Two quarterbacks will be making their playoff debut on Saturday as Brock Purdy and the 49ers host Geno Smith and the Seahawks. San Francisco handled business in their pair of regular season meetings. What can Seattle do to earn a different result in Round 3? Sportsmemo NFL handicapper Eric Pauly shares three player prop angles to take a look at.
|Saturday, January 14
|NFL Week Wild Card Betting Notes, Courtesy of Caesars
|San Francisco 49ers -9.5 vs Seattle Seahawks
|Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California
|4:35pm ET / 1:35pm PT
San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks Prop Betting Angles
George Kittle Over 40.5 Receiving Yards (-118)
Kittle smashed this number when the 49ers and Seahawks met in mid-December, and I expect him to do so again. Seattle is one of the worst defenses in the NFL against tight ends. Kittle saw 8, 8, and 6 targets in his last three games, and while he only went over this number in one of the last three games, he did not have a matchup as good as this one. Brock Purdy has shown he has confidence in Kittle, and against such a weak defense against tight ends, Kittle hits this number easily.
Kenneth Walker Over 16.5 Rush Attempts (-105)
It is no secret that the 49ers have one of the best rush defenses in the NFL. The last time these two teams played, Walker had just 47 yards on seven rushes. However, over the last three weeks in must-win games, Walker carried the ball 26, 23, and 29 times in two wins and one loss. In order for Seattle to win, they need to establish the run and feed Walker. While accumulating yards may be a tough task, Walker should get plenty of opportunities to run the ball in the rain on the road.
DK Metcalf Under 62.5 Receiving Yards (-117)
DK Metcalf has had a solid season but has not played great against the 49ers this season. In both meetings, he missed out on this number even after seeing six targets in the first game and nine in the second. Metcalf has only gone over this number once in his last four games. I expect the Seahawks to have a run-heavy approach, making Metcalf go under this number.
San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks Analysis
From this week’s Football GoldSheet Newsletter: Brock Purdy and Geno Smith both deserve a standing ovation for the job that each has done this season. Drew Lock was expected to get the start in Seattle this season after Russell Wilson’s departure, but Smith won the job in convincing fashion and led the Seahawks back to the playoffs. Purdy was the last man selected in this past NFL Draft, and wasn’t expected to see the field this season behind Jimmy G and Trey Lance.
Both should be applauded for what they accomplished in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different animal for two guys making their first playoff starts. In the two regular season meetings, Seattle’s offense scored one touchdown against the 49ers defense. In those two games, the Seahawks earned a total of 106 rushing yards and Smith was sacked five times. Nick Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks and 48 QB knockdowns on a 49ers’ defense that was atop the league in most categories.
Recent history of the expanded playoff format suggests the back of the field, as represented by these seven-seeds like the Seahawks, are likely to be out of their depth. That was certainly the case last year when both the Eagles and Steelers were outclassed, as were the Bears in 2020 (though Philip Rivers-led Indy did put up a pretty good fight at Buffalo two years ago in the AFC). And while this might be one of Pete Carroll’s best coaching jobs to steer a team most expected to be in rebuild mode after the Russell Wilson trade into the playoffs instead, the ride likely ends here.
Wind and rain will be in the forecast on Saturday afternoon. Seattle’s offense didn’t show us anything to suggest that they’ll be able to move the ball on the 49ers’ defense, and we expect a conservative, get-your-playoff-feet-wet gameplan from the San Francisco offense.
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