The Seattle Seahawks look to rise above .500 when they travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers. A loss would eliminate the 49ers from playoff contention and jeopardize Mike Singletary’s job status. Will the NFC West have a 7-9 champion?
The early spread on this game is 49ers (-4.5). Here are six of the key aspects and what to watch out for when betting. All stats are from NFL.com unless otherwise noted. Lines from Cooper’s Picks.
#1: Divisional Games
Divisional Games showcase opponents and coaching staffs who have more familiarity with each other. Therefore, they often don’t go according to script. Just think back to the Oakland Raiders last week.
#2 49ers Beat Bad teams
The 49ers victories have come against the 3-9 Arizona Cardinals (in the midst of a seven game losing streak), the 3-9 Denver Broncos, the 6-6 St. Louis Rams (who hadn’t won a road game at that point), and an inconsistent 6-6 Oakland Raiders team. The 49ers really haven’t had an impressive victory this season. They have had a miserable defeat (1-11 Panthers).
#3 Week 1 Match-Up
The 49ers lost the Week 1 match-up 31-6, but they actually outgained the Seahawks, 263-242. They also had the time of possession battle won, 33 to 27. The big keys of that game? Marcus Trufant had a 32 yard interception return for a touchdown, and the 49ers went 1-15 on third downs. The offense’s conservativeness puts them in unmanageable third down situations.
#4: Conference Play
The 49ers are 2-7 in conference play. The victories have come against a bad Arizona Cardinals team and an overtime comeback against the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks are 5-3 in conference with a road victory over the Chicago Bears.
Frank Gore was lost for the season after a Week 12 hip injury against the Arizona Cardinals. They’re also without Eric Heitmann, making their offensive interior weak.
The 49ers have committed 92 penalties in comparison to the Seahawks 75. The 49ers have committed the fifth most penalties in the NFL, something that an overly conservative team can’t afford.
This game doesn’t only have big NFC West playoff implications, but a Seahawks victory would eliminate nearly any mention of the possibility of a 7-9 NFC West team. This is a critical game in preventing that from happening because the Seahawks will be underdogs against the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before hosting the St. Louis Rams in Week 17.
This should be a tight game. Seahawks with over 3 points is a great bet to exercise, in my view. Neither team is that great, but the Seahawks have a veteran quarterback while the 49ers have Troy Smith and an injury depleted backfield. The 49ers are just too conservative as evidenced by their clock management at the end of the first half.
Against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks (+4.5)
Straight: Seattle Seahawks
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Cooper’s Picks, December 6, 2010.
NFL.com, December 6, 2010.
Injury Reports, Covers.com. December 6, 2010.
49ers Seahawks boxscore, December 6, 2010.