form a tip-top running game once again. Chris Carson has been doing damage, with Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny adding a lot. Wilson can still break it loose when need be. Still, the 49ers have been surprisingly resilient against the run this season, so we’ll see how easy it comes for Seattle this week. Beyond mere Xs and Os, we see a Seattle team really playing hard, responding well to leadership and playing with a lot of self-belief.
Seattle just leaves something to be desired when playing in the role of large favorites. They don’t put up a lot of points and while the defense has a lot of bright spots on an overhauled unit, they’re not the foolproof unit of years past. As a team with so many new pieces is getting its bearings, they have the tendency to play up or down to their level of opposition. No one really blows them out, but they don’t blow anyone out, either.
Take the Points on the Road Underdog
Let’s not lie and pretend this is a bet where you want to get too crazy. Regardless of point-allowance, San Francisco is in many ways a broken football machine—a team that was supposed to be better and got hammered with just about every type of misfortune that can befall a team. And getting their butts kicked by the Bucs last week doesn’t elicit the slightest bit of confidence.
The Niners, however, carry with them a certain scrappiness in the right spots. In their own division, they’ve been pretty good, playing the Rams close twice and beating the Cardinals. I see that trend continuing against the Seahawks. Sure, at home and with the team on the upswing, this will be a tough road-assignment for the 49ers, but I see them hanging in there and covering the big number. I’ll take the 49ers.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the San Francisco 49ers plus 10 points.