The market can’t settle on a fair price for the San Francisco 49ers, as we saw a 6.5-point adjustment against them between their games against the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Rams, then a 3.5-point adjustment back toward them between their games against the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
This volatility is a function of the massive amount of injuries sustained by San Francisco — which now has cluster injuries at cornerback, defensive line, wide receiver and running back to go with a limited quarterback as Jimmy Garappolo recovers from a high ankle sprain.
The ideal matchup for the 49ers allows them to dictate the game with their-run first approach, but they will be hard-pressed to exercise that as the Seahawks have a top-10 rushing defense by the metric Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) to counter San Francisco’s No. 2 DVOA rushing attack.
This likely puts the game for the 49ers on the arm of Garappolo, who has shown flashes this season but is operating a passing offense that relies heavily on short targets and yards after the catch. The 49ers will not have enough firepower to keep pace with the league’s No. 2 offense in total DVOA being led by the presumptive MVP Russell Wilson.
The 49ers pass defense will be truly tested as Wilson and his triumvirate of wideouts can attack at every level of the field and will have ample time to operate given the paucity of healthy pass-rushers for San Francisco.
A fair price in this game is Seattle by 6 based on my numbers, so I will be backing the home favorite.
The play: Seahawks, -3.
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