NFL Week 15 Odds: Seahawks TNF Favorites, Broncos Underdogs vs. Patriots

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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.

WATCH: Seahawks’ Paul Richardson pulls in absurd touchdown catch against Lions

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It took until the first round of the playoffs, but we may finally have our winner for catch of the year.

On 4th and goal at the Lions’ 2, Russell Wilson lobbed up a pass to Paul Richardson, who was completely covered by Tavon Wilson.

Richardson stuck out his left hand and pulled in a miraculous grab to give Seattle the lead.

[Watch the rest of the second half from Seattle on NBC Sports Live]

Simply amazing.

 

Seahawks, Texans are the betting favorites for Saturday’s Wild Card games

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The Seattle Seahawks’ sporadic scoring output is something to consider when looking at the big point spread against the Detroit Lions. The Seahawks are listed as eight-point favorites against the Lions in their NFC wild card matchup set for Saturday at CenturyLink Field, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Seahawks are 7-0 straight-up in their last seven home games against teams from the Eastern Time Zone and the Lions are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games. However, Seattle scored 10 or fewer points four times at home this season, and none of those instances came against a premier defense.

The Lions, 9-7 SU and 8-8 ATS, are coming into the playoffs on a three-loss skid. One boon to the Lions’ chances is that the Seahawks, without free safety Earl Thomas, have been hopeless at stopping deep passes. Quarterback Matthew Stafford should be able to hit a few deep shots to the likes of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and T.J. Jones in order to compensate for a nearly nonexistent running game. That could help the Lions, who are 0-8 SU in their last eight playoff games, make it interesting.

The Seahawks, 10-5-1 SU and 7-8-1 ATS, have never lost at home in the playoffs during the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era. One can reasonably expect they will find some of their familiar postseason form. Seattle’s pass protection and run blocking has been problematic, so there could be opportunities to disrupt Wilson’s timing. Otherwise, WR Doug Baldwin and TE Jimmy Graham could have big nights.

The total has gone under in eight of the Lions’ last 10 games. The total has gone over in five of the Seahawks’ last six games in the playoffs.

Elsewhere, the Houston Texans are listed as four-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders in Saturday’s AFC wild card matchup.

The Raiders, 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS, will have rookie third-stringer Connor Cook become the first NFL QB to get his first career start in the playoffs. With Cook playing instead of Derek Carr (broken fibula), Houston might not have to honor the deep pass threat and can thus commit to containing RB Latavius Murray and limiting the damage on short-range passes to WR Amari Cooper and WR Michael Crabtree.

The fact erratic Brock Osweiler is back in at QB might account for why the Texans, who are 9-7 SU and 6-9-1 ATS, are not a bigger favorite against a hobbled team. The Raiders simply haven’t stopped anyone when teams have schemed to slow down edge rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. If Osweiler can curb his tendency to be overaggressive and allow WR DeAndre Hopkins and RB Lamar Miller to have opportunities, the Texans should be able to move the ball steadily.

Keep in mind, though, that the visiting team has gone 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four editions of this matchup. The total has gone over in seven of the Raiders’ last 10 games.  The total has gone under in nine of the Texans’ last 12 games at home.