The NFC West has certainly become an interesting proposition this season. BetOnline customers have seen the collapse of the Los Angeles Rams, who have had to shuffle things around at the quarterback position. We’ve seen the Arizona Cardinals experience player losses and failures in any number of ways.
The whole world thought the Seattle Seahawks would fall apart after Russell Wilson left town. But that was not the case. In fact, Seattle has been one of the big surprises of the season. They won six of their first nine games. Recently though, they have been drifting, with three losses in their last four games. And for them to put themselves back on the right path, they will have to beat the division leaders, the San Francisco 49ers, in the Thursday Night Football showcase that begins at 8:20 PM ET at Lumen Field in Seattle. It’s part of Amazon Prime Video’s package.
Seattle’s Pete Carroll is the kind of coach interested in establishing the ground game, and that’s not lip service. His commitment to the run drove a wedge between him and Russell Wilson, who wanted the team to pass much more.
The Seahawks are still a playoff contender; there’s no doubt that. But they are just 7-6 at the moment (6-7 ATS), and their chances to win the NFC West will take a fatal hit if they can not win on Thursday night.
The Niners have their own hardships to deal with right now. While the Seahawks have been buoyed by Geno Smith, who has taken over from Wilson and leads the league with 71% completions, San Francisco is now on its third different starting quarterback. Trey Lance began the season and got hurt. Jimmy Garoppolo came in and gave the Niners some stability and a better chance to win.
Now Jimmy G has suffered a season-ending injury. That left things in the hands of Brock Purdy, the former Iowa State star making his first road start but has performed very well in a few games thus far. Last week he outdueled Tom Brady, for what it’s worth, in San Francisco’s 35-7 win over Tampa Bay.
Deebo Samuel is also down with an injury, and it is unknown whether he will return, even for the playoffs. There will be an additional burden on Christian McCaffrey because one thing you can count on from coach Kyle Shanahan is that they will run the ball and continue to run it. And they do it well, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt as a team.
In the Monday Night Football odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Niners are the favorites:
San Francisco 49ers -3 (-122)
Seattle Seahawks +3 (+102)
Over 43 points -107
Under 43 points -113
Things have gone south for the Seahawks in a couple of different respects. One is that they lost a couple of running backs. Rashaad Penny, who led the NFL in yards per carry among running backs last season, suffered a season-ending injury. Then, after he was replaced by Kenneth Walker III, who was putting together a sensational rookie campaign, Walker also went down. So over the last four games, the Seahawks have rushed for 39, 65, 90, and 46 yards. And that is certainly not what Carroll has in mind for any game plan.
Another problem has been the defense, which has allowed more yardage than all but four NFL teams. Last season they were able to get by because they were one of the NFL leaders in yards per point on the defensive end, but such has not been the case this year. They’ve been getting scorched on the ground of late; over the last four games allowed 209.5 rushing yards per contest. This is not good news going up against San Francisco.
With the Seahawks, it’s not exactly a plug-and-play situation in the backfield. Now they are looking toward other people like Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer, but obviously, they’re not as productive. Consider that Penny was averaging 6.1 yards per carry and that Walker, the Michigan State product, had 649 yards and nine touchdowns, starting only seven games. Well, it’s true that Seattle has weapons in the passing attack, including DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but that’s generally not enough unless they really get lucky and catch a subpar defense.
And San Francisco has the best defense in the league, according to a number of measurables. No team has surrendered fewer yards per game. No team has been better against the run, as the Niners have yielded just 3.4 yards per carry. When you look at that, combined with Seattle’s lack of punch in the backfield these days, this is going to make it a lot more difficult for Smith. This, hence, affects the betting odds and fans who are betting on football may have to be alert before placing wagers.
Difficult enough, in fact, that we are prepared to recommend an UNDER play for this game. There’s enough room in the number for it.
BetOnline allows you to play it from a bunch of different angles with Prop Builder every week, and make sure you check out all of the alternative lines and other game-betting options for Thursday Night Football. Also, remember that Odds Boosters offer explosive payouts on pre-selected parlays every day of the week. And you can open up your account in any number of ways; you can use your credit card, or if you like crypto, they’ve got more options than anybody!