Week 9 Picks: Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills
Seattle Seahawks (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS)
When: Sunday, November 8, 1 p.m.
Where: Bills Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Point Spread: SEA -3/BUF +3 (Get Reduced Juice)
Total: O/U 55
Could this be a battle between division champions? The Seahawks have looked like one of the top teams in the NFC because they’ve been able to outscore just about everyone this season, but they’re going to have a much harder time doing that in this game. Buffalo’s offense has become much sharper at times this season, but the Bills are still a defense-first team, and they’ve shown it by holding some potent offenses (examples include the Chiefs and Raiders) to under 28 points this season.
That would be relatively new territory for the Seahawks, who have only played one game all season where they’ve scored under 28 points. But Seattle’s biggest liability is that the defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone this season. Against Arizona, the Seahawks finally ran into a team that had an offense that could match their own and weren’t able to keep their perfect record intact. On paper, Buffalo’s offense has the potential to do exactly what the Cardinals did to the Seahawks. But the Bills are not playing well on that side of the ball lately, and if they can’t keep up with Seattle, they’re going to have a hard time winning this game.
How the Public is Betting the Seattle/Buffalo Game
The public is very high on Seattle, as 73 percent of tickets have come in on the Seahawks. In turn, that’s pushed the line up from Seattle -1.5 to Seattle -3. However, the total has not moved off the opening of 55.
Tight end Greg Olsen (foot), guard Phil Haynes (hip), defensive end Rasheem Green (neck), guard Mike Iupati (back), running back Carlos Hyde (hamstring), cornerback Shaquill Griffin (concussion), running back Chris Carson (foot), defensive end Benson Mayowa (ankle), safety Ugo Amadi (hamstring) and wide receiver David Moore (ribs) are questionable. Defensive end Damontre Moore is suspended, and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is out with a foot injury. Safety Jamal Adams (groin) is probable.
Running back T.J. Yeldon (back), linebacker Matt Milano (undisclosed), wide receiver John Brown (knee), linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips (quadricep), tackle Cody Ford (knee), cornerback Josh Norman (hamstring), defensive tackle Vernon Butler (groin), safety Micah Hyde (concussion), running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and center Mitch Morse (concussion) are questionable. Cornerback Cam Lewis is out with a wrist injury.
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When Seattle Has the Ball
When he’s been able to stay on the field, Chris Carson has been an effective back for the Seahawks. The fourth-year man out of Oklahoma State missed the Seahawks’ win over San Francisco with a foot injury, but he’s averaging nearly five yards a carry when he’s healthy. With Carlos Hyde also nicked up, the running game could fall to DeeJay Dallas again. Dallas did score a touchdown against the 49ers, but he wasn’t that effective overall, gaining just 41 yards on 18 carries.
For an offense to work with those kinds of numbers, the passing attack has to be on target, and that’s exactly what Russell Wilson has been all season. What makes Seattle’s offense so effective is that both D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are having excellent seasons, giving Wilson two reliable targets who can stretch the offense on any play. Lockett’s the main man for possession plays, while Metcalf is more speed, and both players have been matchup nightmares for the defense. With Josh Norman battling an injury, this game could open up for the Seahawks.
When Buffalo Has the Ball
The Bills have won their past two games, but there’s a lot to be concerned about here. Buffalo appears to be on track to finally win the AFC East, and there’s a possibility that beating New England could be the tonic that gets the Bills back to playing the way they can. Buffalo did not play well against either the Jets or the Patriots, but there is a case to be made that the Bills looked past the Jets to the Patriots and had a huge mental block against New England, given that they had lost eight consecutive home games against the Patriots before finally breaking through.
Buffalo has to hope that that’s the case, because Josh Allen has been playing very poorly as of late. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since the 6:34 mark of the fourth quarter against Kansas City, and that was three weeks ago now. Against the Patriots, Allen didn’t have to pass all that much because the Bills opted for a run-heavy strategy and allowed Devin Singletary to gash the New England run defense, but that’s not going to work against Seattle. For one, the Seahawks actually have a reasonably strong run defense, and for another thing, Seattle’s offense is too effective for Buffalo to be able to grind out a win anyway. That means that Stefon Diggs, who has been rather quiet for the past few weeks, has to step up with a big game here.
When YOU Have the Ball
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Turf is a necessity in the north, and the Seahawks probably wish that it wasn’t, as they’ve lost four consecutive games ATS on the surface. However, November has been the month where the Seahawks tend to hit the gas, covering the number in six of their past seven games in the month (and the one exception was a push). Buffalo has also had a lot of success in November, covering in six of eight with one push, but the Bills have continued to live up to their tendencies to beat the teams they should and struggle against the better teams in the NFL. Buffalo has failed to cover in four straight as an underdog, and even the weather of western New York hasn’t helped them here, as the Bills are just 3-8 in their past 11 as a home dog.
When it comes to the total, these teams have shown no problem hitting it. Seattle has hit the over in six of its past eight, while Buffalo has done so in five of eight with a push. There’s not a lot of history between the teams, as they meet only once every four years, but the over has hit in six straight matchups.
Former Bills coach Marv Levy loved to tell his team for home games that “when it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for us.” That usually applies in November in Buffalo, but with the forecast calling for 71 degrees and clear skies, Sunday isn’t going to be too tough for anybody.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I admit I’m nervous about Seattle coming across three time zones and facing Buffalo, but the reality is the Bills are not playing well lately, and I’m not willing to bet that all of it was simply related to New England. Buffalo is getting little to nothing out of its offense as of late, and that is not going to work against the Seahawks.
Plus, Seattle has already gone across three time zones once this season and picked up a win over Miami, going diagonally across the country to do so. If the Seahawks can win in south Florida against an improving Dolphins team, they can win in western New York. Give me the Seahawks. Bet ALL of your Week 9 NFL picks FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! Free Loot is GOOD Loot!