One of the NFL's best rivalries in recent memory will play out in the Bay Area, as the struggling Seattle Seahawks fly south to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
Seattle, fresh off one of the flattest losses of the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson era, won't be looking at an easy get-right spot with a San Fran team eager to get over its Sunday Night Football heartbreaker playing host.
Read on for our free NFL betting picks and predictions for Seahawks vs. 49ers, with kickoff set for October 3.
Seahawks vs 49ers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
After opening at 49ers -2.5, the spread was bet to -3 at most books with action coming in on San Francisco. Early action on Under 52.5 dropped the total down to 52 as of Wednesday evening. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.
Seahawks vs 49ers picks
Picks made on 9/29/2021 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Seahawks vs 49ers game info
• Location: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
• Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021
• Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Seahawks at 49ers betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NFL weather info.
Seahawks: Rashaad Penny RB (Out), Dee Eskridge WR (Out), Brandon Shell T (Out), Benson Mayowa DE (Out).
49ers: Elijah Mitchell RB (Out), Josh Norman CB (Out), K'Waun Williams CB (Out), Jamycal Hasty RB (Out), Dre Greenlaw LB (Out), Javon Kinlaw DT (Questionable).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 5-0-1 in the last six games between the NFC West's 49ers and Seahawks. Find more NFL betting trends for Seahawks vs. 49ers.
Seahawks vs 49ers predictions
San Francisco -3 (-105)
The Seahawks and 49ers' matchups are typically compelling but their first meeting of 2021 is even more so than usual. The two Super Bowl hopefuls have begun the season in a top-to-bottom competitive NFC West looking like flawed teams, particularly in comparison to the 3-0 Rams and Cardinals, but one team's flaws are considerably more severe.
Though the 49ers are yet to string together a complete game in a win, the circumstances around their flat moments are understandable. Letting the Lions storm back in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 blowout? That foot had long since come off the gas and some wild moments and unlucky bounces led to it getting to one score. An ugly and gritty win over the Eagles in Week 2? Injuries took a toll on a team that stayed out east throughout the week after leaving Detroit.
San Francisco's defense, even at full health, is unconvincing in the secondary. Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward may capture the form they have at times in their respective careers but overall, it's a mediocre backend. However, that secondary can be mitigated by a defensive line with an elite ceiling and the best linebacker in the NFL in Fred Warner in front of them. On offense, the tailbacks have already begun to drop like flies as usual and Kyle Shanahan appears hesitant to play his best quarterback. And yet, on balance, the 49ers are one of the most talented rosters in the NFL with one of the league's best head coaches.
Then there's the Seahawks. They beat up on a Colts team we have since learned is crap and a quarterback in Carson Wentz who may very well be broken beyond repair, even for a head coach as great as Frank Reich. Seattle crumbled in the second half in its home opener against the Titans and was pushed around by a Vikings team with a similar philosophy. The only points scored in the second halves of Week 2 and 3 combined came on a long touchdown pass courtesy of busted coverage from Tennessee.
Seattle's secondary is talking about a lack of understanding, despite the same scheme being in place for over a decade and an elite safety duo, on paper, to depend on. The pass-rush-by-committee the Seahawks are so committed to hasn't been effective in two weeks and could be down two key pieces in starting SAM Benson Mayowa and big-end Kerry Hyder. A decade of Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson has taught us not to count the Seahawks out, even when they look very, very much down and out. Even if that's the case in 2021, however, these Seahawks appear to be a long way from clicking.
In what could be a closely contested divisional game, we're comfortable siding with the superior talent and coaching, even if it means giving a resolute Seahawks team 3 points.
Over 52 (-110)
The Seahawks are a team with many flaws, their quarterback's continued limitations included, and yet, nothing has really changed — for better or for worse. They still run a touch too much in early downs and neutral situations, and the decision-making in high leverage spots is still too conservative. However, Seattle's offense is still hyper-efficient, capable of striking with an explosive play at any moment, and has one of the league's best passers running the show.
Despite consecutive games in which the offense went quiet in the second half, the Seahawks enter Week 4 as the second-ranked team in offensive DVOA. That offense, with Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf dicing up opponents gets a tremendously friendly spot against a 49ers secondary that was so depleted that Josh Norman — now injured — was added out of desperation, despite being a half-decade removed from playing good football.
San Francisco's remaining corners are enticing matchups, too. Emmanuel Moseley allowed eight catches, 124 yards, and two scores in his previous matchup with Metcalf, while rookie Deommodore Lenoir has regularly gotten lost in coverage as a pro and will see a healthy dose of Lockett, who shakes even the best corners.
There's good news for the 49ers too, however. That is, Metcalf and Lockett won't just be facing a low-level of competition on Sunday — they'll be practicing against it too. Seattle's cornerback play in 2021 has been shockingly poor, an entirely unsurprising development after the team entered the season as talent-poor as it ever has been under Pete Carroll there. Both starters, DJ Reed and Tre Flowers, mentioned confusion around responsibilities after last week's loss, a concerning sign since the Seahawks have run the same scheme on defense since Reed and Flowers were 14- and 15-years-old.
Both defenses are there to be exploited in Week 4 and with Kyle Shanahan on one side and Russell Wilson on the other, count on plenty of points.
DK Metcalf Over 75.5 receiving yards (-115)
Among a handful of complaints toward the Seahawks' new coaching staff on offense, through two weeks, was the use of Metcalf. Already established as one of the NFL's most dangerous receivers, Metcalf has been an absolute force on intermediate and deep routes through two seasons, whether he is winning at the catch point or simply blowing by corners. However, under new OC Shane Waldron, he had seemingly been reined in early with an average depth of target of 10.9 yards in a two-game stint that saw him produce 10 catches, 114 yards, and a touchdown. His increased usage on shorter routes was a departure from the first two seasons in which he had an average depth of target of 13.8 yards.
Metcalf's anticipated breakout occurred in Minnesota in Week 3, where Metcalf hauled in six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. His usage more closely resembled that of his first two years, with an average depth of target of 16.0 yards a better use of his big-play ability.
With Waldron gaining a better feel for how to best utilize Metcalf, and a fantastic matchup coming up, count on Seattle's star wideout to again top his receiving yards total in Week 4.
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