Sunday Night Football Preview

49ers at Seahawks

Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the best sportsbook promotions for SNF.

The NFL’s 100th regular season concludes Sunday night with the biggest game of the 2019 campaign for the San Francisco 49ers (12-3) and Seattle Seahawks (11-4). When the two sides clash at CenturyLink Field, the winner will claim the NFC West crown. A first-round bye and home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs will also be up for grabs, though the Seahawks will need some help elsewhere Sunday.

Football fans will be hoping for something similar to the season’s first meeting between the two rivals. The Seahawks claimed a 27-24 overtime victory in San Francisco in Week 10. The Niners enter the regular-season finale off a 34-31 win over the rival Los Angeles Rams in Week 16. The Seahawks were dealt a 27-13 loss at home by the Arizona Cardinals which dropped them a game back of San Francisco.

SNF betting odds and analysis

After opening as one-point underdogs on FanDuel Sportsbook last week, the 49ers are 3-point favorites at both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel. The market shifted dramatically after the Seahawks lost to the Cardinals and the team revealed numerous injuries to key starters on both offense and defense.

The projected total for Sunday night opened at 47 but has settled at 45.5 at most books.

49ers vs. Seahawks game matchup

One of the biggest stories heading into the Week 17 slate, other than division title battles, is the return of Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch. Seattle lost RBs Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise to various injuries over the last couple of weeks. Lynch, who played for Seattle from 2010 through 2015, spent the last two seasons with the Oakland Raiders but stayed unretired this year. He’s now charged with helping lead the ‘Hawks to a division title and deep playoff run alongside rookie Travis Homer.

The Week 10 meeting saw both sides score a defensive touchdown off of a fumble recovery. QBs Russell Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo each threw one touchdown and one interception, while neither topped 250 yards passing. Carson led all players with 89 rushing yards and a touchdown. 49ers WR Deebo Samuel led all pass-catchers with 112 yards on eight receptions with TE George Kittle sidelined by injury.

Lynch now leads a Seahawks rushing attack ranked third in the NFL with 138.3 yards per game. The 49ers have the league’s second-best unit with 145.1 rushing yards per game. The Niners also rank second with 30.2 points per game to the Seahawks’ ninth-ranked 25.6 PPG. Only seven teams allow fewer points per game than the 49ers’ 19.3. The Seahawks rank 21st in the NFL and last among all playoff teams with 24.8 PPG allowed.

The Seahawks rank fifth with a turnover differential of plus-12 while the 49ers are just plus-4. San Francisco ranks fifth with 47 sacks for a league-high 357 yards taken away. Seattle ranks 30th with 26 sacks; it also ranks near the bottom of the league with 47 sacks allowed. The 49ers have given up just 34 sacks.

Both teams have committed slightly below seven penalties per game overall. The Seahawks commit just 4.9 infractions per game at home while the Niners commit 7.1 per game on the road. The Niners enter the 2019 regular-season finale having won just one of the last 12 head-to-head meetings with the Seahawks. They’re trying to win their first division title since 2012, while the Seahawks are looking for their first since 2016.

Sunday Night Football betting breakdown

The Seahawks are just 4-3 straight up at home (7-1 on the road) and lost two of their last three games. The 49ers are 6-1 on the road (6-2 at home) and have gone 4-2 since the loss to the Seahawks after starting the year 8-0.

San Francisco is 8-6-1 overall against the spread, winning by 10.9 points per game and covering by 6.8 PPG. The Niners are 5-2 ATS on the road but just 1-3-1 in divisional games and 0-2-0 as a road favorite. Seattle is 7-7-1 overall and falls an average of 1.9 points per game below the cover the line. It is 2-5 ATS at home, 2-3 in divisional games and will play its first game of the year as a home underdog. The ‘Hawks are 3-2 as home dogs since 2016.

The Niners closed as 6.5-point favorites in Week 10. This will be just the third time all year the Seahawks are underdogs. San Francisco failed to cover in each of its last two games, losing outright to the Atlanta Falcons as 10-point favorites in Week 15 and falling four points shy of the line as 7-point favorites against the Rams last week.

Both teams are 8-7 against the Over/Under this year, with the Seahawks topping the projections by 2.8 points per game and Niners doing so by 3.7 PPG. Games at CenturyLink Field have gone 4-3 against the O/U. The year’s first head-to-head meeting topped a closing projection of 47. The Niners have hit three straight Overs coming into this week while the Seahawks hit the Under in two of their last three games.

Seahawks vs. 49ers predictions

Watch this space later in the week as Matt Brown offers his thoughts on the spread, moneyline, total, player props and more for Sunday Night Football.

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How to watch Sunday Night Football

The first Sunday Night Football game of the 2019 NFL season was played between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Sunday, Sept. 8.

The network will continue carrying SNF games through the regular season. The Week 17 TV spot on Dec. 29 will remain unfinalized until much later in the season, as potential playoff battles will factor into the league’s flexible scheduling decisions.

The games can also be streamed all season on NBC’s website and the NBCSports mobile apps. NBC is also included in most packages on streaming services such as fuboTV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV.

SNF drew an average of 19.3 million live+same day viewers in 2018, an increase of seven percent from 2017. The program was the primetime slot’s No. 1 television show for an eighth consecutive year.

SNF betting tips

How to bet Sunday Night Football like a sharp

Casual bettors can get swept up by the hype and hoopla circulating Sunday Night Football. Analysts, reporters and local news crews have a full week to pump out every different angle to the game and dig for stories. Players can add to the mirage on social media whether by talking up their own team or taking too many shots at the opposition.

Learn to seperate the hype from fact and don’t fall victim to live-betting out of boredom if the game ends up being a dud. Look at the lines early in the week to assess the odds before the public money starts pouring in and either bet on the numbers set by the books or sit and wait to see if the line shifts in your favor. Reassess later in the week and bet against the public if the line shifts too heavily based on nothing more than favoritism.

The standalone nature of the game also draws in more bets as the entire nation is focused on one single game, which, more often than not, is no bigger than the dozen or so games which preceded it that week. If you want to be a winning bettor, never bet just to add to the excitement (or create excitement around a lackluster matchup). Wait to see if the favorite falls behind early and then is given a high number as a sudden in-game underdog. Carefully browse through lines on prop bets, looking at different sportsbooks and pick the best value. Shop around and pick on a book that seems out of touch with the others. Don’t scoff at an easier play on the point spread in search of a big payday with a heavy underdog winning outright.

Home teams are often overvalued in primetime games. Do the research, keep up to date with injury news and look at the matchup in a vacuum and see if the odds check out. Be careful not to look too much at individual players returning to their hometown, being reported as having “extra motivation” or who may be close to statistical milestones. Few wide receivers, for example, can seriously impact a game on their own, especially when facing a top corner who’s fully aware of their motivation in the one-on-one matchup.

Look for teams and especially head coaches who thrive under the spotlight and more importantly the additional preparation time. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are given more primetime slots than the average team. This experience can give them an edge in certain matchups against teams who may be overwhelmed from all the added media attention and interview requests.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does Sunday Night Football start?

Sunday Night Football kicks off every week from Sept. 8 through Dec. 29 at 8:20 p.m. Eastern. The ‘Football Night in America’ pregame show begins at 7 p.m. Eastern. NBC first started airing SNF for the 2006 season, taking over from ESPN.

How to stream Sunday Night Football?

Never miss a SNF game when you’re on the go with the NBCSports mobile apps. Cord-cutters can also use streaming services such as Hulu which includes NBC in most of its packages.

What is the highest-scoring Sunday Night Football game ever?

The Philadelphia Eagles (45) and New York Giants (38) share the record for the highest-scoring SNF game since 2006 with the Kansas City Chiefs (40) and New England Patriots (43) at a combined score of 83 points. The latter was set last October. The New Orleans Saints set the individual team record of 62 points in 2011.

Who are the SNF announcers?

The SNF broadcasts are brought to us each week by booth announcers Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (color commentary), field reporter Michele Tayofa and rules expert Terry McAulay. Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio make up the pregame show.

Who was the original Sunday Night Football broadcast crew?

Chris Collinsworth replaced legendary former head coach John Madden as the color commentator beside Michaels in 2009.

Who sings the Sunday Night Football theme song?

Country music star Carrie Underwood has been singing the SNF theme since 2013, replacing fellow country star Faith Hill, who replaced pop star Pink after just one season in 2007. The current song is titled “Game On,” replacing “Oh, Sunday Night” which updated “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” in 2016.