It’s wild-card weekend, and we have two games Saturday to kick off the six-game slate. Below you’ll find a summary and prediction for each of those contests, along with a link to my in-depth betting previews for each matchup.
- This line opened as 49ers -10
- This line has moved to 49ers -9.5
- This total opened at 42.5 points
- This total has moved to 43.5 points
There is a lot to like about the 49ers in this matchup, beyond San Francisco already beating Seattle twice this season. Brock Purdy’s offense has surpassed 30 points in five of his six games, although that sole sub-30-point outcome came against Seattle on Thursday Night Football back in Week 15. Still, the 49ers’ offensive line has a trench advantage in this contest, and San Francisco has one of the best, most complete skill groups in the league. Factor in that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the best offensive strategists in the sport, and San Francisco’s offense has plenty of paths to success against Seattle’s middling, at best, defense.
Geno Smith’s offense is Seattle’s best shot to give San Francisco a game this Saturday. The Seahawks had a fantastic first half driven by Smith’s unexpectedly high level of play, but Seattle has come back to earth throughout the second half of the season. If you’re a Seahawks bettor, you need Smith along with Seattle’s dynamic wide receiver duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to exceed expectations against the best defense in football. San Francisco’s premium defensive front has a trench advantage in this contest, which is another angle to build a 49ers bet around.
Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 16
- This line opened as Jaguars +1
- This line has moved to Jaguars +2.5
- This total opened at 47.5 points
- This total has moved to 46.5 points
This is an interesting matchup between two teams with a lot of similarities. Both teams have elite quarterbacks that are still on their rookie deals, dynamic talents at running back, high-end edge duos, and are down their opening day left tackles. Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence are new to the postseason, but Herbert’s Chargers are more of a veteran team, facing Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs in two high-pressure spots every year. The Chargers are the more experienced team in this matchup.
On the Chargers’ side, this offense runs through its passing attack. Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams, if he is able to go, all have plus matchups in this contest. Since each of these high-end performers has a realistic path to exceeding expectations, I’m going to stay away from all their player props this week. Joey Bosa returned to action a few weeks ago, which gives the Chargers one of the best edge duos in the sport. Jacksonville is down left tackle Cam Robinson, which gives both Bosa and Khalil Mack plus matchups on the outside.
For the Jaguars, Doug Pederson’s group went from being the worst team in football last year under Urban Meyer to a division winner that won six of its last seven games. I’m already treating Trevor Lawrence as a top-10 level quarterback that is routinely elevating the play of his wide receivers and tight ends. I consistently bet against the Chargers’ run defense, and I did that again this week with Travis Etienne’s over 75.5 yards rushing on our Player Prop Happy Hour show. As we saw last week against the Titans, the Jaguars’ young, fast front can be a difference-making unit. If the Chargers have to play from behind late, that Jaguars’ pass rush could end up being the difference in this contest.
Score Prediction: Chargers 27, Jaguars 23