Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
The Seahawks were one of the highest favored teams week 1, at home against a very banged up Bengals team, but they ended up winning by just 1 point in a game they easily could have lost. They lost the first down rate battle by 3.67% and the game largely swung on the Seahawks recovering 3 out of 4 fumbles in the game. Fumble recovery rate is very inconsistent on a week-to-week basis, so they won’t be able to count on that again this week.
I was concerned about the Seahawks’ defense coming in the season, even after they acquired Jadeveon Clowney from the Texans, but their offensive performance week 1 was concerning as well. Russell Wilson played well, but his lack of supporting cast was evident. He was sacked 4 times on 24 drop backs, was supported by just 3.05 yards per carry from his running backs, and had just 5 passes caught by wide receivers. As a result, the Seahawks had just a 30.61% first down rate.
The Seahawks get a boost from on defense this week from the return of defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, who missed week 1, but their offense isn’t getting any reinforcements and the Steelers’ defense gets back safety Sean Davis, who was badly missed in their loss in New England last week. This line at Pittsburgh -3.5 suggests the hometown Steelers are the slightly better team. I have a little bit bigger of a gap between these two teams and the Steelers are likely underrated after having to face such a tough opponent week 1, but we’re not getting enough line value with the Steleers to bet on them. If this line moves down to 3 before gametime, I would reconsider.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Seattle Seahawks 20
Pick against the spread: Pittsburgh -3.5