The biggest game of week two in the NFL season – and one of the biggest week-two games in recent NFL history – pits two new rivals against each other. The sparks are going to fly when the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh lock horns with the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll. Two men who hate each other have transferred their own internal war to their players. This is not a well-developed rivalry with a long history, but it’s certainly one of the best and most emotional feuds the National Football League has right now. The scene should be electric on Sunday evening in Seattle, as these two NFC West contenders try to take the first really big step toward Super Bowl XLVIII in New York this upcoming February.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, September 15th – 8:25 PM ET
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA
NFL Odds: Seahawks -2.5
Why The 49ers Can Cover The Spread:
They have the better front lines. San Francisco’s offensive line made life fairly easy for young quarterback Colin Kaepernick this past Sunday in a victory over the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers didn’t dip into their read-option playbook against the Packers, who were expecting the read option after getting shredded by it last January in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 49ers ran the ball down Green Bay’s throat in that game, so with that point firmly in mind, head coach Jim Harbaugh threw a curveball at the Packers and decided to use Kaepernick as a pocket passer. Green Bay’s defense didn’t have answers, and that’s primarily because San Francisco’s offensive line was able to form a wall around Kaepernick for most of the day. Seattle has a strong pass rush, but San Francisco’s offensive line should be up for the challenge.
On the other side of the ball, San Francisco’s advantage should be much more pronounced. The 49ers’ defensive front was not intact when San Francisco went to Seattle last season for a late-December Sunday night game. Justin Smith was out of commission, and that injury in particular left the Niners vulnerable to Seattle’s run-first offense. San Francisco is happy to be playing this game early in the season, because its team is much more intact and has not been subjected to the rigors of a long season – not yet. A healthier 49er team should be able to hammer Seattle’s offensive line, which played horribly in Sunday’s 12-7 win over Carolina.
Why The Seahawks Can Cover The Spread:
Their home-field advantage is as strong as any in the NFL, and should produce the kind of performance that this team is capable of. Yes, Seattle looked unconvincing in week one at Carolina, but the Seahawks were tough enough to get that win and avoid the kinds of stumbles that denied them the NFC West last season. Now at home, Seattle should perform with a lot more confidence, precision, determination, and swagger. The Seahawks’ offense should look a lot better after studying film and working off some rough edges in the passing game. One should expect quarterback Russell Wilson to be a lot more precise than he was last week. Seattle did not lose at home last season. This fortress environment should give the Seahawks the intangible advantage they need. You are not going to see the same team that slogged past Carolina in a tense, close and ultimately ugly football game.
Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:
The Seahawks will play better at home than they did in Carolina, but San Francisco has better offensive and defensive lines at this point. Getting this game in week two was and is a blessing for the Niners. They should be able to cash it into a win on the NFL lines on the road.
NFL Football Picks: San Francisco +2.5