Carolina Panthers (4-8) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5)
A week ago on the early line, the Seahawks were 6.5-point favorites, but this line has since shrunk all the way down to 3.5. The Seahawks won last week, albeit in relatively uninspiring fashion against a bad Rams team, but it was still a win and the Panthers were on bye, so the line movement is almost definitely the result of the fact that the Seahawks are expected to be without feature back Kenneth Walker with injury. That seems like an overreaction though, as the running back position is one of the most replaceable. My calculated line actually still has the Seahawks favored by 7.5 points over the Panthers, with the Seahawks holding an 8-point edge in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency and a 6.5-point edge in my roster rankings, even without Walker.
That being said, I don’t think the Seahawks are worth betting this week. Even with the significant line movement, this line is still above 3, which is key because about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, including 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal, and the Seahawks are in a bad spot as well, playing the 49ers in a key divisional game on Thursday Night Football next week, with favorites covering at just a 43.3% rate all-time before a Thursday game. If they had a normal week next week, I would bet on the Seahawks, but I’m leaving this as a low confidence pick with the Seahawks in a terrible spot.
Seattle Seahawks 23 Carolina Panthers 17
Pick against the spread: Seattle -3.5