Cleveland Browns (3-10) at Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
The Seahawks’ home dominance is well documented. Since 2007, they are 54-23 at home (outscoring opponents by an average of 7.77 points per game), as opposed to 31-45 on the road (getting outscored by an average of 1.72 points per game). However, their home dominance might be too well documented, to the point where it gets priced into the line. After going 15-5 ATS in their first 20 home games in the Russell Wilson era (since 2012), the Seahawks are just 8-7 ATS at home since.
This line is really high at 15, but I don’t think it’s too high. If anything, it might be too low, so we’re not really paying too much of a premium for their homefield advantage this time. The Seahawks rank 5th in rate of moving the chains differential and are great at home, while the Browns rank 28th in that metric. The Seahawks are also hot right now, winners of 6 of their last 7 games, including 4 straight, after a 4-5 start in which they lost to Green Bay, Carolina, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Arizona, all by 10 or fewer points.
The Seahawks are so well run that they always seem to get hot right around this time. They are 25-6 ATS in the last 8 games of the regular season since 2011, the start of the Pete Carroll era. Losing running back Thomas Rawls for the season last week hurts, but the Browns also lost one of their top offensive linemen, left guard Joel Bitonio, for the season a few weeks back, which also hurts. Rookie Cameron Erving has been horrible in his absence.
The Seahawks are also in a great spot. They host the Rams next week, against whom they’re favored by 14 points in the early line, which definitely is not an upcoming distraction. Favorites of 6+ are 81-43 ATS before being favored by 6+ points again, since 2012, as superior teams tend to take care of business and win big when they don’t have an upcoming distraction. On the flip side, the Browns have to go to Kansas City, where the early line has them as 11.5 point underdogs. As a result, it might be tough for them to be focused enough to keep it close against a drastically superior team, at home, that doesn’t have an upcoming distraction.
Flipping that aforementioned trend, teams are 42-67 ATS as 6+ point underdogs before being 6+ point underdogs again, since 2012. Combining the two, favorites of 6+ are 26-5 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 6+ again, when their opponent will next be 6+ point underdogs again. Going even further, favorites of 10+ are 21-7 ATS since 1989 before being favorites of 10+ again, when their opponent will next be 10+ point underdogs again. This line is high, but I have no problem laying all these points. This one won’t be close.
Seattle Seahawks 30 Cleveland Browns 6
Pick against the spread: Seattle -15