San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Point Spread
Point Spread Line: Seattle -3.5
San Francisco disposed of Carolina 23-10 last Sunday. Seattle held on the defeat New Orleans 23-15 last Saturday. The teams split their two games this season with both teams winning at home. The Seahawks blew out the 49ers 29-3 in week 2 and lost a Week 14 heartbreaker 19-17. The 49ers' offense has looked different since WR Michael Crabtree returned from an Achilles injury. His presence on the field has made things easier for WR Anquan Boldin and the wily veteran responded with a big game last week (8 catches, 136 yards). However, Boldin was limited to one catch for seven yards in the game in Seattle. The Seahawks secondary is the best in the league and they picked off QB Colin Kaepernick three times in the Week 2 game. Kaepernick hasn't thrown more than one pick in any of his other 22 starts. TE Vernon Davis remains the fastest receiver on the 49ers but he'll have to beat safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, a tall order. Kaepernick is very adept at making plays with his feet and the Seahawks know they have to keep him in the pocket. Kaepernick can be erratic at times with his throws and the noise level in Seattle bothered him earlier this season. RB Frank Gore broke off a 51-yard run to set up the winning FG in the 49ers win but has been kept in check by the Seahawks. San Francisco is committed to the run and will keep trying to run as long as the game is close. They don't trust Kaepernick fully to throw 40 passes a game and will want to establish Gore early. The aggressive front seven of the Seahawks (with help from Thomas and Chancellor) haven't allowed that to happen this season.
Seattle was hoping to get a boost from the return of WR Percy Harvin last week but he went out with a concussion after making a few splash plays. His presence (check status) would greatly help an offense that needs a spark on the outside. QB Russell Wilson doesn't have big numbers like some other NFL QBs but he finished the year with a 26-9 TD/INT ratio and a QB rating of 101.2, almost 10 points higher than Kaepernick's. WRs Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are his biggest targets and the 49ers' secondary isn't as good as it has been the past few years. Wilson does a good job of spreading the ball around and rarely makes a mistake. Like Kaepernick, Wilson topped 500 yards in rushing this season and uses his small stature to his advantage when breaking out of the pocket. He is very adept at throwing on the run and rarely throws a ball up for grabs. The centerpiece of the offense remains RB Marshawn Lynch. He turns it up a notch in the playoffs and was very good again last week (140 yards, 2 TDs). He didn't have a lot of success against San Francisco this season but as mentioned, finds another gear in the playoffs. Being at home helps also, as the whole offense plays better at home. The O-line is healthy and they will have to match the physicality of the 49ers.
Point Spread Pick
Seattle has won the last two games in this series at home by a combined score of 71-16. Both wins were dominating and the Seahawks get a bigger lift from their home crowd than any other NFL team. Wilson doesn't make a lot of big plays but he usually makes the right ones. San Francisco isn't built to come from behind and must keep the score close. This should be a great game between two very similar division foes but we'll side with the home team in this one. If Harvin can play, he gives the offense a dimension they are lacking. The Seattle secondary will also be a factor as they led the NFL in interceptions with 28. We feel they will make some big plays in this game as well.
Our Crew's Pick: Take the Seattle Seahawks -3.5 at GtBets and get yourself a 100% bonus on your first deposit!