Seattle Seahawks (4-3) at Detroit Lions (2-4)
I feel like I say this about the Seahawks every week when I pick their game, but I love picking their games because they have such a big home/road disparity. On the road, they are 16-29 ATS since 2007, as opposed to 30-14 ATS at home. As dogs, their record is even worse on the road as they are 12-23 ATS. On the East Coast at 1 PM, as is typically the case with west coast teams, they really struggle, going 4-14 ATS.
That being said, the Seahawks have some things going for them. The first and most obvious is that they are rested. Teams are 114-92 ATS on a Sunday the week after Thursday Night since 1989. They’re also road dogs off of a road loss. This is a strong trend in general as teams are 93-58 ATS in this spot since 2007. Teams tend to be better adjusted to playing on the road directly off another road game.
Even the Seahawks have some success in this spot, at least as compared to what they normally do on the road, going 3-2 ATS on the road as dogs off a loss since 2007. In their 2nd straight road game in general, they are 5-4 ATS. The Seahawks covered in this spot a couple weeks ago in Carolina. The Seahawks are also dogs before being favorites as they host Minnesota next week. Teams are 84-46 ATS in this spot since 2011.
I still like Detroit this week, but it’s for a smaller play. There are several reasons for that, aside from Seattle’s road struggles. For one, both metrics, yards per play differential and rate of sustaining drives differential suggests that Detroit is actually the better team. They’re 4th in the league in yards per play differential and 16th in rate of sustaining drives, while Seattle ranks 16th in yards per play and 20th in rate of sustaining drives. In the yards per play differential method of determining real line, Detroit is -6.5 and in the rate of sustaining drives differential method, Detroit is -4.5.
Neither of those metrics includes special teams, where Detroit has been horrible this year, and that’s one of the flaws with those two metrics. However, I don’t think Detroit’s special teams will be this bad all year because they’re on by far a record pace for futility. Detroit is better than their record. They’ve lost 4 games by 8, 3, 7, and 6. They’re also struggling with turnovers, with a turnover differential of -5, but that tends to even out over time (for more click here). I think we’re getting line value with the Lions, especially given Seattle’s road struggles. The 2nd reason I like Detroit is because this is a do or die game for a team that made the playoffs last year. This is their last stand, so they could easily play their best football game of the year. I don’t have a trend for this, but I like betting on former playoff teams in must win games.
The final reason I like Detroit is because favorites are evenly going to even things out. Dogs are 63-39 ATS this year, but the odds makers probably want to close that gap before the season is done so bettors don’t catch on and start picking all dogs. Neither dogs nor favorites have finished 10 games over .500 ATS in a single season in the last decade at least. Seattle actually has a slight public lean this week, so they’re a public dog. Even if it’s only barely, it still makes Detroit a good play because Detroit can cover without losing the odds makers money, which is obviously what they want. It’s always a good thing to want the same things as them. I like Detroit as long as the spread is 3 or lower.
Public lean: Seattle (new thing I’m adding, siding with the odds makers on bets is not a bad thing to do since they make so much money, so I’m listing this here to allow readers to “fade” the public, if they so choose, in this example, the odds makers win if Detroit covers)
Sharps lean: DET 15 SEA 13
Final update: No change
Detroit Lions 20 Seattle Seahawks 13
Pick against spread: Detroit -2.5 (-110) 2 units