San Francisco 49ers (6-5) at Seattle Seahawks (3-8)
Typically, I like to fade significant week-to-week line movement, as it tends to be an overreaction to a single week of play. This game features one, with the 49ers going from 1-point favorites last week on the early line to 3.5-point favorites this week, a huge swing, considering about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer and 1 in 6 by exactly three. Normally I can at least understand why a significant swing happens, but, in this case, it’s hard to figure it out, as the 49ers won by 8 last week as 3-point favorites and the Seahawks lost by 2 as 1-point underdogs, two results that were well within the reasonable range of their point spread.
I have thought the 49ers are underrated for weeks and their efficiency ratings still show them to be a much better team than their 6-5 record suggests, as they rank 8th, 7th, 20th, and 7th in schedule adjusted offensive, defensive, special teams, and mixed efficiency, but if anything, the line should have gone the other direction, as the 49ers have lost two key contributors to injury in the past week with both their top wide receiver Deebo Samuel and their top linebacker Fred Warner, two of the best in the league at their respective positions, going down with injuries last week.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, should get something closer to 100% from Russell Wilson than they have gotten in his first three games since returning from injury, as he nears the original time frame for his injury recovery. They are just 3-8, but their defense ranks 16th in schedule adjusted efficiency, while their special teams rank 6th, so if they can get something decent from their offense, they could definitely pull the upset against a banged up 49ers team.
The Seahawks are still missing top running back Chris Carson and starting left guard Damien Lewis, so even if Wilson is healthier, they are still not 100% on offense, but Wilson returning to form would be very significant and, even with Wilson factored in at slightly less than 100%, we are still getting line value with the Seahawks, as my calculated line is still where the early line was last week, favoring the 49ers by 1. This isn’t a big play and I still think the 49ers will win, but there is enough value with the Seahawks to bet them.
San Francisco 49ers 24 Seattle Seahawks 23
Pick against the spread: Seattle +3.5