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San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 1 NFK Picks
Pointspread: 49ers -3 O/U 36.5
The Seahawks are another team with a new coach and new direction. Pete Carroll fresh off his dismissal of USC and back in the NFL. His job is to rejuvenate a Seattle squad that has lacked fire the last few years. Quarterback Matt Hasselback will be 35 in September. He has missed 11 games with back problems or other ailments the past couple of seasons and, during that span, thrown five more interceptions than touchdowns. But...none of this means that Hasselbeck is no longer a good quarterback. When healthy and in rhythm with his teammates Matt can still lead his team and post some impressive numbers. Julius Jones and Justin Forsett combined to gain over 1,200 yards last season. Jones toughness has come into question and his straight ahead running style begs for some cut back ability. Backup Forsett appears to be the better runner than Jones. He's quick and elusive, and breaks tackles. Forsett averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry last year. Hasselback will be throwing to former USC star Mike Williams after the hawks cut T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He also can depend on lanky Deon Butler to get open.
The 49ers appear to be the team to beat in the NFC West. Alex Smith begins his fifth year as the starting quarterback...period. Smith is coming off the best season of his career throwing for 2,530 yards and 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in 11 games. There are still many who question Smith's ability to throw accurately with bodies flying all around him. Alex is lucky to have a stud runner in Frank Gore who gained 1,120 yards last year while fighting nagging injuries, and also caught 52 passes out of the backfield. Gore needs to stay healthy and hold onto the ball. The Niners have a star in the making in wide receiver Michael Crabtree. After a contract dispute and injury set him back last year, Crabtree stepped right in and showed an explosiveness that wowed most observers. As good as Crabtree is, Vernon Davis is still Smith's number one option.
On the other side of the ball the Seahawk's defense is shaky. Their top cornerback Marcus Trufant has knee problems. Defensive end Lawrence Jackson is a pretty good player, tackle Colin Cole is explosive but inconsistent. A lot of pressure is on Brandon Mebane to be the difference-maker but that is asking a lot. Seattle has some good linebackers led by Aaron Curry.
The 49er D keeps getting better. The team recorded 44 sacks last year and...and this year they want more. Aubrayo Franklin, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith are all excellent players. Smith could be a superstar, Willis has been solid, recording 140+ tackles for three straight seasons. There secondary could be the weak link though. Shawntae Spencer was the team's best cornerback, and after Spencer, it's really nobody else. Strong safety Michael Lewis is a stout run-defender but lacks consistency.
I'm expecting a raucous Seattle crowd to welcome their new coach and team...and the Seahawks will play better for awhile. But the 49ers with all their depth should find a way to prevail. The NFL lines have been up for months now. This game opened San Fran -1.5 and climbed to -3. This is a game the public is all over. While they may not win long term, the "betting public" is right sometimes. We think this may be one such spot. We're going to join them here and take the 49ers -3
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Francisco's last 5 games
San Francisco is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Francisco's last 5 games on the road
San Francisco is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games on the road
San Francisco is 2-2-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
San Francisco is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Seattle
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Francisco's last 6 games when playing Seattle
San Francisco is 4-10 SU in its last 14 games when playing Seattle
San Francisco is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Seattle
San Francisco is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Seattle
Seattle is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Seattle is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 6 games when playing San Francisco
Seattle is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games when playing San Francisco
Seattle is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against San Francisco