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Wild Card Weekend: Seahawks-49ers Preview, Props, Prediction

Dec 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) scrambles away from Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (10) during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Saturday in the first of three division-rival games on Wild Card Weekend.

The Seahawks reached the playoffs for the 10th time in coach Pete Carroll’s 13 seasons despite losing five of their final six games to close out the calendar year 2022. Seattle rebounded with wins over the Jets and Rams to finish the regular season, squeaking into the playoffs courtesy of Green Bay’s loss on Sunday night.

The 49ers have won 10 consecutive games and dominated the regular-season meetings, winning 27-7 in Week 2 in Santa Clara and 21-13 on a Thursday night in Seattle in mid-December.

San Francisco is a consensus 9.5-point home favorite at home, where the forecast is calling for temperatures in the high-50s and the potential for significant rain during the game.

The line has held steady at 9.5 all week at BetMGM, where the 49ers have been backed by 78 percent of the spread-line bets and 88 percent of the money — the most among wild-card games at the sportsbook this week. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s -200 moneyline had shifted to -500 by Friday, with San Francisco drawing 76 percent of the money.

The action has been similarly lopsided at DraftKings. The 49ers have garnered 67 percent of the spread-line bets and 74 percent of the money, while their -460 moneyline has been backed by 85 percent of both the bets and money.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s spread line has drawn 92 percent of the money at BetRivers while its -500 moneyline has been backed by 95 percent.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said his team is peaking at the right time but cautioned against looking too far ahead.

“I think you need to be doing that, especially to have a chance to get through these games, but nothing really matters how you’re doing going into it,” Shanahan said of peaking heading into the playoffs. “It’s how you do that first game. And if there is a first game and you play like you’re capable, then you get the privilege for a second game.

“But this season can end fast and that’s why these playoffs are such a big deal and that’s why they’re so fun to watch for everybody because it’s just one game.”

PROP PICKS
Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker Under 60.5 Rushing Yards (-110 at DraftKings): The potential payout here is slightly better than the -115 odds at BetMGM. Walker recovered from an ankle injury to close the regular season with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. However, he was limited to 47 yards on 3.92 yards per carry in the second meeting with the 49ers, who led the league in allowing only 76.9 rushing yards per game. Seattle wants to be a run-first offense, but Walker also has a tendency to dance behind the line waiting for the home-run hole to open up, which won’t work against San Francisco’s ferocious front seven.

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey Over 73.5 Rushing Yards (-115 at BetMGM): This has been the most-bet player prop at the sportsbook among all games this weekend, and there is a slew of data to back it up. The Seahawks ranked 30th in stopping the run, allowing an average of 150.2 yards per game during the regular season. That included McCaffrey rumbling for 108 yards on 26 carries in Seattle last month. It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be wet and the 49ers are starting a rookie quarterback — all signs point toward hammering a poor run defense minus its best linebacker (Jordyn Brooks).

Under 42.0 Total Points (-110 at BetRivers, BetMGM, DraftKings): This Under has drawn 60 percent of the bets at BetMGM, the highest percentage among all games this weekend. While the Over has drawn slightly more total bets at the other two sportsbooks, the Under has also been backed by 58 percent of the money at BetRivers. It’s a good play for many of the same reasons as McCaffrey’s rushing total. And the teams combined to average 34 points during their two regular-season meetings.

INJURY REPORT
Seahawks: OG Phil Haynes (ankle), RB DeeJay Dallas (ankle, quadriceps), TE Noah Fant (knee) and DE Shelby Harris (knee) are listed as questionable, although each is expected to have a good chance to play.

49ers: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) and CB Ambry Thomas (ankle) are out.

PREDICTION
For all the plaudits rightfully being directed towards Geno Smith, he was more error-prone down the stretch, throwing seven of his 11 interceptions in the final seven games. And the 49ers held him to a single touchdown pass in two meetings. San Francisco’s smothering defense will help the 49ers build and early lead and steadily grind the Seahawks down with a heavy dose of McCaffrey and high-percentage passes from Purdy to the likes of George Kittle, who has seven TDs in his past four games.

–49ers 30, Seahawks 17

–Field Level Media