NFL Picks: Niners & Seahawks Struggle for NFC West Title

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 2:18 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 2:18 PM UTC

The NFC West showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks is a pivotal game towards the playoff chase for both teams. Find out what NFL betting odds are currently in swing and where the value NFL picks are to be had.

San Francisco 49ers (7-6 SU, 4-3 away)
San Francisco 49ers were shocked by the Oakland Raiders in week 14 NFL betting, a game that was firmly cornered in their camp from early doors when they opened as the 7-point road faves until closing doors when they closed as the 9-point road faves. Tale told it was an utter disaster. The loss marked their second straight loss and sent their playoff bid plummeting to a new nadir. And the coup de grace could be deal in week 15's crucial clash with the Seattle Seahawks.

The 19-3 loss to their bitter rivals at Levi Stadium featured one of the worst performances by Colin Kaepernick this season. The quarterback went 16-of-29 for 121 yards (4.2 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns, two interceptions and four sacks. He hit a season-low QBR rating of 10.7. The following week was no better against a hapless Raiders side either. He went 18-of-33 for 174 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and five sacks, all for a QBR of 46.2.

The rapidly burgeoning love affair with Harbaugh and Kap after the pair combined to lead the Niners to the  SuperBowl (2011-12) and the NFC Championship (2012-13) over the last two seasons seems to have hit the proverbial wall. Of course, it's not just down to Kap's poor play. He's but one dysfunctional cog in the wheel. Top to bottom the team has underperformed this season and the latest disaster to the one-hit wonders was the final straw.

It's full out panic mode in San Francisco. Unfortunately, finger pointers are focusing their wrath on Jim Harbaugh and Kap mainly, a crescendo of calls for Jim Harbaugh's  resignation and, even, the disposal of Kaepernick . The only thing that would quell doubters and critics is if the Niners were to respond in a big way in Seattle next week. But neither NFL pundits, fans nor bookies alike are buying it. Heck, cyber betting shops seem to have already thrown the book at the Niners. Listed as the whopping 10-point underdogs on the road and the equally long shot bet to win straight up at + 350 NFL odds, it would seem the coup de grace is imminent.

Seattle Seahawks (9-4 SU, 5-1 home)
Although the Seattle Seahawks aren't above reproach this season, the Thanksgiving NFC West showdown finally saw them get it together. It was one of their best games this season on both sides of the ball as Russell Wilson and offense did their part to put up the points and Richard Sherman and the defense did everything they could to suffocate the Niners. Most importantly, what they accomplished on the day was to underscore their championship credentials by coming up big in a big game, a season-defining game.

The positive news for Seattle fans: they did it again in week 14 NFL betting when they stifled the NFC soaring Eagles on the road to win 24-14. Seahawks dominated possession and easily outmuscled the Eagles' offense off the field.

In those last two performances, the defending champions have reignited confidence and improved their stock value. That wasn't the case earlier this season; after losses to the Chargers, Rams and Chiefs on the road and a rare home loss to the Cowboys, the prognosis wasn't favourable. That's in the past now as they are peaking at the right time. And, when all is said and done, that may be all that matters.

NFL Betting Verdict:
Postseason hopes dangling by a thread, the Niners are faced with a second date with the Seattle Seahawks in as many weeks. It simply isn't getting easier on the Niners, is it. They lost their last three games in Seattle and have the recent memory of the humiliating loss at home to mess with their already waning confidence. Defense is stretched to the limit and offense isn't helping out, averaging barely 12-points per game over the last four rounds. By the numbers, they are above .500 with a 7-6 SU record, but only 6-7 ATS with a 1.6-point margin of defeat. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks are dialled in, peaking at the perfect point of the season and putting in a very convincing run towards an NFC playoff spot.

As much as it's a must-win game for the Niners, it's a must-win for the Seahawks as well. On paper, each side has every chance of accomplishing the feat. Unfortunately, for Niners' backers, nothing about their current form or state of mind suggests they are poised to mastermind the upset, which makes Seahawks the smart NFL pick to win SU at -450 NFL odds. Against the spread though the ten points or so (depending on your sportsbook of choice) do seem a lot to be giving the Seahawks.  

Free NFL Picks: Seahawks to win, Niners to cover +10.0

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