Wild Card Showdown: Seahawks vs 49ers

by Dookie Hogue · Betting & Props

Welcome to the Wild Card Showdown: Seahawks vs 49ers! Wildcard Weekend kicks off with an unlikely meeting between NFC West foes, Seahawks and 49ers. Both teams’ playoff aspirations have been questioned at one point or another this season. The Seahawks had looked to be in rebuild mode after trading away Russell Wilson and settling instead with veteran backup, Geno Smith. The 49ers lost both their starting quarterbacks, Trey Lance and Jimmy Garopollo, to season-ending injuries. In their stead, rookie late-rounder Brock Purdy has looked NFL-ready.  Without further ado, let’s dig in for Wild Card Showdown!

Seahawks vs 49ers Odds:
49ers -9.5 (-110) |
Over/Under 42.5 (-108/112) |
Moneyline 49ers -500/Seahawks +385 |

The 49ers

When the 49ers selected Purdy as the final pick of the draft, no one could have foreseen him leading the team into the playoffs. Yet, here we are. Purdy has been surprisingly consistent as well. Since his unlikely path to becoming the starter, Purdy has the team rolling on a five-game winning streak. More important, for bettors and fantasy gamers, is Purdy’s ability to support the offensive cast. Mr. Irrelevant has hit his over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns prop in all of his starts, including his last meeting with Seattle (-108 at Fanduel Sportsbook).  He’s a sturdy floor QB2 in a decent matchup.

Rushing and Receiving

Trade deadline acquisition, Christian McCaffrey, has been a menace to opposing defenses since becoming a 49er. He leads the running back position in Target Share (20.1-percent), Air Yards (127), Receiving Yards (464), and Receiving Touchdowns (11). McCaffrey is a rock-solid RB1 facing a Seahawks defense he touched up for a scorching 26/108/1 line four short weeks ago.

With Purdy under the helm, the 49ers’ Target Shares are as follows: Brandon Aiyuk (24.2-percent), George Kittle (23.5-percent), Deebo Samuel (20.9-percent), and Jauan Jennings (11.9-percent). Though Aiyuk has narrowly led the team in Receiving Yards (363), my interest is focused on the resurgence of Kittle. The Purdy-to-Kittle connection has been impressive. Since Week 15, Kittle’s seven Receiving Touchdowns is a league-best mark. Kittle has already had success against Seattle, hitting pay-dirt twice in the team’s Week 15 meeting. Kittle’s prop to score 2+ touchdowns is +900 on Fanduel Sportsbook. In regards to Samuel, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach to the enigmatic playmaker. Though he’s another week removed from ankle/knee injuries, I still prefer to ride the lightning with Kittle.

The Seahawks

Geno Smith‘s break-out season has been both surprising and remarkable. In an offseason that started with a dubious camp battle with Drew Lock, expectations were low. Smith, however, proved the doubters wrong by posting career bests in Passing Yards (4282), Passing Touchdowns (30), and QBR (100.9). Despite these impressive in-season accolades, I’m still lukewarm on Smith in this spot. The 49ers stingy defense held Smith in check with just one Passing Touchdown through the team’s two meetings. Consider him a QB2 as a 9.5 point road dog.

Rushing and Receiving

Rookie Running back Kenneth Walker III has certainly exceeded expectations during his rookie campaign. Walker took over lead-back duties for Seattle in Week 6 following Chris Carson‘s season-ending neck injury. Since then, Walker has posted 205 Carries (No. 4), a 75.4-percent Rushing Share (No. 4), and 8 Rushing Touchdowns (No. 6) despite missing two games to injury. The 49ers will pose a challenge for Walker as they have held opposing backs to a league-best 59.6 Rushing Yards per game.  Walker failed to reach this watermark and was kept out of the end-zone in both games against the 49ers. I’m treating Walker as a volume-entrenched RB2 in a tough matchup.

With the trenches shored up, the way to beat this 49ers defense has been through the air. The 49ers’ defense is allowing the No. 5 most Receiving Yards to opposing receivers (167.5 average). The Seahawks’ target distribution has been fairly predictable too. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have commanded a notable 47.7-percent Target Share. My lean here is with Lockett who’s had more success through the middle of the 49ers’ defense and has been more reliable in the touchdown department. Noah Fant is no more than a touchdown or bust TE2.

Score Prediction: 49ers 21 Seahawks 13