49ers Seahawks Odds

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The San Francisco 49ers are coming off an impressive divisional round win over the Carolina Panthers.  Statistically it was a very even matchup, but the 49ers were the more efficient team and ended up picking up a 13-point win.  It was the eighth consecutive win for San Francisco, with five of those eight wins coming on the road.

The path to the NFC Championship has been a little easier for Seattle.  The Seahawks secured a first round by as the top seed in the NFC.  Last week they picked up an eight-point win over the Saints and put on another dominating defensive performance.

Kick-off takes place this Sunday at 6:30 PM ET with television coverage provided by FOX.  The oddsmakers have listed the Seahawks as a three-point home favorite over the 49ers.

Why San Francisco Covers

The 49ers have had no problem scoring points this season.  They are averaging 26 points per game on the road.  The key to San Francisco’s success has been their outstanding ability to run the ball.  They average 141 rushing yards per game.  Colin Kaepernick is a big factor in the 49ers ground attack.  He is second on the team in rushing with 524 yards in the regular season.  In San Francisco’s two playoff games Kaepernick has rushed for 113 yards on just 15 carries.  His dual threat ability makes San Francisco a very dangerous team, even against a tough defense like Seattle’s.

San Francisco does not put up huge yardage numbers, but they are a very efficient team.  Their 26 points per game on the road has come on just 327 total yards.  They are not a team that turns the ball over very often, so they are able to take advantage of every possession.  Last week the 49ers finished with no turnovers, and they have just one turnover in their last five games.  You should play on a road team like the 49ers when the line is +3 to -3 and they are coming off a game committing no turnovers.  This system is 75-43 (64%) against the spread.

You should play on road teams like San Francisco when the line is +3 to -3 after a game where they committed no turnovers.  This system is 75-43 (64%) against the spread over the last five seasons.

The 49ers have one of the best stop units in the league this year.  They have held opponents to just 16 points per game on the road.  They split their regular season games against the Seahawks, but I like their chances to have a strong performance in the third meeting of the year between these teams.  San Francisco is allowing just 88 rushing yards per game.  Seattle relies heavily in their ability to run the ball.  When these teams faced off last month the 49ers held Seattle to just 86 rushing yards.  If they can repeat that performance in the NFC Championship Game they will be cashing a ticket to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance.

Why Seattle Covers

The Seahawks have the best home field advantage of any team in the NFC.  They average 28.4 points per game at home, and the defense has been superb in those games thanks to the fan base that has been dubbed as the “12th Man.”  The Seahawks are allowing just 13.9 points per game at home this year.  They have held opposing running backs to a mere 95 rushing yards and 3.6 yards per carry in those games.  As good as the run defense has been, the strength of this stop unit is actually the secondary.  Seattle has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 56.9 percent of their pass attempts at home for 176 passing yards.

The Seahawks defense is a big reason they have gone under the total in six consecutive games.  You should play one home teams when they are coming off two or more consecutive unders in a game involving two good offensive teams that are scoring 23 to 27 points per game.  This system is 47-20 (70%) against the spread.  With a defense as good as Seattle’s it is hard not to like the home team laying such a small number.

You should play on home teams when they are coming off two or more consecutive unders, in a game involving two teams scoring 23 to 27 points per game.  This system is 47-20 (70%) against the spread.

The 49ers may have won the last matchup between these teams, but that game was played in San Francisco.  Home field advantage will be a big factor in the NFC Championship.  The last time the 49ers played in Seattle they were held to just 3 points and lost in a 29-3 blowout.  Seattle rushed for 172 yards in that game, and they dominated San Francisco even with Russell Wilson having a poor performance.  The Seahawks are 9-4 against the spread in head-to-head matchups with the 49ers when they are playing in Seattle.  That includes a perfect 3-0 ATS record over the last three seasons.

My Pick

I think the 49ers are playing with a lot of energy, and they look like a team on a mission.  I like their chances to make a return to the Super Bowl by picking up a win over the Seahawks in this game.  Seattle plays well at home, but they are certainly not unbeatable.  I am taking San Francisco plus the points.

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