The weather is mostly mild today with snow possible in Cincinnati and Kansas City, with rain expected in Tennessee. The weather is mild, but the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are in a fierce battle for the National Football Conference title and the winner is likely to earn the postseason top seed, while the second place team will be relegated to the fifth seed and a visitor role in the Wild Card round.
The NFC West champions will most likely host postseason games as long as they survive in the playoffs, and the loser will not have another opportunity to host a game unless the other Wild Card squad also advances to the NFC Championship Game.
Last week, the 49ers retook the top spot that they had surrendered two weeks ago with a road loss to the AFC current top seed, the Baltimore Ravens, with a dramatic last second win in New Orleans, 48-46. That triumph was the 49ers 11th victory against only two losses, which allowed them to overtake Seattle who had the edge entering last week’s play over San Francisco based on a straight-up overtime win at Levi’s Stadium five weeks ago. The Seahawks suffered their third loss of the season last Sunday night against the Rams in Los Angeles.
The Seattle win in the first of two head-to-head meetings against the 49ers currently gives them the tiebreaker edge over San Francisco while both teams have the same record. This division is likely to be decided when the two teams meet at CenturyLink Field to close out the 2019 regular season.
A lot is at stake for these two elite teams over the final three weeks of the season, but both teams find themselves in dicey situations today when the 49ers host the Atlanta Falcons and the Seahawks visit the Carolina Panthers. San Francisco is a double-digit home favorite while meeting a Falcons team that has struggled most of the year and has nothing left to play for other than to serve as a spoiler on the 49ers big plans. The Seahawks visit the struggling Carolina Panthers, who look to end a five game losing streak and are underdogs at home by a point spread that has risen to as much as six points.
As good as the 49ers and Seahawks are, I wouldn’t bet on either of them against the point spread today. The public thinks they know who is in the most trouble against the spread, the wagering on the 49ers/Falcons matchup in San Francisco finds a slight majority taking the road underdog Falcons. As for Seattle, the public doesn’t expect them to lose two straight.
From a motivational perspective, the team that my numbers show is in a lot worse shape this week is the Seahawks, who are expected by the bettors to bounce off last week’s loss with a point spread covering win over the Panthers. Seattle (-5½) points over Carolina is the most bet game on the Week 15 schedule.
If instead, the Panthers upset Seattle, which is an early game while the 49ers have a later start, there is a chance San Francisco becomes even more likely to have a letdown against the Falcons. We have reached the time of the season when morning games can affect afternoon results.
The second and third most popular plays by the public this week are the New England Patriots (-10) over the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Los Angeles Rams (-1) over the Dallas Cowboys.
As for the Qoxhi selections this week, we are not in agreement with the public and all of our choices are now posted on this site. If a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that game will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.