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NFL Odds: Seahawks vs. Bears against the spread

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Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The mere thought of the Seattle Seahawks going up against the Chicago Bears should give cause to make each and every one of us smile just a little. I'll elaborate in a bit, although some of you may already be ahead of me. And it's kinda weird how it's happening this week. It's not that Seattle's DOA as Week 3 inexorably rolls around. No, they're just a tad strangulated, which is exactly how things were after Week 12 of the 2012 season, despite them boasting a winning record at the time.

"We got to get out of our own way right now." Words that might have been uttered by Pete Carroll after the aforementioned Week 12 in (Miami), as the Seahawks prepared to travel to Chicago. Words uttered by Carroll this week before Chicago prepares to travel to the Seahawks.

The 24-21 reversal to the Dolphins in 2012 was maddening and the almost quintessential Seahawky defeat. My apologies for the crappy term, but I know you know what I mean. The Russell Wilson led Seattle Seahawks were eleven games into this brand new dawn and, despite the modest 6-5 record, there had already been some almighty highlights. Giddy, in fact, for us, after two 7-9 seasons, two years punctuated by the stunning toppling of the world champion New Orleans Saints in the wildest Wild Card. At least to us lot. You may have heard of it.

Wilson had your typical troubling, rookie debut (if that even exists) in Arizona, but there was promise. Promise that was quickly realised as Seattle promptly dispatched Dallas seven days later, who themselves were coming off of stealing the family jewels from the home of the defending champion Giants. The ‘Fail Mary' came and went without ever really going away, the mighty Patriots (Aaron Hernandez included, which kinda dates the game) were stunned 24-23 before the Seahawks meandered their way somewhat to 6-4 with the Dolphins up next. As you remember, painfully predictable was November 25, 2012.

What wasn't predictable, or certainly predicted, was December 2, 2012. Seattle had at least kept it close in Chicago, down 14-10, the clock winding down inside four minutes as the Bears punted...to the Seahawks' 3 yard line, with 3:40 remaining. It's OK, the rookie QB wasn't going to get us out of this hole, but, again, there was promise. Promise is what always drives Seahawks fans. Only, Seattle was building something. Quicker than any of us realised. Russell Wilson just, well, just...took over. He fearlessly grabbed the offense by the scruff of the neck and went and engineered a 12 play, 97 yard drive with the Soldier Field crowd going beserk; cool as a cucumber.

Sure, the Bears tied it at 17 to send the game into overtime, but, on the first real roll of his fledgling career, Wilson drove the Seahawks 80 yards in another 12 plays, hitting Sidney Rice from 13 yards out to seal the W. Rice wouldn't remember much of it considering the hit he took as he crossed the plane of the goal line, but to watch those two drives again now don't half warm the cockles.

Those drives were the rebirth of the Seahawks after the dizzy heights of Alexander, Hasselbeck, Hutchinson, Jackson, Jones, Strong*, Tatupu...insert whoever you like.

*Mack Strong. Just the most unsung Seahawks legend. The list is alphabetical as, naturally, Strong goes first. Of course over Walter Jones. I'm not some kind of idiot...

The Seahawks aren't anywhere near a rebirth of course, but they could do with some air. The aforementioned drives made the biggest statement that Seattle had a franchise quarterback in the making, allied to a burgeoning defense. And if ever a team was to pounce on the momentum gained from any given week, over the next three weeks the Seahawks obliterated the Cardinals, Bills and 49ers to the tune of 150 points while conceding just 30. And, aside from losing to the Falcons in the 2012 playoffs and the Patriots in the Super Bowl, have rarely looked back since. Yes, even at the beginning of this season as Seattle has (somehow?) led in the fourth quarter on both occasions.

This is not a disaster. The Super Bowl was a disaster and I don't believe this 0-2 start to be any kind of hangover. The Rams were the Rams when playing Seattle and many, many good teams have left Lambeau with their tail between their legs as long as Aaron Rodgers is at quarterback.

So, let's get to the end of this rambling. The Seahawks get the chance to make a statement all over again against the Bears and have people open their eyes at what this team can achieve in 2015. I don't see how it can't happen this week and I write as news of Kam Chancellor's return hits. He won't be fully game ready or anywhere near to it, surely, but he couldn't have picked many better assignments at which to make a belated return to football. He then has a further eight days to prepare for Golden Tate's homecoming, who's going to be itching to run Seattle's secondary ragged.

If the 2012 victory in Chicago was the rising from the ashes of the last great bunch of Seahawks, let's consider (because we can) what outcome defined Seattle's readiness before they careered their way to Super Bowl XL. I can't say you'd be wrong to highlight the 42-0 shellacking of the Eagles in Philly on Monday night in Week 13 of the 2005 season, but that's probably a little too late in the year as the Seahawks were 9-2 before that one. I want to take you back to Week 5 of 2005 and the quite epic 37-31 win in St. Louis. I recall even now the spring that put in my step the following morning and it began an 11 game winning streak after a 2-2 start.

So, two birth-of-an-era games seven years apart. In the cyclical world of the NFL among teams that aren't named the Patriots, I guess the league would take that. The model works beautifully well and if you draft with craft, then you won't be waiting for the next seven years to roll around before you're back in with a chance.

The last three games Seattle's been involved in brings to mind strands of a famous quote of Jim Morrison (if Jimbo is your cup o' tea...I like mine extra strong): "[of being]...an intelligent...human being, with the soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments."

The soul's intact, but Seattle's been guilty of the latter. And, to think, they were in with the loudest of shouts right at the very business end of two of those games and were threatening to take the Packers all the way as the final quarter began.

I wake up early on Saturday morning to finish this post and what's this? Marshawn Lynch is nursing a calf injury and is a game time decision? The Bears are definitely without Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery and the Seahawks are doing what they can to make the playing field as level as possible. How very gentlemanly of them. Chivalry is far from dead. If Lynch is out, for the first time since 2011, then it shouldn't really impact the outcome any, to be honest. Forgive me my selfishness, but I simply want to see a jacked up Seahawks smash the Bears out of sight in front of a jacked up home crowd. That's all.

How incredible/ridiculous that a back such as Lynch, with the poundings he takes, hasn't missed a game since Week 7 of the 2011 season. It is mentioned on Field Gulls every now and then, but it's always worth reiterating...having Lynch suiting up as a Seahawk truly is a blessing and when he no longer is, he'll be more than sorely missed. The grandkids will marvel at the tales we tell them, backed up by the feats on film, and we've been here to witness this in real time. As disappointing as events may have proven to be so far this season, these have been, and still are, the greatest of times. It's a ride that's never tiresome. Finally (they cried), let's get to some odds.

Not unexpectedly, I suppose, Seattle finds itself a two touchdown favourite this week. I wish I had the time to research it (notwithstanding me being bone idle), but I can't remember the last time an 0-2 team started -14 points, albeit at home. Rarefied air, indeed, and can the Seahawks overcome the line? Yes, they can and I fully expect them to.

I can't be alone in thinking this, but the Bears should leave Seattle on Sunday wondering what just hit them. Even sans Lynch, the Seahawks should make a mockery of the line. This is a team with something to prove and the crowd will be expectant. The secondary doesn't have to worry about Alshon Jeffery and Chicago has Jimmy Clausen directing the offense. Now, I'm loath to be too ahead of myself here, but we've just lived through the toughest two game stretch(?) of the schedule and, barring possibly the Browns coming to Seattle in Week 15, this appears to be the game that presents the least amount of problems. It's all very soothing to think this, of course, but when Seattle leads 14-13 in the third quarter with the Bears driving into Seahawks territory, I'm sure I'll afford myself a wry smile.

I can't seem to find any sportsbook offering Seattle -13.5 so you're going to have to settle on the Seahawks winning by two TD's and whatever it takes thereafter. Chicago's available +15 with Coral or +15.5 over at Sportbet, which my laptop is barring me from visiting. Fantastic!

There's been three occasions in the RWE when Seattle's been favoured by at least two touchdowns at home. Here's the form:

2013, Week 3: (-18.5 vs. Jaguars) WON 45-17

2013, Week 9: (-14.5 vs. Buccaneers) WON 27-24 (OT)

2014, Week 9: (-15 vs. Raiders) WON 30-24

Nice SU reading (just about), but 1-2 ATS. Here's the thing, though, and let's look at this in reverse order. The week prior to hosting Oakland, the Seahawks had emerged bruised and battered from a road trip to Carolina and that after the annual scrap in St. Louis. Seattle was just happy to be back in, er...Seattle.

The week prior to entertaining the Bucs, the Seahawks were fresh (ahem) off a Monday night duel in (go on, you guessed it) St. Louis. Surprise, sur-bloody-prise. In addition, they could also be forgiven for looking seven days hence, where they would head back to Atlanta, scene of the shattering playoff loss ten months earlier. It wasn't that the Falcons were any great shakes that year, but the Seahawks had business to take care of, business they duly did take care of, in exhilarating fashion.

This particular game feels different, for reasons I need not explain. This one really matters. Yes, they all do, but some just get the juices flowing more than others. We're only human; matters matter more this Sunday.

Now, purely as a double digit home favourite in the RWE (including the playoffs), here's what's occurred, and it's patchy at best ATS. Feel free to skim over it as it's pretty lengthy:

2012, Week 14: (-10 vs. Cardinals) WON 58-0

2012, Week 17: (-10.5 vs. Rams) WON 20-13

2013, Week 3: (-18.5 vs. Jaguars) WON 45-17

2013, Week 6: (-12.5 vs. Titans) WON 20-13

2013, Week 9: (-14.5 vs. Buccaneers) WON 27-24 (OT)

2013, Week 11: (-11.5 vs. Vikings) WON 41-20

2013, Week 16: (-10 vs. Cardinals) LOST 17-10

2013, Week 17: (-10.5 vs. Rams) WON 27-9

2014, Week 9: (-15 vs. Raiders) WON 30-24

2014, Week 17: (-11.5 vs. Rams) WON 20-6

2014, Div. Play: (-10.5 vs. Panthers) WON 31-17

So, 10-1 SU, but a measly 6-5 ATS, which translates itself into a SU win on Sunday. Now, ordinarily, I defer to history when it comes to the spread, but it's liberating to go with the gut sometimes and I'm doing just that this week. Seattle could win this by 28 points so lay whatever you want on the Seahawks. Except your house.

Here's some trends, courtesy of oddsshark:

Chicago is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games

Chicago is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road

Seattle is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games against Chicago

The Seahawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games, the second time that's happened with Wilson under center. The previous occasion was last season when, having opened the season 3-1 ATS, they failed to cover at home to the Cowboys (-7.5), at the Rams (-6.5), at the Panthers (-4.5) and at home to the Raiders (-15).

Please gamble responsibly.