The latest NFL Betting Lines for the 2014 NFC Championship Game are predicting a Super Bowl XLVIII appearance for the Seattle Seahawks. The NFC West champions are listed as a -3.5 against the spread and -170 money line favorite ($170 wins $100) in tomorrow's meeting (6:30pm ET, FOX) with their division rival. The visiting 49ers are drawing a +150 money line in the rubber match clash and the Over/Under is set at 40 points.
Seattle sent a message early in the season that it was the team to beat in the NFC West as it thumped San Francisco 29-3 in a Week two meeting at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks turned the Niners over five times and limited them to 207 total yards in the decisive victory.
However, the 49ers returned fire on December 8th when the two bitter rivals reunited in San Francisco. Jim Harbaugh's troops downed Seattle 19-17 after rushing for 163 yards on 33 carries.
Despite the lopsided nature of the first meeting, it is obvious these two teams are evenly matched. Adding up the numbers from their two regular season encounters shows San Francisco with 31 first downs, 525 total yards, and 19 penalties while Seattle tallied 32 first downs, 554 yards, and 19 penalties. The difference between the two games was, quite simply, turnovers.
The 49ers finished -4 in turnover margin in the first game, but each team had just one giveaway in the second.
If San Francisco can avoid the ball security issues that plagued it in its first outing at CenturyLink Field, it will have every opportunity to pull off the upset on Sunday. There is no position on the field where the Seahawks own a distinct advantage over the 49ers.
Still, the Niners have much to overcome playing in Seattle. The crowd is hostile and loud and the Seahawks have proven almost unbeatable at home the last two seasons, going 15-1 CenturyLink Field.
Arizona did provide a nice blueprint for San Francisco, though. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 17-10 in Seattle on December 22nd and they did so in spite of four turnovers. The Seahawks offense mustered just 10 first downs and 192 total yards as Russell Wilson completed just 11-of-27 passes for 108 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the loss.
Harbaugh and his staff will, no doubt, closely examine that game tape as well as the one from their two point home win over Seattle.
Notable Trends: Teams playing on the road with a line within 3.5 points of pick and coming off back to back road wins are 6-1 against the spread since the 2005 season (information provided by Dr. Meyer's SDQL).
49ers vs Seahawks NFL Betting Lines:
San Francisco 49ers +3.5 (-125), Over 40 (-110), +150 (Moneyline)
Seattle Seahawks -3.5 (-130), Under 40 (-110), -170 (Moneyline)
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