Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks take a track record of bouncing back into their prime-time game against the Los Angeles Rams, who just axed coach Jeff Fisher. The Seahawks are listed as 15-point favorites against the Rams with a 38.5-point total, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
In spite of a pitiful six-turnover effort against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, the Seahawks face their largest line since their 2013 Super Bowl season. Seattle is 7-0 straight-up and 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games after a loss, but the Rams are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against the Seahawks.
Wilson is coming off the worst game of his Seahawks career, but facing a weak Rams pass rush might be the tonic for him to recover. With a rookie QB, Jared Goff, and interim coach Jim Fassel on the sideline, one probably shouldn’t count on much output from Los Angeles’ offense.
The New England Patriots are favored by three points against the host Denver Broncos in an AFC Championship Game rematch. New England is 1-6 SU and 1-6 ATS in its last seven trips into Denver, but the Broncos’ inability to run the ball and stop the run could tilt the playing field toward Tom Brady, especially if RB LeGarrette Blount gets going.
The New York Giants are 4.5-point favorites against the Detroit Lions. Lions QB Matthew Stafford (dislocated middle finger) will be playing hurt in a late-season outdoor game and one wonders how long the Lions can sustain their knack for fourth-quarter rallies. That said, the inconsistency of the Eli Manning-led offense makes the Giants a shaky play at minus-4.5.
The Miami Dolphins are 2.5-point road favorites against the New York Jets in a Saturday matchup. While backup QB Matt Moore has a short week to get ready to replace Ryan Tannehill (knee), the Dolphins are also facing one of the NFL’s leakiest pass defenses. Jets rookie QB Bryce Petty will have to decode a solid Miami defense that has film on him after his Week 14 start in San Francisco.
In a matchup of teams dearly clinging to playoff life, the Minnesota Vikings are favored by four points against the Indianapolis Colts. Neither the Colts’ Andrew Luck nor the Vikings’ Sam Bradford has been able to count on adequate pass protection. The game could come down to whether the Vikings shut down RB Frank Gore and make the Colts offense one-dimensional. Minnesota is 10-0 ATS in their last 10 interconference games.
And the Dallas Cowboys are seven-point favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Sunday Night Football matchup. Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott has struggled against strong pass rushes in the past two games (against the Vikings and Giants) and the vastly improved Bucs defense, with 30 sacks, can get to the quarterback. Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston will be seeking a bounce-back performance against a suspect Dallas pass defense.