The Green Bay Packers have opened up the season with two tough defensive matchups, coming up short vs. the best defense in the NFL in San Francisco and then doing enough to get by Chicago 23-10 last week. Well, things do not get any easier here in Week 3 vs. another stout defense in the Seattle Seahawks, who just throttled Dallas 27-7 in their home opener.
Playing in possibly the loudest venue in the NFL does not make things any easier either, but the Seahawks may be getting a little too much credit Monday night with Green Bay only at -3 (-125). The total is at 46½.
1. Why Green Bay will cover the spread: The Seahawks are undoubtedly a formidable foe in the Emerald City, but the Packers will still cover this cheap spread if their defense can apply pressure on Seattle’s rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The Packers had no pass rush last year and they addressed that need by drafting Nick Perry in the first round this year. That gives the Packers two former USC rushing linebackers in Perry and Clay Matthews, and with opponents now unable to double team Matthews like last year, the Packers have an amazing 11 sacks in two games with Matthews having six of them! Another key for the Packers is Aaron Rodgers being undaunted by the crowd noise and doing his usual thing by passing effectively vs. a great Seattle secondary. That is no easy feat this year, but if any quarterback can do it, it is Rodgers, especially with wide receiver Greg Jennings retuning to practice this week and being the healthiest he has been in a while.
2. Why Seattle will cover the spread: Seattle will cover this spread if Marshawn Lynch runs for well over 100 yards, as that would slow the Packers’ pass rush and take some pressure off of Wilson. That certainly seems doable considering that Green Bay is allowing 5.0 yards per rush to rank 29th out of 32 NFL teams in that category. Speaking of the Green Bay pass rush, another key for the Seahawks is their offensive line’s ability to ward off that rush, as well as Lynch’s ability to pick up blitzers when he is not running the ball.
3. Total Talk: This total of 46½ seems to be dead on to us as you can tell by our projected score below. Yes Seattle has an excellent defense this season, but Green Bay looks very much improved in that area also, and if that continues, the Packers could easily be raising the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. Thus the winner of this game comes down to which offense is better equipped to handle the opponent’s defense. While we do not expect much of anything from Cedric Benson through no fault of his own, as he ran well vs. the Bears but the Seattle run defense is just that good. We do however expect Rodgers and the passing game to have more success throwing the ball on the Seahawks than perhaps any other team Seattle will face all year.
4. Betting Trends for PACKERS-SEAHAWKS: Seattle is 17-4 ATS in September home games since 2000, but the Packers are 34-18 ATS on the road under Mike McCarthy.
Green Bay 27 – Seattle 20