St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks: 2014 Week 17 NFL Pick

St. Louis Rams (6-9) at Seattle Seahawks (11-4)

The Seahawks had easily the most impressive win of the week last week, going into Arizona, where the Cardinals were 7-0 at home this season and 29-11 ATS since 2007 before the game started, and winning 35-6, despite two missed makeable field goals. Holding a Ryan Lindley led offense to a 58.64% rate of moving the chains isn’t that impressive, but moving the chains at an 80.00% rate on the road against a strong Arizona defense is pretty impressive.

The Seahawks now rank best in the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential, moving them at a 75.65% rate, as opposed to 69.49% for their opponents, a differential of 6.16%. A Super Bowl champion hasn’t repeated in over a decade, nor have they even won a playoff game over that time period. It’s so hard repeating because of complacency, personnel turnover, exhaustion, and the sheer randomness of the NFL, but the Seahawks have a good chance to at least break that playoff win drought. They look like the best team in the NFL right now and they only need to win this game to lock up homefield advantage through the NFC. That would be especially valuable to them because of how good their homefield advantage historically is.

Since 2007, the Seahawks are 47-20 at home, including playoffs and they aren’t just having success straight up as they are 45-21-1 ATS. They outscore opponents on average by 7.84 points per game at home. This is opposed to a 27-42 record away from home (31-37-1 ATS), getting outscored by 2.80 points per game, a roughly 10.5 point swing. That homefield advantage should help them here as they attempt to lock up the #1 seed. They should win here as 13 point favorites, but whether or not they cover is still up in the air.

While the Seahawks are a great team with a great homefield advantage, this line takes that into account as they are 13 point favorites. And, while their win last week was impressive, the line did move 3 points to compensate as the early line was 10. I love fading huge line movements whenever it makes sense, especially when doing so would also allow me to fade the public, which it would here. Fading that line movement might make sense. The Rams are still a decent team, moving the chains at a 69.57% rate, as opposed to 70.56% for their opponents, a differential of 1.00% that ranks 19th in the NFL. That suggests they should be about 10 point favorites here, before you take into account the Seahawks’ homefield advantage.

The issue is the Seahawks haven’t been as noticeably better at home this season as they have been in recent years. They move the chains at a 75.12% rate at home, as opposed to 68.50% for their opponents, a differential of 6.62%. On the road, they move the chains at a 76.10% rate, as opposed to 70.42% for their opponents, a differential of 5.67%. They’ve still been a tough home team, but I don’t know if a decent Rams team deserves to be 13 point underdogs here. I don’t know if the Rams deserve to be 13 point underdogs anywhere.

This game kind of reminds me of the Seahawks’ week 17 game against the Rams in 2012. They were coming off of a huge 42-13 home win over the 49ers that caused the line in Seahawks/Rams to swell all the way up to 11 and they were only able to win by 7, their first non-cover at home of the season, costing a lot of people a lot of money. I’m taking the Seahawks gun to my head, but I’m not confident at all.

Seattle Seahawks 27 St. Louis Rams 13

Pick against the spread: Seattle -13

Confidence: None

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