Detroit Lions (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Monday, October 5th, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DET +10/SEA -10
Over/Under Total: 43
The Seattle Seahawks are still trying to climb out of the early season hole they put themselves in and get back into the pack in the NFC playoff hunt, this week they get to host the winless Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field on ESPNs Monday Night Football.
Seattle broke free from the pool of winless teams with an easy, 26-0, victory over the winless Chicago Bears last weekend in their 2015 home opener. While the Seahawks defense looked in top form with the return of Kam Chancellor in holding the Bears hapless offense to nothing but punts, fans of Beast Mode and worries about protection along the offensive line have to continue to worry everyone going into the week four tussel with the Lions.
As one of the remaining winless teams, the Lions are on the verge of drowning in the pool with no lifeline in sight. The Lions continue to struggle protecting Matthew Stafford on offense, although they did do a better job in their, 24-12, loss at home to Denver last Sunday night. With a game against the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals on the schedule for Detroit following their visit to CenturyLink and the 12th-man on MNF this week, this may be the last chance anybody gets to see the Lions before they slip away into irrelevance.
Oddsmakers opened up the Monday Night affair with the Seahawks as rather large 10-point favorites at home in CenturyLink, and ironically to a large degree the betting public is in full agreement because the point spread has yet to move off of minus -10 despite most of the early steam coming in on Seattle. There are a few sportsbooks that have dropped off the double digit mark down to -9.5, but youll have to be willing to pay extra juice up to -115 or -120 to get the hook and get off the number of 10.
The over/under total opened at 43 and just like the point spread, it too has yet to really move much in either direction early in the week. Like is usually the case with totals, youll likely be able to find it either up the hook to 43.5 or down the hook to 42.5 at a few sportsbooks depending on where you wager, a tactic that books use to take the push out of play as an end result.
There is no denying the fact that injuries and free agent losses have seriously hurt the effectiveness of the Seattle offensive line this season. Its hurt the Seahawks since the very first preseason game in August, and it continues to affect them today. The crafty and shifty Russell Wilson was sacked four times by the Bears, an alarming amount of times if you are Pete Carroll and staff. The good news is that Detroit will enter the game as the NFLs 28th-ranked defense after three weeks (395.7 ypg allowed) and 24th in points allowed at 28 per game, although LB DeAndre Levy is listed as questionable again to return this week. With word out of Seattle that Marshawn Lynch may not play, the duo of rookie Thomas Rawls and veteran Fred Jackson will see increased playing time.
It may sound like a broken record, but offensive line woes are hurting the Lions on offense too. Dead last in rushing yards per game (45 ypg 32nd), the lack of any kind of running game has turned it into open season on Stafford for opposing defenses. With the 12th man and Chancellor back with another week to get in full game shape lets just say its safe to assume that Stafford may get knocked around and get antsy in the pocket again this week as the Seattle defense gets their chance to slap him around a little bit in primetime.
A look into the betting trends will show that the home team has enjoyed a 4-0 ATS record in the last four head-to-head meetings dating back to the early 2003. Seattle is also 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games on Monday Night Football in primetime, while Detroit is 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: While I dont usually endorse betting on a double digit point spread in an NFL game, this one is looking like I might have to leave my comfort zone. Detroit will struggle with the crowd and the Seattle defense, in fact, theres no guarantee Stafford finishes the game at QB. And Im not so sure the Lions defense is strong enough up front to take advantage of the Seahawks offensive line woes. It sure looks like a really big number to lay, even with Lynch and the Seahawks running game shorthanded, but I seem to have no other choice really but to take Seattle minus the -10 points.
Additional NFL Football Betting Previews