Last week on AGAINST THE SPREAD:
Seahawks 31, Patriots 24 (line: New England -7.5) (our advice: take Seattle with the points)
Now that was a great game to have points in your back pocket; after the Seahawks answered New England’s opening scoring drive with a quick score of their own, I felt pretty secure in my wager backing them +8. Moneyline bettors were handsomely awarded at $265 for every $100 wagered on the Hawks, a payout the likes we are not going to see again until ... the NFC Championship game against Dallas?
Seattle opened as 6-point favorites this week against the Philadelphia Eagles, who have come down to Earth a bit after a blazing 3-0 SU and ATS start. The Eagles have lost 4 of 6 since then, both SU and ATS, as their schedule got more difficult than the likes of Cleveland and Chicago. Those last six games have also been against teams with current winning records, and they’ve been pretty competitive, not losing by more than two scores in any of them.
There are metrics in which Philadelphia is the best team in the land even after their recent slide; The Eagles are ranked 1st in the NFL in total and weighted DVOA, with Seattle ranked 2nd. In particular, Philly is ranked #1 in both defense and special teams DVOA. They also have the second best point differential in the NFC, ahead of the Seahawks’ +35 and only behind the Cowboys’ +88.
The relative statistical strength of the Eagles is certainly why they can be taken on the road in Seattle without getting a full touchdown here, and I’m spooked enough by that DVOA number to avoid the side altogether. The line has since inflated to -7 if you want to back the Seahawks in some spots, and I don’t like it at that level.
The Seahawks have scored 31 points in consecutive games now, and we all feel the offense turning a corner the farther we get away from Russell Wilson’s limbs turning ways they shouldn’t. Philadelphia is nothing if not consistent on offense, scoring between 20-24 points per game in their last six. I feel they have enough weapons to put up 17 points here, which would be the lowest total that Seattle has kept a team in four weeks if it happens. There’s no shame in winning this game 31-17, which would get us well past the Over mark as it stands now. Hey wait, I guess that result gets the Seahawks a win against the spread too. I’ll be parlaying Seattle -6 with Over 44 this week at my book for the greater payout at 2.6 to 1.