Minnesota Vikings (2-7 SU, 4-5 ATS) @ Seattle Seahawks ( 9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date and Time: November 17, 2013 1:25 p.m. EST.
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA.
by Wilson, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Min +13.5/SEA -13.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5
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Welcome back NFL fans! I’d like to thank the Seattle Seahawks for proving me wrong last week—finally! The Hawks flew into Atlanta and quieted the critics (myself included) who suggested they still struggle on the road. Granted, they did play a pretty weak Falcons team that only has two wins over other losing teams. But regardless of their opponent, Seattle put together probably their most complete game of the season. How? They established the run early and often behind the legs of Beast Mode (RB Marshawn Lynch) and the excellent play of QB Russell Wilson. Lynch is simply the toughest back in the NFL—period. He continues to run even when he’s done running and then he continues to run some more. The guy is a throwback to the Earl Campbell, Walter Payton and other 9 to 5ers era who rushed as if they didn’t get a first-down their family would starve, literally. A guy like Marshawn Lynch in the backfield is like having Cal Ripken Jr. at short stop—always dependable. Then the Seahawks call on Russell Wilson to pinpoint a perfect pass to the super-athletic WR Golden Tate (who has grown up since his 5th grade taunting episode) to pull in a miraculous catch in the corner of the end zone! Championship stuff is what’s happening to this Seattle team right now.< /p>
If you’re looking for the magic formula on how to bet this game it is pretty safe to say Seattle will win at home as they haven’t lost a home game in about 100 years, okay maybe not 100 years but it’s been a long time. In fact, Russell Wilson is still undefeated as a starting QB at home. The question remains can the Hawks win minus the bookmakers spread? As of this writing the Hawks are favored by 13.5 which is fair considering their potential to put points on the board but which team will we see at this home game? The team that nearly gave Tampa Bay their first win on the season and let the Bucs run all over them or the team we saw last week in Atlanta, that had a balanced offensive attack and a plethora of defensive stops and turnovers?
The Minnesota Vikings come into Seattle licking their chops and trying to salvage an already disappointing season—they have two wins on the season: one of those not even in the United States but in London against the deflated Steelers and the other win just last week versus the Washington Redskins 34-27, ironically the same exact score in the win over the Steelers. Maybe 34 points is the magic number for the Vikings but unfortunately they have to put those numbers up at Seattle which is arguably the toughest place to play in the NFL. Perhaps last week’s win over a respectable opponent in the Redskins will spark some hope in the Vikings that they can play with teams even if they are a bit depleted in position areas. RB Adrian Peterson continues to get stronger and is currently averaging 4.5 yards per carry with just over 750 yards rushing so far on the season—he will be interesting to watch as he will certainly test the Seahawk’s so-so run defense and may be the deciding factor in this contest at least for the Vikings offensive attack.
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The Seahawks are playing at a level they’ve never quite reached before in Seattle which is to say, they are accomplishing a lot of “first” in Seahawk’s franchise history; first time they’ve been 9-1 as a team, and most road wins in team franchise history as well. I’m not an NFL coach but if I had to choose a coach to come in and turn a team around I believe Pete Carroll would be high on my list—whatever behind the scenes work he is doing certainly shows on game days. It may not always be pretty but this Seattle team knows how to finish games and they never seem to lose their composure especially behind whom many are referring too as a natural born leader in 2nd year QB sensation Russell Wilson.
The Hawks still have a laundry list of injuries with the newest coming after the Atlanta game to CB Brandon Browner (groin), DE Red Bryant (concussion), and DT Jordan Hill (bicep). Offensively, the Hawks are hoping for the return of WR Percy Harvin to add more weapons to their passing arsenal. O-lineman, Okung, Unger and Giacomini are questionable as well.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: There's a reason that a fairly weak TB team was able to stick with Seattle a couple weeks ago. Sure, the Hawks went into Atlanta and beat up the Falcons, but the Falcons are a bad team right now with a defense that was depleted by injuries and vulernable. The Vikings can be helter skelter. Seattle has too many question marks. There's one consistent variable here. Both defenses are vulnerable. I'm betting the OVER. I could see 60+ points being scored in this game. Luck to ya
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