The NFC West just isn't what it used to be. What's the right football pick for Sunday's matchup between the disappointing San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks?
Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 18: 39-34-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 22-29 Total
Less than a year ago, your humble correspondent had the pleasure of attending a critical Week 15 matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the visiting San Francisco 49ers. Both teams needed that win badly, especially the Niners, but it was Seattle coming out on top, 17-7 as 10-point home faves. Excellent football game, the push notwithstanding.
Things just won't be the same this Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX) when these NFC West rivals meet again at The Clink. The 49ers program was already starting to fall apart last year, as head coach Jim Harbaugh fell victim to front-office shenanigans; now the Niners are at the bottom of the division at 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS. The Seahawks have also been knocked down a few pegs at 4-5 SU and 2-6-1 ATS. Does either team belong in our Week 11 NFL picks?
Maybe not. At press time, the Seahawks are 12.5-point favorites on the NFL odds board, which seems a lot for a team that just doesn't have the personnel it used to. Then again, we've been caught playing Whac-A-Mole with San Fran, failing to get any betting value from the Niners in underdog situations, then watching them pull off upset victories when we fade them. No mas.
Sadly, they won't be playing at the Field of Jeans this Sunday, so auto-betting the UNDER isn't in the cards. At press time, there's a 40-point total on the board for this contest, and the weather forecast doesn't look nearly bad enough for us to pounce: partly cloudy with a minimal chance of rain. What happened to monsoon season in the Pacific Northwest? Temperate rainforest? El Niño? Anyone?
That's Why You Need Max Headroom
Sweet baby corn, looks like we're going to have to recommend the Niners again. They've had the bye week to prepare for Sunday's game, they're divisional dogs of way more than seven points, and our first consensus reports showed a very slight lean toward San Fran at 52 percent. Seattle's bringing in two-thirds of the action at press time, but volume is light on both teams.
As it should be. The Niners are in a state of flux right now with Blaine Gabbert taking over at quarterback for Colin Kaepernick, as the NFL continues to move away from all the read-option goodness that made the league so exciting three years ago. Seattle QB Russell Wilson is one of the last men standing from those salad days – must be the recovery water. But Wilson has already been sacked 33 times this year, more than anyone else in the league, and according to ESPN's Sheil Kapadia, Marshawn Lynch ranks No. 47 out of 50 tailbacks at 1.60 rushing yards before contact. Is it too late to undo the Jimmy Graham-Max Unger trade?
Free NFL Pick: Take the 49ers +13.5 (-130) at Island Casino