San Francisco 49ers (5) at Seattle Seahawks (1)
by Ryan Kramer and Sean Green
Time: Sunday January 19th @ 3:30 PM Pacific
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Weather: 47° F and mostly cloudy
Radio: Westwood One (Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Mark Malone)
TV: FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)
Spread: Seahawks -3.5
State Your Case: San Francisco 49ers
Matchup: 49ers defense vs Russell Wilson. Look, bottom line, Wilson hasn’t played as well of late creating closer margins of victory than earlier in the season. We’ve also seen Wilson get sacked more frequently, which against the very physical grabby defense of the 49ers is going to be trouble. The receivers will need to find a way to get open quickly or we could see Wilson running for his life and worse taking bad sacks. The one thing you can’t do against this D is take bad sacks and put yourself behind the sticks as they say. Look for the 49ers to confuse Wilson with delayed blitzes no man down looks and 8 man zones cashing in on the QB’s recent lack of confidence.
Situation: The 49ers have been there before in the post season and the Seahawks haven’t. You can find a lot of parallels between these 2 quarterbacks, defenses, and even coaches, but for me I want to take the team that Ive seen do it before on this stage. Im not a huge Kaepernick fan but damn he makes the play when he has to. I absolutely hate Jim Harbaugh but ill be shocked if his team isn’t ready to play. For me this is a proof it game and San Francisco has proved more to me then Seattle. Oh and the 49ers have this gem up there sleeve.
Stats: Im going to focus on an area of the game that Ive pointed out in the past Seattle is #32 in Adjusted Sack Rate, thats right LAST. Enter the 49er defense who are playing their best ball of the season cashing in with 9 sacks in the playoffs so far against elusive QBs. Look for them to continue the trend and bring Wilson down a couple times in this game, don’t be surprised to see a strip sack. *For more on DVOA check out the Football Outsiders
Donkey Trend: Seahawks won six straight playoff home games…And when were these games…C’Mon Man
Sharp Trend: Since their loss to the Seahawks the 49ers are 6-0-2 ATS and 7-1 SU…BANG BANG
State Your Case: Seattle Seahawks
Matchup: Seattle’s Defense vs Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been playing solid and helping the 49ers win, but to beat the Seahawks on the road you’ll need some next level stuff that Colin isn’t capable of. Last time he was in Seattle he threw 3 INTs en route to a 20.1 QB rating. Even in the 49ers win at home Kaepernick was only able to put up a 67.5 QB rating. Seattle knows him well and will be able to scheme around his limited vision of the field.
Situation: What’s not to love about Seattle at home in a prime time game? They already had their wakeup call against Arizona a few games back and it would be shocking not to see this team come up with a solid performance. Russell Wilson has the confidence and leadership you need in a franchise QB, they have a decided home field advantage and they’re 7-1 ATS in their past 8 games (assuming you got them at the right number 7.5).
Stats: Russell Wilson and Beast Mode may be getting more press clippings, but Seattle’s defense has been dominating. In 9 home games this year they’ve only let up an average of 13.8 points per game! The last time San Francisco came into town they only scored 3 points and if the Seahawks can hold up under 17 it’s tough to imagine them not winning.
Donkey Trend: 49ers have won 8 in a row. You can’t deny how hot the 49ers have been, but playing in Seattle is truly a unique situation.
Sharp Trend: 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Seattle. Don’t overthink this one, Seattle is a great team with an awesome home field edge.
Ryan’s Pick: Seahawks -3 -130
Ryan’s Score: Seahawks 19 – 49ers 16
Ryan’s Bonus: #1 Colin Kaepernick UNDER 40.5 rushing yards -110, #2 Marshawn Lynch Will Score a Touchdown -135
Sean’s Pick: Seahawks -2.5 (-150).
Sean’s Score: Seattle 24 – San Francisco 17.
Sean’s Bonus: Russell Wilson Over 200.5 passing yards.
Listen to the latest edition of the Sports Gambling Podcast for an entire Conference Championship breakdown.
Ryan Kramer and Sean Green are writers and co-hosts for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow the show on twitter @GamblingPodcast.