Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds - Free Pick
Detroit suffered their 3rd-straight loss last week, a 31-24 defeat at the hands of Green Bay. Seattle struggled to overcome San Francisco 25-23 last Sunday.
The Lions’ offense has been in the hands of QB Matthew Stafford for most of the season. Although his play has slipped since injuring the pinkie on his right hand, he finished the year with 4,327 passing yards and 24 TDs. Without WR Calvin Johnson around, several receivers have stepped up. Ex-Seahawk WR Golden Tate led the team with 91 catches and 1,077 yards receiving and he will draw the attention of CB Richard Sherman. FA acquisition WR Marvin Jones has had his best season in the NFL in 2016 and the long-awaited production from former 1st-round pick TE Eric Ebron finally materialized this season (61-711-1). Veteran WR Anquan Boldin led the team with 8 TD receptions and had several clutch 3rd-down conversions. These 4 players give Stafford a lot of options on passing downs and the Seahawks secondary has looked vulnerable in the absence of All Pro FS Earl Thomas, injured and missing the last 4 games. Seattle has given up 38 and 34 points in 2 of the games he has missed as they couldn’t handle the multi-faceted passing attacks of Green Bay and Arizona. DEs Cliff Avril (11.5 sacks) and Frank Clark (10) have provided a solid rush from the outside while Detroit has yielded 37 sacks in 2016. RB Zach Zenner is the third different player to be the lead back this year and has given the Lions a boost with his hard-running style. Still, he averages only 3.8 ypc and the Lions average a mere 82 ypg on the ground. The Seahawks have stuffed the run all year, yielding 3.4 ypc and 93 ypg. If the Lions hope to move the ball consistently on offense, they will need to rely on Stafford’s right arm.
Seattle’s offense used to rest with RB Marshawn Lynch but those days are so over for this offense. RB Christine Michael finished as the team leader with 469 rushing yards, 120 more than RB Thomas Rawls and he (Michael) was cut several weeks ago. The Seahawks average 99 ypg on the ground but that has been helped by the occasional scramble by QB Russell Wilson. Detroit’s run defense has been decent on the year (106 ypg) but they are hardly a wall inside (4.4 ypc allowed). The insertion of rookie DT A’Shawn Robinson into the starting lineup has helped the run defense. Where the Lions defense has been sorely lacking is in their pass defense. They allowed an NFL-high 73% completion rate and made several opposing QBs look better than they are. With only 26 sacks, the defense wasn’t able to consistently pressure opposing QBs, allowing their average secondary to be exposed on numerous occasions. They also have trouble containing mobile QBs as evidenced last week against QB Aaron Rodgers of the Packers. Wilson has had a good, not great, season and needs some of his receivers to step up in this contest. WR Doug Baldwin built on last year’s breakout campaign and led the team in receptions, yardage and TDs. TE Jimmy Graham finally started to pay dividends after the high cost the Seahawks paid to acquire him looked to be a terrible move. With little running game to speak of, Graham has become a key short-yardage target for Wilson but still retains the ability to beat teams downfield (14.2 ypc). The loss of the explosive WR Kevin Lockett (IR) has hurt the offense and it is time for WR Jermaine Kearse to revert to his big-play ways.
Public Money Consensus
In this week NFL playoff matchup between Detroit and Seattle the public is definitively on the Lions getting the 8 points with over 70%. The over/under bettors are betting this game is going over the 42.5 point total with over 77%.
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks Prediction
Four of the past 5 games Seattle have played in reached 47 points or more as the defense has had trouble containing opposing offenses in the absence of Thomas. The Seahawks scored 24+ points in 4 of those games as their offense can still put up their share of points. Detroit’s last 2 games have produced 63 and 55 points as they had trouble with the Cowboys and Packers’ offenses. The Seahawks offense may be a step down in class from those 2 teams but with Wilson’s ability to scramble and make plays on the move, I expect them to give the Lions all they can handle. Conversely, I expect Stafford to move the ball through the air consistently against this defense. Seattle has lost 1 home game this season and has a 9-game home-winning streak going in the playoffs. Despite that, I’ll go with the Over in this one as I expect a spirited high-scoring affair between these 2 clubs.
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