St. Louis Rams (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (12-3)
The Seahawks need this win to clinch the #1 seed and home field advantage through to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks lost at home last week, for the first time since week 16 of the 2011 and the first time in Russell Wilson’s career, snapping a perfect 14-0 start. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be an auto-bet at home. Nothing is going to work every time, but betting on the Seahawks blindly at home has been very lucrative in the past, actually dating back several seasons.
Since 2007, they are 38-18 ATS at home, including 22-10 ATS as home favorites, and 11-4 ATS as home favorites of 7 or more. They have been especially good over the past two years, as they’ve broken out as an elite team, going 11-4 ATS since the start of the 2012 season. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 16.87 points per game at home since the start of last season. One loss doesn’t change that.
What one loss does do is give us some line value with the Seahawks. The Seahawks were 10 point home favorites for the Cardinals last week and it seemed completely reasonable at the time given the Seahawks home dominance. Now they are just 10 point home favorites against a St. Louis team that lost by 20 in Arizona and that is without left tackle Jake Long with a torn ACL? Why? Because they lost one game? The Seahawks have been very good off of a loss recently anyway, going 15-9 ATS off of a loss since Pete Carroll took over in 2010 and 5-2 ATS off of a loss since Russell Wilson became the starting quarterback in 2012. That makes sense considering elite head coach/quarterback duos usually dominate off of a loss.
How much line value are we getting with the Seahawks? Well, they move the chains at a 72.28% rate, as opposed to 66.82% for their opponents, a differential of 5.46%, which ranks 6th in the NFL. The Rams, meanwhile, come in at 23rd, moving the chains at a 70.07% rate, as opposed to 73.44% for their opponents, a differential of -3.37%. That suggests this line should be around 12, before you even get into the Seahawks’ home dominance and the absence of Jake Long. I have a lot of confidence in the Seahawks this week.
Seattle Seahawks 27 St. Louis Rams 6
Pick against spread: Seattle -10