The San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are really the same team – so many NFL fans hate both of their head coaches and cannot stand the way these teams celebrate and trash talk after making big defensive plays. A nasty and spirited regional rivalry becomes the focus of the entire NFL this week, as former Pac-12 coaching rivals Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll match wits with the Super Bowl on the line. The buildup to this game will culminate in a crescendo of big talk and runaway emotions.
NFC Championship Game – Sunday, January 19th
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
NFL Football Odds: Seahawks -3
Why The 49ers Can Cover The Spread:
They are a better team. This is a controversial statement, but it holds up under scrutiny. San Francisco was not a better team through the first 13 weeks of the regular season, but it is a better team now. In the first three months of the season, the Niners didn’t know what to expect from their passing offense, because they never had their full complement of receivers during that period of time. Injuries to the wide receiver corps were significant in the week two loss to Seattle that put the Niners behind the 8-ball in the race for the NFC West title, a race they didn’t win. However, as soon as Michael Crabtree returned to this lineup, you saw the Niners’ passing game improve. It steadily got better and better in December, and in the playoffs, it has produced a lot of huge third-down conversions. This past Sunday, against a really strong Carolina defense, the 49ers’ passing game thrived, and what became apparent was that with Crabtree on the field, the other half of the field opened up for receiver Anquan Boldin, the player who destroyed the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco simply has more options than Seattle on offense. The Seahawks have been struggling with their passing game the past month.
Why The Seahawks Can Cover The Spread:
They are playing this game at home against a team that is coming off yet another long road trip. The Niners went to Phoenix in Week 17 to play the Arizona Cardinals. Then they went to Green Bay in the wild card round to play in miserable weather. Then they went to Charlotte, N.C., for a cross-country trip. The Niners have handled all of these situations really well, but you wonder if this team is finally going to be flat after all this travel and all these road-game survival acts. San Francisco might have the better matchups, but fatigue and the odds of winning three straight playoff games on the road could weigh against the 49ers in this clash.
There are other reasons to take Seattle on the NFL betting as well. One is that the weather for this game should probably be calmer than this past Saturday against New Orleans in the divisional round. There were gusts of 45 miles per hour in this game, making it hard for any quarterback to throw the ball well. It’s true that Seattle has not thrown the ball well in recent games, but the Seahawks have had to deal with nasty weather. If the weather for this game is calm, you should see Seattle’s offense – free from the rust that was apparent in the divisional round – play with more crispness.
The Seahawks will be at home, but the Niners are on a big-time roll and have the look of a team that will not be denied. San Francisco is also the more experienced playoff team. Go with the Niners here. They should cover the spread and win outright.
Pick: 49ers +3