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NFL Betting: Seahawks vs. 49ers Thursday Night Preview

Posted by Stan jenkins on 11/27/2014 11:03:07 AM

The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers are both 7-4, and the similarities don’t stop there. Two teams with familiar personalities will likely slug it out in a bruising NFC West battle.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers – Thursday, November 27

The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers stand in nearby circles, right next to each other. The two rivals occupy the same basic plot of ground in the NFC West – not just the 7-4 records, two games behind the Arizona Cardinals, but a lot of the same statistical sections in the NFL. The Seahawks and Niners are both in the top seven in the league in three separate categories: rushing offense, rushing defense, and passing defense. They’re both worse than 22nd in the league in passing offense. They can run, they can play physical football, and their defenses have done well all season long. They have both been held back by their passing games and by young quarterbacks operating with sometimes-injured offensive lines.

For the Seahawks, the fact that Percy Harvin did not work out at wide receiver proved to be a real setback. Losing Golden Tate in the offseason to the Detroit Lions took away an athletic playmaker on the perimeter of the field.

For San Francisco, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been way too much of an up-and-down player, especially in terms of reading defenses. He doesn’t always make the right progression, and this is a big reason why a team with proven receivers such as Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree has not been able to score on a more consistent basis. The 49ers scraped by the Washington Redskins this past Sunday, and they did so with defense in a 17-13 escape. That game was representative of the Niners’ whole season: usually good enough to win, but only because the defense held the fort most of the day.

There are a number of factors to consider in this game. One is that Seattle has not yet beaten a winning team on the road this season. The Seahawks fell to the San Diego Chargers early in the season and to the Kansas City Chiefs a week ago. This team simply can’t put together enough quality possessions to give itself an advantage heading into fourth quarters. The Seahawks’ only solid road performance was a 27-17 win at Washington against the Redskins, and even then, Seattle had three touchdowns called back by penalties that night. This team has so much more to do in road games, and until it conquers that problem, it should be doubted.

As for the 49ers, one thing to think about heading into this game is that the team’s 17-13 win over Washington, while powered by the defense, was made possible by a game-winning drive from the offense in the fourth quarter, the first fourth-quarter, game-winning touchdown drive from the starting offensive unit all season. That moment could give Kaepernick the extra degree of confidence he’s been missing. Remember that Kaepernick started last season slowly but came on strong in December.

One more factor? The Niners, on this very short week, stay at home. The Seahawks have to travel. If you had to add everything up, you wouldn’t see a lot of difference between these teams, but you’d see enough to give San Francisco the edge at home.

Pick: 49ers -1.5

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