5-2 on the season with his Matchbook Insights picks and Fabian Sommer is more than keen to keep the good times rolling this week with an angle in the NFC West showdown between the 49ers and Seahawks!
Welcome to the NFC West rivalry that gave us so much entertainment in 2019.
This number opened Seahawks -4 on Sunday night and got bet down all the way to an expensive -2.5 for the home side.
This is a major head-scratcher to me.
The Seahawks had a 34-24 lead at Arizona with three minutes to go in the game – despite two costly interceptions from Russell Wilson – and basically blew the game with a special teams penalty on a 4th & 12 field goal.
Would we see the exact same price for Seattle if they didn’t commit that penalty and enter this week unbeaten?
I highly doubt it.
One of the biggest drivers for this handicap is Russell Wilson against the 49ers defense.
I believe that San Francisco’s defense will get a significant boost in late November when they get guys like Richard Sherman, Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander back. The safety duo Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt hasn’t practised on Wednesday and might be out another week.
This 49ers defense is decimated by injuries and hasn’t looked particularly well against the pass, despite playing against Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz, Daniel Jones and the lousy Patriots offense.
They rank 13th in pass DVOA and 13th in EPA/dropback. San Fran also lack a good pass rush and only LB Fred Warner and CB Jason Verrett excel at coverage.
On the flip side, they do stack up favourably against the run, ranking 6th in rush DVOA and 4th in EPA/rush.
Neutral Pass Rates: Season vs. Week 7
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) October 26, 2020
Over the past two weeks, the 49ers were fortunate to face the Rams and Patriots, who both had a 59% rush rate on early downs in neutral game situations against San Francisco – that made it easier for the 49ers defense to defend. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in early down pass frequency.
Enter the Seahawks.
OC Brian Schottenheimer’s offense has a league-high 67% pass rate on early downs. On top of that, RBs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) are extremely iffy to suit up this week. There is really no reason for the Seahawks not to throw the ball early and often against this 49ers defense.
Let Russ cook and watch this offense put up 31+ points.
Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense are operating via the run game and quick passes behind the line of scrimmage. In the minus column for the Niners WR Deebo Samuel won’t play this week which is an undoubted blow.
The Seahawks defense fairly or unfairly gets a lot of criticism, but their offense forces opposing offenses to open up the playbook and throw the ball to keep pace. Their run defense is actually top-10 material when you take a look at efficiency metrics: 10th in DVOA and 6th in EPA/play.
This week they might add nose tackle Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison, who is arguably the best run defender of the last decade. He has posted six seasons with a run defense grade of 87 or higher. Even safety Jamal Adams could be back, which would be a bonus. Adams adds danger on blitzes, can sniff out run plays and covers well in the short passing game.
‘Snacks’ is the perfect defender to feast on the the 49ers offense!
The Seahawks should be able – via run defense and their own offense – to force the 49ers to throw the ball downfield and enter a shootout with Russell Wilson which hasn’t worked that well for Jimmy Garoppolo this year.
I think the Seahawks are much better suited for that type of game and I’d give a significant edge to Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
San Francisco doesn’t have the weaponry to challenge the Seahawks consistently on the outside and Jimmy G isn’t even attempting those passes a lot this year.
In my opinion, the Niners offense is too limited to go toe to toe with Russell Wilson and their defense is not strong enough to force a lot of punts.
I am looking at a 31-21 kind of game for Seattle and I think the current number is not right.
This should be Seahawks -4 at least and could be a bit higher if Jamal Adams returns to the starting lineup on Sunday.
- Seattle Seahawks -3 +105 (2.05)