The NFL Wild Card Round is here, and the weekend's first game is the Seattle Seahawks visiting the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. 12 months ago, it would have been hard to imagine Geno Smith facing Brock Purdy in the playoffs, but these two divisional rivals have had impressive years.
With the Niners in great form, will it be possible for Seattle to stop them? Don’t miss our NFL betting picks and predictions for the Seahawks vs. 49ers to find out.
Be sure to also check out Jason Logan's three favorite Seahawks vs 49ers Wild Card props!
Seahawks vs 49ers best odds
Seahawks vs 49ers Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions
As divisional rivals, these teams know each other well and both have had impressive seasons. The 49ers finished 13-4 in the regular season, going on an incredible 10-game winning streak after a slow start.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks managed to sneak into the playoffs in Week 18 with a 9-8 record, still incredibly impressive given everybody’s expectations at the start of the season when Geno Smith was named the starter.
The Brock Purdy story so far this season has been incredible, and it’s a testament to his performances that the idea of a third-string QB taking his team to the Super Bowl doesn’t sound far-fetched at all.
"Mr. Irrelevant" has proven to be a capable quarterback, throwing for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, and has only been picked off four times.
While his rise has got a lot of attention it’s worth touching upon the brilliance of Kyle Shanahan’s system. Without wanting to discredit Purdy this is a system that puts the QB in a perfect position to succeed without asking too much of them.
The Seahawks are underdogs for a reason, even if the line has slightly moved more toward them since opening. While the Geno Smith story is an incredible one worthy of a Hollywood movie, and he should win Comeback Player of the Year, this isn’t an elite offense.
Seattle is ranked 16th in weighted DVOA, behind the likes of the Raiders, Falcons, and Steelers who haven’t reached the playoffs.
Its defense also isn’t amongst the league's best, as shown by its ranking 20th in DVOA. That’s an issue when the Niners' defense ranks second. Alongside the brilliant Nick Bosa who takes a lot of the headlines, they also have a number of other elite talents including Fred Warner and Javon Kinlaw amongst others.
It’s also risky to side with any team in the playoffs at a spread as big as 9.5, especially when they’re on the third quarterback of the season, but the Niners possess a truly elite defense and an offensive system that should be able to overpower and dominate their divisional rivals here.
They come into this being 8-2 ATS in their past 10 games and they should extend that streak on Saturday.
My best bet: 49ers -9.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Seahawks vs 49ers
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Seahawks vs 49ers Wild Card Weekend spread analysis
The line opened with San Fran as a10-point favorite before moving into 9.5. I’m confident it’ll win the game, and as mentioned above it's my best bet to cover the spread. As we’ve already covered that I’ll use this to recommend the 49ers -4.5 in the first half at -130.
San Francisco has an incredible team on both sides of the ball and should be able to get out of the blocks here quickly against its divisional rivals.
The 49ers are ranked second in offensive-weighted DVOA behind only the Chiefs. The arrival of Christian McCaffrey has jumpstarted the offense and he’s added another dimension, making them even more dangerous.
Combine that with the talent of Brandon Aiyuk and the receiver room, and they are lethal when Purdy is allowed to pass. The real strength of this offense — besides Shanahan — is the offensive line, who are great at opening up holes for the running back and protecting Purdy enough that they can avoid him getting under pressure too much.
Given what we’ve seen from San Francisco this season, it's the better team here and should start this game quickly, coming out firing in front of the home crowd. It's played the Seahawks twice this year and Shanahan will be well aware of their strengths and their weaknesses.
Seahawks vs 49ers Wild Card Weekend Over/Under analysis
The total points line started at 43.5, but the line has been pushed down to 42 with a lot of money backing the Under. That’s the way I’d lean too, although it worries me that it’s already moved 1.5 points and I’d say its current position is probably about right.
I’m very confident that we’ll see the 49ers' offense turn up and find the endzone multiple times, but I’m not confident in the Seahawks — who are 5-5 in their past 10 games — scoring enough to take this Over.
If we dig deeper into Seattle's recent games, we can see the Under is 4-0 in its last four games overall. That’s something I could see moving to 5-0 after this game on Saturday.
Seahawks vs 49ers same-game parlay
If you’re looking to place a same-game parlay for Saturday’s Seahawks at 49ers game, then I’ve got a +1,600 wager that you’ll want to consider.
First up we’ll be backing Geno Smith to have Over 16.5 rushing yards. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, he’s good with his legs, eclipsing this total in 10 of 17 games this year, including four of his past five. Secondly, we’ll be taking this on because of the quality of the Niners' defense, which will do a great job of putting him under pressure — something that should see him escaping the pocket and looking to extend plays with his feet.
Then we’re going to add a pair of 49ers' players to score touchdowns, because as you’ll have read above, I’m expecting them to win this game with ease.
First up is George Kittle, who had a slow start to his season but has really thrived in recent weeks, and the arrival of Brock Purdy has really boosted his performances. In the past four weeks, he’s scored seven touchdowns and is coming into this very hot against a Seahawks team who’ve allowed eight TDs to tight ends.
We’ll also be including Elijah Mitchell. Look, he may be the second running back on the team, but this is an offense that favors the run. Mitchell scored twice last weekend, despite having five carries to Christian McCaffrey’s 10.
The team trusts him with goal line work and his high odds really help us supercharge this SGP into a +1,600 monster.
SGP odds: +1,600 at bet365
Seahawks vs 49ers game info
|Location:||Levi's Stadium, San Francisco, CA|
|Date:||Saturday, January 14, 2023|
|Kickoff:||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||49ers -10, 43.5|