Seattle Seahawks (6-5 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (8-3 SU, 9-2 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date/Time: Sunday, December 6, 2015, 1:00 pm EST
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
TV: FOX, DirecTV 711
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA -1/MIN +1
Over/Under Total: 41.5
In what will be one of the top games to watch in week 13 NFL action, the Seattle Seahawks travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in a game that will have all sorts of NFC playoff ramifications attached to it.
The Seahawks have recovered from their horrible start to the season, winning two in a row and four of their last five to climb back into the middle of the NFC playoff picture. Last week QB Russell Wilson turned in perhaps his best game as a pro on his 27th birthday, leading the Seahawks to a, 39-30, victory at home over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wilson threw for 345 yards and five touchdowns in the win and in the process got the Seahawks back into position to earn one of the NFCs wild card spots.
But they will face one of the surprise teams of the season thus far, the first-place Vikings who got back into sole position atop the NFC North standings with last weeks, 20-10, win on the road in Atlanta. The return of Adrian Peterson has meant everything to the Vikings this year, as they have jumped on his back and rode him all the way to the top of the division with five weeks to play.
With both teams seemingly hitting their stride right now, oddsmakers set the opening point spread with Seattle as slim 1-point favorites on the road. After a brief 24 hour period of wagering, the number has held firm at Seahawks minus -1 at most sportsbooks both offshore and out in Las Vegas. The over/under total opened at 41.5 and has also held firm through the early steam at the betting window.
Its no secret that this game on Sunday will feature two of the leagues top defenses. Everyone knows about Seattles Legion of Boom defense, and they are once again ranked in the top 10 in just about every single defensive number on the stat sheet. But the Vikings also sport one of the NFLs top 10 units on the defensive side, currently ranked 9th in yards allowed (334 ypg) but an even more impressive 2nd-ranked scoring defense allowing just 17.6 points per game.
What will be the most interesting twist to watch will be how both of these teams try and run the ball against those defenses. The Vikings, the NFLs top running attack at 146 yards a game, will have to find a way to get Peterson loose because with second-year QB Teddy Bridgewater struggling to learn the NFL passing game still (Minn. Ranked 31st passing at 189 ypg) they really dont have a whole lot of other options. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are the NFLs 2nd-ranked running attack in at 144 yards per game and even without Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch sitting out with a sports hernia, the Seahawks have turned to rookie Thomas Rawls and they havent missed a beat. Seattle will be without TE Jimmy Graham however, who torn up his knee in last weeks win over the Steelers and was placed on IR this week.
These two teams last met two years ago in what turned into a, 41-20, victory for Seattle back when the Vikings thought Christian Ponder was their quarterback of the future. In recent years the month of December is when the Seahawks separate themselves from the NFC pack, going 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS the past three years in the final month of the regular season. However, the Vikings are 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS at home in TCF Bank Stadium this season.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game will be won by one of the starting QBs, as I fully expect both defenses to stack the box at the line of scrimmage in order to stop the run. In that scenario, you have to like Wilson over Bridgewater. The Vikings will make it a game, and it will likely be a tight game for most of the 60 minutes. But in the end I think the Seahawks get the job done with a little more polished passing game. Im taking Seattle minus the point on the road.
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