Seattle Seahawks (10-6 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (11-5 SU, 11-3-1 ATS)
NFL Wildcard Playoff Round
Date/Time:Sunday, January 10, 1:05pm Where:TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA -4.5 / MIN +4.5
Over/Under Total: 42
This Sunday at 1:05pm, the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC playoff showdown. Both teams have had good seasons with the Vikings winning the NFC North in dramatic fashion on the last week of the season, while the Seahawks who stumbled out of the gates has had a hot finish to get one of the two wild card spots in the NFC. These two teams met just a month ago and the Seahawks not only got the win, but they absolutely dominated the Vikings in a 38-7 blowout win. Are the Seahawks that bad of a match up for the Vikings, or was that just an off week for Minnesota?
Just like the Steelers in the AFC against the Bengals, the Seahawks are a road favorite over the Minnesota Vikings. The line is now set at Seattle being a 4.5 point favorite over the NFC North Champions. Are the Seahawks getting love because of the earlier meeting between these two? Is the public just expecting them to make their third straight Super Bowl? I don't know what the reasoning is, but not only are the Seahawks favored but 63% of the early action is on them to win and cover this game and advance onto the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. The total points are set at 42 combined and 56% of the bettors believe the game will go over that total.
I will admit, coming into this season I was not a believer in the Minnesota Vikings. I thought Teddy Bridgewater would have a sophomore slump and I was not sure that Adrian Peterson would be his normal self after being off for over a year. Well, I was wrong, this team is for real. They finished the season at 11-5 and won the NFC North which was supposed to be Green Bay's division to lose...and they did just that, lose it. The success of the Vikings though is solely based on the run game and their defense. Teddy Bridgewater does a good job of protecting the ball, but he is not the QB you want to rely on putting a team on his back and arm. The Vikings ended the 2015 regular season as the 31st ranked passing offense with just over 180 yards a game passing. The run game however, anchored by Adrian Peterson, is the 4th best in all of the NFL and the defense for Minnesota is ranked in the NFL's top five in points allowed. This Vikings team is solid, but they will not be able to be one dimensional against the Seahawks defense. If Seattle takes away the run game early that could be big trouble for the Vikings. Minnesota needs to come out early and let Teddy Bridgewater air it out, just to show Seattle that they best not just stack the box and defend Peterson. A balanced offense, or at least the perception of a balanced offense is a must in this game for the Vikings or they will get blown out ...again.
The Seattle Seahawks, who SHOULD be the two time defending Super Bowl champions came out in 2015 and looked bad. They started the season with a 2-4 record and it looked like they were not even going to get a shot at the playoffs to have a chance to defend their NFC title. However, the Seahawks ended the 2015 season going 6-1 down the stretch and getting one of the wildcard spots. Now, the league is talking about Seattle making a run to yet another Super Bowl. With the exception of the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks have been the hottest team in the final few weeks of the season and they have the pedigree to make a run. The key to this game, like I was saying earlier, was to shut down Adrian Peterson and make Teddy Bridgewater make plays with his arm. I like Bridgewater, but I do not think he has the ability or the experience to beat a team like Seattle with his arm when the running game is shut down completely. Offensively, the Seahawks need to do what they do. Nothing more needs to be said about that.
I like this Seattle team a lot. Do I foresee them winning the NFC again? Probably not but only because they do not get the home field advantage. This team is for real and I like them to win this game this weekend over the Vikings. I hate taking such a big road favorite, but I just think this is a bad match up for Minnesota. Seattle will win this game 27-17.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -4.5
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