Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
I love betting the Seahawks at home. Since 2007, the Seahawks are 41-19 at home, including playoffs and they aren’t just having success straight up as they are 40-19-1 ATS. They outscore opponents on average by 7.55 points per game. This is opposed to a 22-39 record away from home (27-33-1 ATS) and getting outscored by 4.05 points per game on the road. The normal 3 points for homefield advantage doesn’t apply for them and they should get something like 6 points for homefield advantage, at least.
This home dominance has been even more pronounced over the past 2 seasons, since the start of the Russell Wilson era, as they’ve gone 17-1 straight up and 13-5 ATS at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 15.83 points per game at home and beating the spread by an average of 8.78 points per game at home. And if there’s anything scarier than Seattle at home, it’s Seattle at home coming off of their ring ceremony. Over the last 10 instances of a defending Super Bowl champion playing week 1 on a Thursday at home, they’ve won all 10 times and gone 7-3 ATS.
The issue is a lot of this is priced into the line as the Seahawks are 6 point favorites. The Packers are a very good team, possibly better than they’ve been in the last 2 seasons, as long as they stay healthy, which they essentially are right now. In the 8 games that Aaron Rodgers played last season, the Packers moved the chains at a 77.78% rate, which would have been 3rd best in the NFL. Their defense was an issue, allowing opponents to move the chains at a 74.60% rate, but they should be much improved this season with guys like Clay Matthews and Casey Hayward healthy (I’m not putting much stock in the injury to BJ Raji because he sucked last season).
If they can move the chains at a 77% or so rate on the season (which they clearly have the offensive firepower to do, with Rodgers and Randall Cobb healthy and Eddie Lacy breaking out down the stretch) and their defense can be league average at around 71%, this could be one of the best teams in the league once again. I have them at 12-4 and it’s very weird betting against a team this good as 6 point underdogs. Aaron Rodgers has never been more than a 6 point underdog in his career and he’s only been a 6 point underdog once (9-0 win in New York over the Jets in 2009). In his career, he’s 7-4-1 ATS as an underdog. The Seahawks are my pick here, but I’m unfortunately starting off the season with a no confidence pick.
Seattle Seahawks 24 Green Bay Packers 17
Pick against spread: Seattle -6