San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
The Seahawks’ offense has struggled mightily through the first two games of the season, producing just one touchdown and moving the chains at a 63.93% rate. Only Minnesota, Houston, and Los Angeles are moving the chains at a lower rate than the Seahawks. The Seahawks’ defense remains strong, but this line is 9.5 points so their offense is going to need to perform significantly better for the Seahawks at cover as favorites. So why has their offense been so uncharacteristically bad? Well, they have probably the best receiving corps of any Seahawks team in the Russell Wilson era, but they also have probably the worst offensive line in the NFL and haven’t been able to establish the run like they’re used to. Russell Wilson, meanwhile, has dealt with an ankle sprain that has limited his running ability through 2 games and likely has also limited him as a passer.
Wilson getting healthy would go a long way towards fixing this offense and he figures to be at least somewhat healthier this week. This offense would also be helped by Christine Michael taking the running back job and running with it. He’s only out-carried Thomas Rawls 25-19 through 2 games, but has averaged 5.04 yards per carry to 1.32 yards per carry for Rawls, who is not all the way back from the broken leg that ended his season in 2015. Rawls is not expected to play this week after a setback, so Michael could have a strong game against the 49ers, which would obviously be huge. However, their offensive line is going to remain a problem all season and the 49ers have a promising young defense that has played well thus far this season.
The 49ers are also in a good spot in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 131-95 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 106-64 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games. Historically, teams cover at about a 65% rate in that situation. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 226-229 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.51 points per game, as opposed to 325-444 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 2.79 points per game. I couldn’t put any money on them, but the 49ers should be the right side.
Seattle Seahawks 17 San Francisco 49ers 9
Pick against the spread: San Francisco +9.5