Thursday Night Football is back with an NFC West showcase as the 49ers (9-4) make a short trip to face the Seahawks (7-6) in a must-win game for the hometown team. Betting lines favor the visiting 49ers by a slim 3.0 points with the projected Over/Under scoring total set at 43.5.
The 49ers have won six straight, coming fresh off the heels of a dominant 35-7 victory over the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers in Week 14. The 49ers’ offense is quietly amongst the most effective and versatile units in the NFL. They average 371.8 yards of total offense (10th) with 230.8 passing yards (13th) and 130.6 rushing yards (9th). A long list of never-ending injuries has been the 49ers’ worst enemy this season, though they have managed to put up 24.4 points per game on average. They house the best defense in the NFL, allowing just 305.5 total yards (1st) and 15.2 points per game (1st). Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy is expected to get the start despite dealing with oblique and rib injuries. Purdy has looked capable and comfortable in his last two starts but will be without the team’s top receiver Deebo Samuel for this contest.
The Seahawks are home team underdogs, giving up 3.0 points to the traveling Raiders as the team has now lost three of their last five games. The franchise is in a must-win situation if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Geno Smith-led Seahawks offense is performing well above expectations, averaging 375.2 scrimmage yards (8th) with 244.2 passing yards (9th) and 26.3 offensive points per game. Conversely, the team’s defense has struggled to match the rising production of their offensive teammates. The Seahawks concede 396.1 scrimmage yards per game (30th) but have more success against defending the pass than the run. They allow 218.2 passing yards (18th) but a whopping 160.5 rushing yards (31st) to opposing offenses. The Seahawks are one of only three defenses to concede more than 25.0 points per game to their opponents, allowing 25.7 (30th) on average.
The 49ers are looking to extend their win streak, keeping them firmly in the hunt for a division title. The Seahawks will be desperate to keep their playoff dreams on the table in what should be an emotionally-charged matchup.
KEYS TO VICTORY
San Francisco 49ers
- Rushing Offense/Limit Turnovers
- Let The Defense Do the Work
Los Angeles Rams
- Contain the Run
- Establish Early Lead/Force Purdy to Throw
Scoring Prediction: 49ers 26 – Seahawks 20
Over/Under: Over 43.5
Now that we have introduced the matchup let’s dive into some high-upside player props for this Thursday Night Football Showdown.
TYLER LOCKETT OVER 61.5 REC YDS/5.5 RECEPTIONS
Betting Odds: -115
Tyler Lockett has been a surprising revelation of consistent production, shedding his career-long label as a boom-or-bust receiver. Lockett has just two games below 50 yards this season, averaging 5.5 REC/7.6 TGT/68.9 REC YDS per game. He has surpassed 61.5 yards in 9/13 outings this season, falling below that mark just once in his last five games. The 49ers’ defense has been excellent all season but has proven to be beatable by high-quality receivers. They allow 211.8 passing yards (12th) with a positive production over average (POA) rating of 3.3% to wide receivers, ranked 16th. If the Seahawks expect to win, they are going to have to open up the playbook and sling it against an overly aggressive and exploitable 49ers secondary.
GEORGE KITTLE OVER 38.5 REC YDS
Betting Odds: -115
The Seahawks’ defense is the second-ranked team in POA to opposing tight ends, allowing an absurd uptick of 57.2% of receiving production over expectation to their matchup. They have allowed 788 total yards to tight ends this season, ranked 29th amongst all NFL defenses. The last time Kittle faced off against this divisional foe was in Week 13 of 2021 where he racked up nine receptions on 12 targets for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a career-best performance. The 49ers’ stud tight end has been called on to block more than ever this season but is still commanding a 17.7% target share (TE12) averaging 3.8 REC/5.4 TGT/45.5 REC YDS per game with four touchdowns (TE6) on the season. The absence of Deebo Samuel should open up the door for even more targets in what is already a scintillating matchup against a porous Seahawks secondary.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY OVER 123.5 SCRIMMAGE YARDS
Betting Odds: -115
A laundry list of unfortunate injuries to the 49ers offense has paved the way for Christian McCaffrey to command similar usage to his MVP-caliber season as a member of the Panthers. The 49ers seemed hesitant to hand the dual-threat running back the bulk of opportunities but a barren depth chart has left them with no choice. McCaffrey is averaging 113.33 scrimmage yards over his last six contests since joining the 49ers, boasting a 71.5% opportunity share and 21.8% target share. The loss of Elijah Mitchell allowed McCaffrey to own the majority of rushing attempts. The absence of Deebo Samuel should lead to even more touches for the 49ers’ star running back. The Seahawks concede 11.1% POA to receiving production and 38.2% POA to rushing production, ranked 13th and 4th, respectively. McCaffrey’s unabated path to touches against one of the league’s best matchups is enough to warrant excitement.
KENNETH WALKER III UNDER 52.5 RUSHING YARDS
Betting Odds: -115
Kenneth Walker has rushed for under 40 yards in two consecutive contests before missing Week 14 with an ankle injury. Walker will make his return on a short week against the worst possible matchup for opposing running backs. The 49ers’ defense has a negative POA differential -32.5%, ranked 32nd, giving up -18.9% POA of receiving and -36.6% POA of rushing production to the position.
*BONUS ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN PROP*
Marquise Goodwin (+390)
Jordan Mason (+425)
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