In perhaps the most anticipated game of the 2019 season to date, the undefeated San Francisco 49ers host the (7-2) Seattle Seahawks in a clash today that could determine the NFC West (8.15pm ET Monday).
It’s another compelling matchup set for Monday Night Football this week. The undefeated 49ers, who have made quick work of their first half schedule will face their biggest challenge yet in the form of divisional rival, Seahawks. Much has been made of San Francisco’s historic start but looking ahead at the calendar, can they really remain undefeated?
That all begins this week as the Niners have their first of two meetings with the Seahawks. One of the NFL’s best teams, Seattle has surged to their own great season thus far. After spending the past few years coming up short to the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle is back on track behind Russell Wilson, who is having an MVP season. Standing in the way of the Seahawks’ hopes to reclaim the NFC West are the upstart Niners, whose 8-0 record has come as a surprise to everyone.
Over the course of the first eight weeks, the Niners have benefited from a pretty easy schedule. They have played mostly teams under .500 and only played one opponent, the Carolina Panthers in week eight, who were a .500 team or better at the time of their meeting. Unfortunately for San Francisco, that is all about to change. From weeks 10-17, the Seahawks have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, with games still remaining against the one-loss New England Patriots, two-loss Baltimore Ravens, two-loss New Orleans Saints and two-loss Green Bay Packers. Not to mention ending their year with a game against Seattle that will most certainly determine which of these teams wins the division.
San Francisco is the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team, which is indicative of not just their easy schedule. The 49ers have a fully balanced offense and defense. They are one of the league’s most complete teams and their eight wins have certainly not come by accident. That said, the road only gets more difficult from here on, so it is a fair question to ask. If not this Monday, when will the 49ers suffer their first loss?
Wilson’s MVP Numbers
Earlier this year, Andrew Luck announced his retirement in a move that shocked the world. Prior to that, Robert Griffin III lost his starting job and is now a backup. Those two were the first and second overall picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Ryan Tannehill, who has been average at best, and Brandon Weeden, who is out of the NFL, were also drafted in the first round.
Brock Osweiler, who also announced his retirement from the NFL a month ago, was drafted in the second round. Five quarterbacks were taken in the first two rounds of that NFL and even if you added all of their successes together, their collective careers still wouldn’t amount to what Russell Wilson, taken in the third round and as the sixth quarterback overall, has done and continues to do.
Wilson has had an incredible career over the past seven seasons that includes a Super Bowl victory. It is possible that when all is said and done in 2019, that this might be the best year for Wilson yet. As of week nine, Wilson’s completion percentage is just shy of 69, which would be a career-best. His average yards per throw, rating, and touchdown: interception ratio would all be career-highs as well. Among all QBs in the NFL this year, Wilson ranks third in total yards (he’ll become second on Monday), and first in QBR, rating and passing touchdowns with 22. That is three more than Matthew Stafford, who has the second most. Most impressive about Wilson’s year is that he has attempted 293 passes and only one of them has ended up in the other team’s arms. Wilson has 22 touchdowns and just one interception. That is tied with Patrick Mahomes for the fewest but Mahomes has over 50 less passes and has seven less touchdowns as well.
Wilson is playing the best football of his career and it’s no coincidence that Seattle is having a brilliant season as a result. The offense runs through him. As great as Wilson has been, he will face a significant test in San Fran’s defense. The 49ers have the stingiest defense in the NFL, allowing just 241 yards per game. Against opposing quarterbacks, they also lead the league in fewest pass yards allowed, just 138.1. At 12.8, the Niners also allow the second fewest points per game.
Wilson vs the 49ers defense is certainly going to be a big story to watch in today’s Monday Night Football. You have got arguably the NFL’s top passer going against the league’s top defense. At the end of the night, the 49ers pass rush and ability to limit Wilson could very well determine if the 49ers are able to win this game.
Our Betting Preview’s Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers Picks & Predictions Verdict
Russell Wilson isn’t the only quarterback to keep an eye on. Formerly Tom Brady’s backup in New England, Jimmy Garoppolo is quietly having a great season. He is coming off his best start of the year, with a line of 317 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals. It was a closer game than San Francisco would have liked and they need every last one of Garoppolo’s plays, especially at the end, in order to keep perfection intact.
Over the past 10 meetings, the 49ers have been pretty successful at home against Seattle, winning six of the 10. Their most recent win came in December of last year, when San Francisco came out on top, 26-23 at home. As trends go, we are talking about different teams and different players. One constant has always been Wilson, who the Niners have done a decent job at limiting over the years. Wilson too is coming off his best game of the season, as he threw five touchdowns, his most in a single game since he had five against the Ravens in December, 2015.
- The 49ers are favored by six points with the main offshore sports gambling sites, which is somewhat of a high margin all things considered. Go for the Seahawks +6pts @ -110 with Intertops or Bookmaker. It is -115 with Bovada for the same spread and +6.5pts at -119 with BetOnline (which is an acceptable alternative if you want that extra half point).
- As for the points, look for under 48 total points being achieved @ -115 with Bovada. It is under 47 or 47.5pts with the other bookies.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.