Packers-Seahawks Betting Preview & Pick: Should Bettors Back Underdog Rodgers?

Nov 15, 2018
Packers-Seahawks Betting Preview & Pick: Should Bettors Back Underdog Rodgers?

Week 10 Recap: Week 10 got off to a rough start for me as the Panthers (+3.5) were lambasted by the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. My Sunday picks rebounded, however, as the Saints (-5.5 at Bengals), Chargers (-10 at Raiders) and Seahawks (+9.5 at Rams) all cashed. My other loss was the Eagles (-7), who were beaten outright by the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. I did not play the Giants-49ers matchup on Monday night.

Following that 3-2 week, my season ATS record in the NFL is now 34-15-1 (69 percent). That said, after losing the Panthers last week and the Cardinals (+1 vs. Broncos) in Week 7, as well as passing on a few bad matchups (Dolphins at Texans and Raiders at 49ers), I haven’t hit a Thursday night game since Week 6. Let’s try to correct that tonight when the Seahawks host the Packers.

307 Green Bay Packers at 308 Seattle Seahawks

  • Spread: Seahawks -3
  • O/U: 48
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET

Line Movement

The Seahawks opened as 2.5-point favorites but the line was bet up to the key number of 3, while the total dropped from 49.5 down to 48.

Public Betting

As of Thursday morning, 53 percent of the betting tickets from online sportsbooks, as well as 64 percent of the money is on Seattle to cover the spread. As for the total, 62 percent of the betting tickets and 79 percent of the money is on the over.

Key Injuries

For the Packers, Randall Cobb (hamstring), Kentrell Brice (ankle), Kevin King (hamstring) and Nick Perry (knee) are all out. Lucas Patrick (Concussion) is doubtful while Bashaud Breeland (groin) and Blake Martinez (ankle) are both questionable. Tight end Jimmy Graham was removed from the team’s injury report and will face his former team.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, are relatively healthy outside of linebacker K.J. Wright, who is doubtful because of a knee injury. Defensive backs Mo Alexander (elbow), Delano Hill (quad) and Neiko Thorpe (groin) are all questionable, as is defensive end Dion Jordan (knee).

Prediction

When the Packers traveled to L.A. to play the Rams a few weeks ago, I simplified my handicap for that game: You’re giving me 7.5-plus points with Aaron Rodgers? Deal. Take the points and don’t ask questions. (Green Bay eventually covered the spread when Todd Gurley allowed himself to be tackled inside the five-yard line instead of easily walking into the end zone for a front-door cover.)

Tonight, I won’t be taking that same approach despite Rodgers and Co. again finding themselves as an underdog yet again on the road. For starters, the Packers were catching over a touchdown in that matchup with the Rams, whereas oddsmakers are only giving us a field goal tonight with Green Bay. While there was significant value in catching a full touchdown with Rodgers under center in L.A., a field goal doesn't really do much for us tonight.

Schedule makers also did the Packers zero favors when it came to their travel schedule the past three weeks. After flying to the West Coast to play the Rams in Week 8, the Packers traveled to the East Coast a week later to play the Patriots in Foxborough on a Sunday night, then came back home to play the Dolphins last Sunday and are now back on the West Coast tonight playing on a short week. These are professional athletes with top travel accommodations but still, the Packers have racked up a ton of flyer miles in a short period of time.

There’s also something that stands out about Green Bay’s home/road splits. While the Packers are outscoring their opponents by nine points per game and 86 yards per game at Lambeau Field this season, they’ve been outscored by 10 PPG on the road. The only time they’ve covered on the road this season was the aforementioned Rams game, which again, could have been an ATS loss had Gurley waltzed into the end zone in the closing seconds. (Green Bay’s other road games were at Washington as a 2.5-point favorite, at Detroit as a 1-point dog, and at New England as a 5-point dog, all of which resulted in outright losses.)

Now, let’s talk about the game script tonight. The Seahawks rushed for 273 yards against the Rams on Sunday. Russell Wilson was a huge part of their success, rushing nine times for 92 yards on top of what he did in the passing game (17-of-26 for 176 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions). Wilson, who also gained 41 yards rushing on five carries two weeks ago in a loss to the Chargers, is starting to run more, which is a bad sign for any defense, especially a Green Bay unit that could be taxed. He's such a threat on the move, either to take off for big chunks on the ground or to extend plays while his receivers get open downfield.

Speaking of the Packer defense, they’re awfully thin at safety following the trade of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the release of Jermaine Whitehead, and the injury to Brice. The Seahawks rank No. 11 in explosive pass plays this season and with Green Bay depleted at safety, Seattle could strike for a couple of big passes tonight.

On the surface, it makes sense to grab the points with Rodgers but he’s 15-15 against the spread as an underdog since 2008. In fact, he’s 11-14 ATS as a road underdog over that span, so it has not been profitable for bettors to simply take the points with the Packers when Rodgers is under center. There is a lot to like about the 'Hawks tonight.

Pick: Seahawks -3

ATS Season Records

  • Week 1: 5-0
  • Week 2: 3-2
  • Week 3: 4-1
  • Week 4: 3-1-1
  • Week 5: 3-2
  • Week 6: 4-1
  • Week 7: 2-3
  • Week 8: 3-2
  • Week 9: 4-1
  • Week 10: 3-2
  • Overall: 34-15-1

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images.

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