Minnesota Vikings (5-3) at Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
I think I preface every single one of my picks on Seattle’s game by saying I love picking their games because of their huge home/road disparity. Dating back to 2007, they are 30-14 ATS at home and 16-30 ATS on the road. They’ve lost their last two after an impressive 4-2 start, including wins over Green Bay, Dallas, and New England at home, and now everyone thinks the sky is falling for this team. The sky isn’t falling. They just went on the road.
We’re not getting any line movement away from Seattle from last week to this week, however, because everyone thinks the sky is falling for Minnesota as well. In fact, this line has actually shifted from -3 and -4. However, they may be right when they say the sky is falling for Minnesota. It’s tough to knock a team, especially such a young team, for a bad game on a short week, but, Christian Ponder will need to step it up. In his last 3 games, he’s completed 62 of 104 for 661 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions, all less than stellar team performances (0-2-1 ATS).
In spite of that and Seattle’s home prowess, I don’t love Seattle or anything this week because Minnesota has some things in their favor. First, they’re rested. Teams are 114-93 ATS on Sunday after Thursday Night. Second, dogs are 86-49 ATS before being favorites since 2011, including 16-3 ATS off a loss as favorites. Going back to 2008 for a bigger sample size, that trend is 50-21 ATS. They host the Lions next week.
We’re also getting line value with the road team. Minnesota actually ranks better in both yards per play differential and rate of sustaining drives differential than Seattle, ranking 6th and 15th respectively, while Seattle ranks 10th and 20th respectively. Those statistics give us “real” lines of Seattle -1.5 in each instance, though it’s definitely worth noting that the momentum is not on Minnesota’s side. I’m still taking the home team, but it’s a small play.
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 Minnesota covers)
Sharps lean: SEA 7 MIN 7
Final update: No change.
Seattle Seahawks 17 Minnesota Vikings 10
Pick against spread: Seattle -4 (-110) 1 unit