Last week’s record: 3-0
Seahawks -3 1⁄2
The last time San Francisco won two consecutive games without Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback was weeks 11 and 12 of the 2014 season when Colin Kaepernick was still playing quarterback. I think we have enough data points to say the 49ers are not a focused football team, and rarely have been a focused team under head coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens needs to play with a lead in order to be successful. If the team is trailing, the opposing defense knows that the 49ers are going to pass. That is a tough spot for any quarterback, let alone a first-year starter. The game probably won’t get out of hand like the last meeting between these clubs, but Seattle is focused on clinching a playoff spot. I don’t see the 49ers getting in Seattle’s way. I would even take this line at 4 or 5 should the number inflate, as is common with favorites.
This is a classic “letdown spot” for Oakland. Last week they held on for an exciting win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, they have to gather themselves and travel to Cincinnati for an early kickoff. I just cannot make myself take the Bengals. Their defense is historically bad. It does not matter if they’re home or away. Let’s break down Cincinnati’s home field advantage. Paul Brown Stadium has a turf field. In other words, the advantage of being adjusted to the playing surface of the field isn’t really there. I would be surprised if anyone in the NFL said they had trouble playing on field turf. If you think there will be crowd noise to deal with, I have a bridge to sell you. Finally, Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2014 to 2017. I think he will play a crucial role in helping Jon Gruden develop an effective game plan to pick apart a lackluster Cincinnati team. Plus, you get a 3-point head start. Take the Raiders and the points.