Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
Line: San Francisco -3.5
Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, Washington
When: Thursday, 12/15 at 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: Amazon Prime
San Francisco will go on the road for the first time since Week 11 when it faces Seattle in an NFC West battle at Lumen Field on Thursday night.
The 49ers extended their winning streak to six games with a 35-7 blowout win over Tampa Bay on Sunday in what was the first start for quarterback Brock Purdy. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, stepping in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.
Seattle has lost three of its last four games, including a 30-24 setback against Carolina at home on Sunday. The Seahawks won six of their first nine games this season, but they are in danger of falling back to the .500 mark on Thursday.
Caesars Sportsbook opened San Francisco as a 3.5-point road favorite, which is where the spread remained as of early Wednesday afternoon. (A few spots had moved to -3 with a -120 price attached.) The total opened at 45.5 before the early betting action quickly pushed the number down to 43.5 points. San Francisco won and covered as an 8.5-point favorite when these teams met in Week 2, cruising to a 27-7 win.
The 49ers have a chance to take a three-game lead in the division with three games remaining. They are listed at -2000 to win the NFC West at DraftKings, while Seattle is an 11-1 longshot. San Francisco has the second-shortest odds to win the NFC (+350), and the Seahawks are -115 to make the playoffs.
Purdy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score against Tampa Bay, but his first career start was overshadowed by the loss of wide receiver Deebo Samuel. He went down with a high-ankle sprain in the second quarter and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.
The 49ers’ decision to add running back Christian McCaffrey becomes even more important now, as Samuel was the team’s third-leading rusher and second-leading receiver. McCaffrey had 14 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, marking his biggest day so far with San Francisco.
This will be San Francisco’s first road game since blowing out Arizona on Nov. 21. The 49ers rank ninth in the NFL offensively, averaging 361.5 yards per game. They are facing a Seattle defense that is No. 28, allowing 378.7 yards per contest.
The Seahawks are 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS in their last four games, with all three losses coming by six points or fewer. Their loss to the Panthers came as 3.5-point favorites, as they gave up 223 rushing yards and turned the ball over twice.
Seattle was without rookie running back Kenneth Walker, who is ‘questionable’ for this game due to an ankle injury. The rushing attack tallied just 46 yards on 14 carries without Walker—he has 649 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt.
Quarterback Geno Smith has completed 71.5% of his passes for 3,433 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. His top targets have been wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who have each gone over 850 receiving yards. They are facing a San Francisco defense that leads the NFL, allowing just 286.8 yards per game.
The 49ers have struggled at Seattle in recent years, winning just two of their last 14 games. They’re on a 5-1 ATS roll with five of their six wins during this surge coming by margins of 13 points or more.
San Francisco has gone ‘over’ in five of its last seven games, while Seattle has gone ‘over’ in four of its last five.
Gamblers should check the status of Purdy, who remained ‘questionable’ (as of early Wednesday afternoon) with an oblique issue.
The pick: Seattle +3.5
This is a purely contrarian pick on Seattle as a home underdog against a San Francisco team that has struggled to find much success in this city over the past 15 years. The 49ers are now playing with their third quarterback of the season and will be without their top wide receiver on Thursday night. Seattle should have Walker back on the field, which gives the Seahawks a chance to go back and forth in a game full of lengthy possessions. The 49ers are going on the road for the first time in four weeks and Purdy is in a letdown spot following an outstanding first career start, which is why this line has held firm since the opener.