San Francisco 49ers (0-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Spread: 49ers -8.5.
Game Total: 42.5
Team Totals: 49ers (25.5), Seahawks (17)
Weather: Outdoors, potential for rain.
The Line Report
- This line opened as 49ers -8.5.
- This line moved early in the week to 49ers -9.5 but has moved back down to 49ers -8.5 on Thursday, with a few 49ers -9 options available.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the 49ers -9.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the 49ers -8.5.
- This total opened at 42.5 points, with a few 43-point options available.
- This total has moved down to 41.5 points as of Thursday.
49ers: RB Eli Mitchell (IR), CB Jason Verrett (Out), TE George Kittle (Questionable/Not practicing), LB Dre Greenlaw (Questionable).
Seahawks: EDGE Shelby Harris (Questionable), S Quandre Diggs (Questionable)
The 49ers Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
Trey Lance struggled mightily on opening day in Chicago. That contest was a significant weather game, to the point that we should largely throw that matchup out when trying to figure out who the 49ers are as an offense. That said, Lance looked like the inexperienced quarterback that he is in Chicago and he should be treated as a struggling young quarterback with significant potential.
One of the reasons for Lance’s struggles was the 49ers’ interior offensive line. While the Seahawks do not have a macro edge in the trenches against San Francisco, neither did the Bears. Heading into this matchup, the two big question marks for San Francisco are: can Lance be more consistent, and can their interior offensive line improve?
Notes and Observations
- The 49ers are 0-1 against the spread this season.
- The 49ers are 0-1 on overs this season.
- Per The Edge, Lance was second among quarterbacks in rushing attempts on opening day with 13, with 8 of those coming on designed runs.
- The Seahawks allowed the 11th-most rushing yards and the most receiving yards with an astounding 16 receptions to running backs last week. Pete Carroll’s Seahawks defense has a long-standing history of yielding significant production to running backs in the passing game, but last week’s showing was an extreme.
- Starting running back Eli Mitchell is out for this contest. We should expect veteran Jeff Wilson to lead the 49ers backfield in opportunities while wide receiver Deebo Samuel will likely factor in as a runner as he did in Chicago.
- Seattle surrendered the 12th-most receiving yards on the third-fewest receptions to wide receivers last week.
Seattle gave up the 20th-most receiving yards and the 13th-most receptions to tight ends last week.
The Seahawks Offense vs. 49ers Defense
As Chris Farley and I discussed in various pieces of content last week, we expected opening day vs. Russell Wilson’s new team to effectively be the Seahawks Super Bowl. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if opening day was the best game Geno Smith plays all season.
Despite losing in Chicago, the 49ers’ front played very well in that contest, holding Chicago to 99 yards on the ground on 37 carries. San Francisco has a premium front four, and they have a significant advantage in the trenches against Seattle. If Seattle is forced to play from behind in this contest, the 49ers front could feast.
Notes and Observations
- The Seahawks are 1-0 against the spread this season.
- The Seahawks are 0-1 on overs this season.
- Per The Edge, Geno Smith was sixth in play-action percentage on opening day.
- Smith was also 29th among opening day starters in air yards per attempt.
- We can reasonably expect Seattle to be very conservative on offense in neutral game scripts.
- The 49ers yielded the 19th-most rushing yards and the ninth-fewest receiving yards to running backs on opening day.
- San Francisco gave up the fourth-fewest receiving yards and the fewest receiving yards to wide receivers on opening day.
- The 49ers shutout Bears tight ends on opening day
- Keep in mind that the 49ers played in a severe weather game last week, which resulted in low passing game volume for both teams in that contest.
This is What You’re Betting On in 49ers vs. Seahawks
A bet on the 49ers is a bet on a team that lost by three in last year’s NFC Championship game in a Week 2 correction spot against a division rival. Seattle overachieved last week in their upset win against Wilson’s Broncos. A bet on San Francisco isn’t just a bet on the 49ers bouncing back; it’s a bet on Seattle regressing to the mean after their big Monday night win.
In San Francisco, you’re getting a high-end offensive play-caller in Kyle Shanahan, and a significant trench advantage for the 49ers’ defense. If George Kittle is able to go in this matchup, San Francisco has a group of dynamic pass catchers that will be a challenge for Seattle to handle. The big question with any San Francisco bet is: who is Trey Lance at this point in his career? If Lance doesn’t play well in the first half against Seattle, there is a non-zero chance that Jimmy Garoppolo comes on in relief duty. Quarterback uncertainty is the biggest challenge in taking the 49ers as significant favorites.
A bet on the Seahawks is a bet on Seattle not letting down after their big win against Wilson’s Broncos last Monday night. Since Wilson is no longer an elevating talent in Seattle, a bet on the Seahawks is a bet on a limited roster playing up for the second week in a row against a more talented team. A bet on Seattle is also a direct bet against Lance. If you’re taking the Seahawks, the 49ers’ quarterback uncertainty is the clearest path to that being a successful decision.
The 49ers are a team that lost in the NFC Championship last year by three points. They started this season with an ugly loss in Chicago. Seattle upset Denver last Monday night in what was, in many ways, the Seahawks’ Super Bowl this season. The 49ers’ quarterback volatility is the only reason why this isn’t a slam dunk correction spot for San Francisco.