Betting News & Analysis

NFL Wild-Card Weekend: Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (1) tackles Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

  • Bet D.K. Metcalf anytime TD: His matchup is the one spot the Seattle Seahawks can take advantage of the San Francisco 49ers defense and shouldn’t be hindered any game script. 
  • Bet Seattle +9.5: The market moved in the Seahawks' direction despite San Francisco covering in both matchups this season. The 49ers are the better team but with a rookie signal caller in his first playoff game, this spread is simply too wide at over a touchdown differential. 
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Let’s dive into the best bets to make for Saturday's wild-card game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers

Game lines

After not only winning but also covering both matchups between these two NFC West division rivals, the betting market seems set to back the 49ers in this matchup. Their Week 2 game seems to provide evidence for why this spread is stuck at -10 this week, as it was a home -8.5-point spread with the 49ers covering easily while Geno Smith finished with a below-average PFF passing grade. 

Both PFF Greenline and the play-by-play simulation project this game to stay closer than the current spread, as the Seahawks having nothing to lose as 9.5-point underdogs. Greenline shows a 1.5% value on the current spread, but the simulation is even more bullish, as the most likely outcome is a 49ers three-point victory. 

A big part of this is the uncertainty of Brock Purdy, who simply doesn’t have a large enough sample size to show how good he is through seven games. If the Seahawks don’t have the advantage at the quarterback position in this matchup, then they will have a tough time winning outright and even covering as well. The handicap is Smith outplaying Purdy, and although some might see that as unrealistic given Purdy’s performance in this Kyle Shanahan-led offense, it’s still more likely than not based on PFF modeling. 

PFF Greenline finds 1.0% value on the game going over the 42-point total while the play-by-play simulation falls close to market expectation. Typically, a lower total would correlate to the underdog covering, but with Smith’s performance crucial to the Seahawks' outlook, this may be one matchup where that doesn’t need to play out in order for the dog to cover. 

Pick: Seahawks +9.5 and over 42, -110 (bets playable to -115)

Player props

Player props continue to be one of the best approaches to betting on the NFL. If interested in macro-trends from the past three seasons, check out my midseason prop article.

One way to consistently find defined edges without blindly betting unders is by utilizing PFF's player props tool. The ability to adjust both number and price means you are always certain of the expected value for each prop bet. Let’s dive into the best player props to bet for Saturday's playoff game. 

Christian McCaffrey U4.5 receptions (-105) 

McCaffrey has gone over this reception prop number in three of six games with Purdy. He’s had two games where he's finished well over this number, but concerns linger about his passing game volume with Deebo Samuel in the fold. 

He’s cleared this number in one game where Samuel also ran his usual number of pass routes, and with all the 49ers weapons in the fold, he could take a back seat in the passing game work. If you do expect the 49ers to cover the game spread, then his opportunities could also fall short, but even in a close matchup, there looks to be a number of scenarios where McCaffrey falls well short of this lofty number. 

Anytime TD scorer pricing per FanDuel compared to play-by-play simulation
Player FanDuel Price Implied Probability Simulation Probability Value Difference
Christian McCaffrey -160 61.5% 52.0% -9.6%
George Kittle 155 39.2% 32.3% -6.9%
Deebo Samuel 155 39.2% 28.6% -10.6%
Kenneth Walker III 165 37.7% 39.5% 1.7%
Brandon Aiyuk 220 31.3% 31.1% -0.2%
Elijah Mitchell 250 28.6% 19.3% -9.3%
D.K. Metcalf 270 27.0% 30.7% 3.7%
Tyler Lockett 280 26.3% 29.1% 2.8%
Noah Fant 500 16.7% 17.0% 0.3%
Colby Parkinson 500 16.7% 15.3% -1.3%
Jauan Jennings 600 14.3% 12.1% -2.2%
Brock Purdy 600 14.3% 5.1% -9.2%
Jordan Mason 650 13.3% 16.4% 3.1%
Tyrion Davis-Price 650 13.3% 2.7% -10.6%
Ray-Ray McCloud III 750 11.8% 11.5% -0.3%
Dareke Young 750 11.8% 5.1% -6.7%
DeeJay Dallas 1000 9.1% 8.8% -0.3%
Tyler Kroft 1000 9.1% 9.6% 0.5%
Geno Smith 1000 9.1% 7.0% -2.1%
Danny Gray 1200 7.7% 5.9% -1.8%
Laquon Treadwell 1500 6.3% 7.3% 1.0%
Penny Hart 1600 5.9% 5.3% -0.6%
Pick: D.K. Metcalf (+270)

Click here to place bets at BetMGM


Same game parlay

Everyone thinks the key to this game staying close is the Seahawks establishing the run and riding Kenneth Walker to a victory. However, he real key is the two Seahawks receivers' matchups because if they are successful, it should allow for the entire Seahawks offense to be more effective. 

One of the biggest edges is betting on Metcalf to score a touchdown, and if he does, the likelihood of a Seahawks cover only increases. His matchup against Deommodore Lenoir is the one spot where the Seahawks have a distinct advantage offensively. Seeing him targeted early and often will result in the rest of the 49er's defense helping to resolve this one mismatch. If that leads to a quick score, we should be well on our way to cashing this same-game parlay. 

The final leg is a play that both the PFF player props tool and play-by-play simulation like. If the 49ers fall behind, McCaffrey could turn into a non-factor because they will be forced to allow their receiving threats opportunities to win downfield. Getting the 49ers offense out of rhythm is crucial to the Seahawks' chances and negating big chunk plays after the catch is key. Seattle’s been poor at this so far this season, but it has to be an area of emphasis if the Seahawks want to be successful in this matchup. 

Bets
  • Metcalf anytime TD
  • Seahawks +9.5
  • McCaffrey U39.5 receiving yards

Odds: Fanduel (+934)

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