The San Francisco 49ers (1-0) and Seattle Seahawks (1-0) face off in an explosive Sunday night matchup that puts their new and blossoming rivalry center stage (8.30pm ET, September 15).
The two NFC West opponents go head-to-head for the first time since Seattle routed San Francisco 42-13, securing the Seahawk’s playoff spot. It was San Francisco however, that went on to win the NFC Championship and just fall short in the Super Bowl.
In 2013, behind two of the best young quarterbacks in the game, veteran runningbacks and defenses that are top notch, both the Niners and Seahawks believe they can win the Super Bowl. While their first regular season matchup in 2013 will not be the concluding factor on this, it will go a long way to one emerging as a strong title contender.
Seattle has the real advantage of playing at Century Link Field, the place where last season they defeated the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears en route to going undefeated at home. Ironically enough, the last time the Seahawks lost at home was December 24 of 2011, non-coincidentally against the 49ers.
What Exactly is the ’12th Man?’
In Seattle, you aren’t just a fan but are rather considered as the not-so-illegal 12th man in the stands. It is your job to impact and influence the game the way only a Seahawks fan could. The 12th man is practically even rooted in history as in 1984, Seattle retired the No. 12 jersey to represent in tribute what the 12th man meant to the organization.
And if there is one thing you should know going into Sunday’s game, it is that the 12th man, magnified through home field advantage, really is a reason to keep your money and your bet on Seattle.
Since 2005, the Seahawks have gone 48-21 in home games, including two seasons (2005) and (2012) with perfect 8-0 records when playing at home. There is no denying this is a huge advantage for the Seahawks.
Seattle is a tough place for opponents to play and the raucous environment is a big part of that. The 12th man was described as having a 112 decibel level which is enough to deafen people and obviously make calling plays very difficult. The Seahawks also averaged 2.6 false starts for their opponents last year, again a testament to the noise level of the fans.
Against the Niners, since 2005, Seattle is 9-3 at home. That is a trend that is hard to ignore.
The Race to Be the Best: (SF) Colin Kaepernick vs. (SEA) Russell Wilson
The NFL is experiencing a changing of the guard at the QB position and both the 25-year-old Kaepernick and 24-year-old Wilson are heading the charge. Sure Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning still firmly reside as the top-four, but their successors have already taken up the mantle and it won’t be long until they are dominating the league just like their predecessors did.
Wilson and Kaepernick are just two of these superstuds but they are the only ones that reside in the same division. So in addition to a competition to become the best, every time Kaepernick and Wilson go head-to-head, the NFC West title is on the line.
Last season, rookie Wilson put up phenomenal numbers after earning the starting job from Matt Flynn. He passed for 3,118 yards, threw 26 TDs and had a completion percentage of 64.1. He also rushed for 489 yards, an average of 5.2 yards per carry and another four TDs.
Second-year QB Kaepernick didn’t earn his starting job until a little later, but he still managed to stack the stat sheets. He passed for 1,814 yards, 10 TDs and had a completion percentage of 62.4. Additionally, he rushed for five TDs on 415 yards, an average of 6.6 yards per carry.
In 2013, not much has changed. Kaepernick stormed out of the gate by completing 69.2 percent of his passes for a total of 412 yards (208 of those to WR Anquan Boldin) and three TDs. Wilson tossed for 320 yards and one TD. Neither did much rushing though.
Compared to their young counterparts in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, both NFC West quarterbacks had much better days and much better starts to the season.
Defensively, in the season’s first game, Wilson faced a group that last year ranked 18th in the league by allowing an average of 22.7 points a game. Kaepernick meanwhile, faced a Green Bay squad that was just a little better, allowing an average of just 21 points a game, 11th best in the NFL.
Against the Seahawks and their merciless secondary, Kaepernick has the toughest task in the league if last year’s stats are to be believed for anything. Seattle allowed opponents just 245 total points during the season, a staggering average of just 15.3 per game. That mark was the best in the league. And so far in 2013, that pattern has continued as the Seahawks surrendered just seven points to the Carolina Panthers. This rank has them third best in the league in opponents’ passing yards allowed, a mark of just 119 against Cam Newton.
While allowing 134 rushing yards has Seattle near the bottom of the pack, the team did limit one of the game’s better rushing QBs to just 38 yards on five carries. It could be a tough day for Kaepernick if that trend continues.
49ers at Seattle Seahawks Betting Picks Advice
At this point, my edge has to go to the Seahawks. I think Wilson is going to have a better time going against the Niners defense and I think Kaepernick will struggle against Seattle’s top pass-defending squad. As mentioned, you really can’t argue about the huge advantage provided at home by the 12th man.
The Seahawks are favorite at the sportsbooks by 3 points, a spread of essentially nothing if you take away home-field advantage. But the fact that you can’t and that it is reflected in the spread should give you the betting information you need.
- The best value betting pick is to take the Seahawks -3pts @ odds of +110 with Bovada. As for the other sportsbooks, WagerWeb are +105 for the same spread while BetOnline seem to be poorest value on the Seahawks at shorter odds of -120, albeit giving away maybe a crucial half point less at -2.5pts. Non-Americans should bet with Bet365.
- Considering the strength of both defenses, you have to expect quieter days from the offense. Take the under on the 44.5 points. This time BetOnline Sportsbook is the best option @ -110. If you are not from the USA then place the bet with Bet365.
RESULT UPDATE: Seahawks won 29-3. Both advised picks won.