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NFL Odds, Week 3: Seahawks vs. Broncos against the spread

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It would've been worth backing the Seahawks to go 19-0 for a couple of quid until you see them give you about the worst run for your money imaginable. And the '72 Dolphins can breathe easy, bless ‘em.

If Seattle was ever going to lose this season (they were), then what better time to do so than when going back home to face the Denver Broncos.

The Seahawks simply need to get back on the horse.

If Peyton Manning is mad at Seattle for ensuring that lil' brother remains one ring ahead, then the Seahawks are just plain mad. And rightly so after last Sunday. If Peyton was ever going to be uber focused, it's this week. If the Seahawks were ever going to be uber focused, it's this week.

I'd tried to envision our first loss this season before September 4 inexorably rolled around. Nay, I'd tried to feel our first loss this season, just to imagine what my emotion might be. After winning the Super Bowl I'd thought it might be different than past years, a mite less painful. It was. I can't speak for anybody else on these pages, but I kinda shrugged at the end of the game last Sunday. We'd been beaten good and proper, fair enough, and good on San Diego as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, in particular, were truly outstanding. Only thing is though, is that it's crap not feeling crap. A loss should get right under my skin; I'm not feeling that right now and I'm not a fan of it.

I remember stumbling upon some Power Rankings, probably some time around the Draft, where Seattle was ranked number one and the blurb mentioning that the Seahawks were going to find out what it feels like to play with a target on their backs. After San Diego, they know now.

How does Denver +5 grab you? The public will surely be all over that as, in plain ol' black and white, it looks like buying money. Seattle's up against a (much) stronger defense than in the Super Bowl, Wes Welker's back and Manning is, well, least during the regular season. Not so fast though, people. The Broncos are already 0-2 ATS this season and if I may blow my own trumpet for a second, I did sneak Kansas City in as a good thing into last week's post.

When Jacson noted after last week's game that the Seahawks have won their last seven games coming off a loss, I decided to look at Seattle's record ATS following a loss in the RWE. The 7-2 record is a comfort for those who think the Seahawks will not only bounce back this week, but can also cover the spread of 4.5 points that is generally available.

As a note of interest (perhaps not, actually) the two occasions when Seattle's failed to cover the spread following a loss in the RWE, was in Detroit (Week 8, 2012, +2.5) and at home to Tennessee (Week 6, 2013, -12.5).

Here's a good trend: Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games. Here's a bad trend: Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road.

Here's a very good trend: The Seahawks are 7-0 ATS when favoured by less than a touchdown at home in the RWE. For that to continue, a lot of things have to come good on Sunday and while that is stating the bleedin' obvious, it's also because I see this as more of a 3.5 point game and can't put anybody off from laying down the hard earned on the visitors with a five point start.

What happened on the field in San Diego last Sunday was a surprise, but not a total shock and I can only suppose that those watching, wishing the Seahawks to trip up, would've delighted at the sight of the team with perhaps the greatest home field advantage in all of sports, suffering a particularly acute disadvantage in a city they rarely visit, decked out in dark blue under a sky more than a few shades lighter that was joyfully in cahoots with a sun that probably felt about 500 yards away. However, this team is still a juggernaut and will remain so even if, after Denver leaves town, Seattle resides with a 1-2 record.

"...I think I definitely got my championship spirit back after that loss. My crave, my hunger and my desire..." Earl Thomas perhaps speaking for the whole team during the week and Danny nailed it when writing that there's a chance the Chargers woke a sleeping giant.

If evidence was required, even this early, that Super Bowl XLIX is not a million miles away for Seattle, it stems from the fact (via ESPN) that the Broncos have been listed as the favourite in their last 28 regular season games and 31 games overall, including the playoffs. Looking at just the 28 regular season games, the quarterback who lies second on that list behind Manning is our very own Russell Wilson with five.

Russell Wilson...I almost feel as though we simply cannot lose a game as long as he's our quarterback. To say he performed admirably last Sunday is under cooking the game he played and yet still he gets overlooked. Well, I suppose you might after a loss. He'll never decry the lack of recognition though as his class will override that. You can't even see him changing when he finally gets paid next year and stops playing for peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate.

It's fair to assume that Percy Harvin will partake in more offensive snaps than he did last week, but any line on the amount of jet sweeps we'll see that involve him being the ball carrier should probably begin at 0.5. If Denver's alert to anything, or anybody, it's Harvin, but they're in large company.

The closer kickoff gets, the more I look at the list of players who didn't suit up on defense for Denver in February and the more I gulp. What doesn't help Seattle this week is that DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, Chris Harris and Rahim Moore carry no scars from the Super Bowl. Neither does Ryan Clady or Emmanuel Sanders. The one plus is that maybe Demaryius Thomas does. His bones may even still be clattering and he'll take no comfort in knowing that Kam Chancellor's taking heat for going for the knockout blow in lieu of tackling fundamentals. These teams are primed for each other, something that might not necessarily have been one hundred percent the case had Russ led the Seahawks to a TD with 3:04 remaining last Sunday. The Chargers delivered a blessing in disguise.

The Broncos have been no great shakes over two games and aren't even the best team in the AFC on current form, but let's not kid ourselves. I fully expect Russ to see a crumbling pocket numerous times on Sunday and, as has been written before, Denver aren't going to want to see him in the open field and they're only seven days removed from Alex Smith accumulating 42 yards on five attempts against them.

The Broncos are reinventing the good, old fashioned goal line stand, evoking memories of one of the most famous of all, the 49ers' masterpiece against the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. However, if some of us are still wallowing in San Diego's third down completion percentage last week, the Chiefs were a quite mammoth 11-16 on third down in Denver. With Alex Smith at quarterback. Not all is lost.

That's better. I'm starting to feel aggravated at the thought of events going downhill.

As an aside, and wrapping this up, I also make the Buffalo Bills -1 at home to the Chargers a stonking bet.

Please gamble responsibly.