Sunday Night Football Picks – Week 2

We breakdown tonight’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, offering an Over/Under prediction as our top play

 

When you picture the San Francisco 49ers it’s easy to think “Defense” but ever since Colin Kaepernick took over the starting role midway through the 2012 season, just how many games do you think actually stayed “Under” the posted total?

 

If you said “One,” then congratulations, hand that man a prize!

 

Kaepernick wasn’t the official starter until Week 11 but he staked his claim during the 24-24 tie against St. Louis and since then the Niners have played 11 overs to just 1 under, playoffs included. Here is an SDQL text from the SportsDatabase.com charting Kaepernick’s run:

 

team = Fortyniners and date >= 20121111

 

San Fran is averaging 28.9 points per game (PPG) in this run and although action on the Over/Under odds appears to be fairly even, the gameday steam is pushing the total closer towards the opening total with every passing hour. Before jumping on the Joe Public bandwagon there are a few things that need to be considered.

 

First let’s look at the divisional games. Kaepernick is 0-4 ATS against teams from the NFC West and the only straight-up win was against a Cardinals team in Week 17 that was busy drawing up a pink slip for Ken Whisenhunt. In two divisional road games against the Rams and Seahawks, Kapper’s offense produced just 13 points in each game.

 

Next we want to consider location and who the Niners were facing. In road games against New Orleans (28.8), New England (33.9) and Atlanta (26.5) the Niners did put up big numbers but the gameplan when facing those offensive juggernauts calls for it. Each of their offensive points per game is in brackets and while it’s true that Seattle averaged 25.8 PPG last year, look at the defensive stats.

 

The same three teams (Saints, Pats and Falcons) allowed an average of 23.2 PPG last year while the Seahawks gave up just 16.1, best in the league. This is not setting up like a shootout and given that San Fran and Seattle are both coming off Week 1 wins, it almost feels more like couple heavy weights gearing up for a Sunday night fight under the lights.

 

We ran the numbers for divisional opponents in this exact situation and it showed a record of 1 overs and 6 unders since 2003 with an average combined score of 37.7 including 21.5 points in the first-half.

 

week = 2 and DIV and H and p:W and op:W and season >= 2003 and 37 < total < 47

 

Going back further in database history (since 1989) shows a more balanced record of 8 overs and 10 unders but the scores are still just 41.7 and 21.9 (first-half). Coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t have a lot to gain ordering his young QB to fire at will vs. this dangerous Seahawks secondary. We anticipate a more methodical approach from both teams as this game stays below the number in the first-half.

Pick: Take the First-half Under 23

 

You can learn more about the SDQL in the SportsDatabase.com online chat room!