Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks: 2014 Week 9 NFL Pick

Oakland Raiders (0-7) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3)

Despite losing to the Cowboys in their last home game, the Seahawks have still been close to automatic at home recently. Since 2007, the Seahawks are 43-20 at home, including playoffs and they aren’t just having success straight up as they are 42-20-1 ATS. They outscore opponents on average by 7.49 points per game. This is opposed to a 24-41 record away from home (28-36-1 ATS), getting outscored by 3.75 points per game. This home dominance has been even more pronounced over the past 3 seasons, since the start of the Russell Wilson era, as they’ve gone 19-2 straight up and 15-6 ATS at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.48 points per game at home and beating the spread by an average of 7.57 points per game.

We’ve been having to pay a serious premium with the Seahawks at home this season, as they were 7.5 point favorites for Green Bay and 5 point favorites for Denver, but I don’t think we’re doing that here. This line is really high at 15, but it’s more than justified. The Seahawks rank 12th in the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 75.00% rate, as opposed to 73.79% for their opponents, a differential of 1.21%. Meanwhile, the pathetic Raiders rank dead last, moving the chains at a 66.49% rate, as opposed to 76.02% for their opponents, a differential of -9.53%. The next worst team is Tampa Bay at -8.01%.

That suggests this line should be around 13.5, before you take into account the Seahawks’ unique home field advantage and the fact that they’ll probably end the season better than 12th in rate of moving the chains. This 15 point line is more than justified and we’re not paying nearly as much of a premium as we were earlier in the season, likely as a result of the fact that the Seahawks lost in their last home game to Dallas. That’s the exception to the rule with this team at home recently though and Dallas is a very solid opponent. Remember, this team still blew out a very good Green Bay team and handed the Broncos their only loss of the season in their other 2 home games. They should be able to blow out the Raiders easily here.

The Seahawks also have a much easier game on deck as they host the Giants, while the Raiders host the Broncos next week. Teams are 69-55 ATS since 2010 before being double digit favorites, as the Seahawks will almost definitely be over the Giants next week. On the flip side, teams are 59-83 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional home underdogs. Going off of that, teams are 54-81 ATS before being 3+ home underdogs since 2012, 13-44 ATS since 2010 before being 7+ home underdogs, and 16-41 ATS since 2002 before being double digit home underdogs, as they almost definitely will be next week. That’s because when you have a game coming up like that it generally means one of two things. One, you have a very tough, important game coming up. Two, you really aren’t that good of a football team. Here, I think it’s both. On top of that, double digit underdogs are 22-46 ATS since 2002 before being double digit underdogs.

There are two reasons in favor of the Raiders that prevent this from being a big play in favor of Seattle. For one, they’re in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 108-70 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 92-48 ATS when it’s their 2nd straight (and not 3rd straight) road game and they next play a home game. Historically, teams cover at about a 65% rate in that situation. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 181-184 in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.10 points per game, as opposed to 254-364 in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 3.28 points per game. Second, teams that are 0-7 or worse are 25-7 ATS as underdogs on the road since 1989. The Seahawks should still be the right side though.

Seattle Seahawks 34 Oakland Raiders 10

Pick against the spread: Seattle -15

Confidence: Low




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