The Seattle Seahawks are preparing for their toughest game of the season on Saturday, a 1:35 PM PST divisional round playoff game in Atlanta against the Falcons. At home the Seahawks may be favored, but seeing as it is a road team, the line moved up to -6 for Atlanta as of Saturday morning. Given Seattle’s struggles on the road and their porous offensive line, things don’t look as great as they have in recent times for the Seahawks, but some people are still picking them to win and advance to the NFC Championship.
Over at ESPN, Matt Bowen and Seth Wickersham are going with Seattle, as opposed to the seven other analysts who picked the Falcons. Bowen had the second-best regular season picks record of the bunch after KC Joyner.
At CBS, every single writer picked Atlanta, while only two picked the Seahawks against the spread. Chris Burke at SI picked the Falcons. NFL.com picked the Falcons. Six of seven SB Nation NFL experts picked the Falcons, except for Joel Thorman (Chiefs) picked the Seahawks. Two guys at USA Today picked the Falcons.
Chris Berman, ESPN’s lead NFL person for decades and now on his way out of that position, picked the Seahawks.
“I like what Atlanta has done this season, especially on offense. The Falcons scored 540 points, tied for the eighth-highest total in NFL history, and 13 different receivers caught a touchdown pass (an NFL record). Matt Ryan is a legitimate MVP candidate. And the defense is much improved. I get it. But this Seattle group, even without Earl Thomas, is a unique one. The Seahawks have a core of group of young guys who have more postseason experience since 2012 than most vets. Russell Wilson is 8-3 in the playoffs. Of all the units on the field, I think the Seattle offense has the biggest hidden ceiling. It can be much better than we've seen. And the Seahawks still have the best defense left in the NFC. Seattle edges out Atlanta.
Score: Seattle 29, Atlanta 27”
Picks don’t matter. But maybe with enough picks going against the Seahawks, it’ll get to the players that for the first time in a long time, few of the big names believe in them and could give them extra motivation to do what about 80% of these people don’t think they will do.
If picks even made one iota of a difference in sports, then I would say it’s better to be picked to lose than picked to win.