Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
SNF - 49ers at Seahawks
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NFL Week 17 Sunday Night Football Betting Preview
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)
SNF Betting Results
The final Sunday Night Football game of the year isn't going to be a night game locally until the 2nd half, but we can only hope that both teams involved bring it from the start, as the stakes are pretty high as they are. A division crown and a bye week in the playoffs is what awaits the winner, while a road game against the NFC East division is what the loser gets.
With San Francisco and Seattle a bit banged up, that extra week of rest may make all the difference, but as long as the 'loser' can get by the Wild Card playoff round, a win in that type of scenario for a team that was a win away from being a top seeded team is plenty to build off of. That's neither here nor there for these teams yet though, as the rest is the bigger reward right now.
So can San Francisco split the season series?
A total of 47 has seen but a steady trickle to the 'under' since opening, and with the sense that the stakes involved will make it a defacto playoff game, going low makes a lot of sense here. The first meeting sailed 'over' this identical number in the three-point overtime (27-24) win for the Seahawks, so even flipping the result would lend itself to going low. However, the defense the 49ers have played in recent weeks would lead you to believe otherwise.
Three straight overs and giving up an average of 35.3 points per game has really dulled the shine on what this 49ers defense had shown on multiple occasions earlier in the year. But the schedule toughened up and more film started to get put out on the Niners, and teams have made the necessary adjustments. The two other NFC West teams that have faced the Niners twice increased their point total in the second meeting, and both of those were SF home games. Getting that defense keyed up for a playoff run has got to be a secondary goal for the 49ers this week, I'm just not sure you can trust it.
It's not like there aren't cases to be made for the 'over' here as well, as it's not like Seattle's defense is lighting the world on fire these days. The Seahawks have held only two of their 15 foes to fewer then 20 points on the scoreboard and both of those came on the road. In other words, every visiting team to Seattle this year has scored 20 or more points in their trip to the Pacific Northwest. So much for that dominant home field advantage for the Seahawks right.
All of this is to say in a long-winded fashion that the total has got to be a pass all the way around. Tough to disagree with either case to be made for a play on the total, although it would be going low for me if forced to choose. There is always the possibility that this game does turn into a one-sided 34-7 game, and from there with their fates sealed, it's as vanilla as it gets with hand-off after hand-off. That would be the tipping point for me in looking low. But there really isn't a need to get too cute with this game.
San Francisco has been the better team from a statistical profile all year long, and do deserve to be the chalk for this game. It's a number that's danced around -3 with juice and -3.5, and it probably will be until kickoff. Make sure you grab whatever number is more beneficial to the side you are on, but for me, I can only lay it with the road favorite.
What San Francisco has done all year has been hard to ignore, as they've never been soundly beaten. They've got two defeats by a single field goal on their resume, along with a seven-point fluke loss to Atlanta where the Falcons scored 14 points in the final five seconds. Youth and concerns regarding that have popped up as minor concerns here and there for the 49ers, but you play that type of consistent football and eventually you'll get rewarded. A division title and a favorable path to the Super Bowl is that reward for the 49ers this week, and they will get the job done.
Seattle is still the one-man show in just being the Russell Wilson show, but that's not always enough in games like this. The Seahawks have been hit with more injuries and absences since the first meeting, and those defensive points allowed numbers at home are staggering, with the Bengals being on that list. To have a +12 point differential for the year and be sitting at 11-4 straight up is quite the feat, and one that's really got nowhere to go but down.
The Seahawks have looked like a Wildcard team for most of the year, and with a 2-6 against the spread run going at home, and a 3-9-1 ATS run at home against a foe with a winning road record, the end result is the deserved result for the 2019 Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers are a popular side in this game for sure, but it's easy to see why and hard to want to confidently step in front of that. Oddly enough, Seattle's played much of their better football away from home, so embracing a Wildcard road trip next week – they've already won in Philadelphia this year – wouldn't be that hard of a sell. That still has no bearing on how this NFC West title game plays out, but that's probably what we will still end up with.
Unless Wilson plays out of his head for this entire game, and Seattle's defense wins the turnover battle, San Fran should be able to lean on this team until they crack early in the 2nd half. San Fran's youth may be considered a knock for some, but they've experienced a lot of stressful ways to win and lose games this year, and those are quite the learning experiences.
Going out on the road and winning a division crown is a great next step in that evolution of a young team, as San Francisco adds another ATS victory to their 5-2 ATS run on the road.
Best Bet: San Francisco -3