Seahawks-Falcons Playoff Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Score Prediction
The Seattle Seahawks showed why they were road favorites in Washington, spotting the Redskins an early 14-0 lead and then shutting them down over the last three quarters while rallying for the 24-14 victory. Even though Seattle is a wild card, the top seeded Atlanta Falcons cannot be happy about this matchup with a very physical football team on Sunday.
The Falcons have opened up as 2 point favorites over the Seahawks, with the over-under listed at 45.5 points.
SEAHAWKS – FALCONS PLAYOFFS BETTING LINE:
OPEN: FALCONS -2.5 | CURRENT: FALCONS -3 | O/U: 45.5
1. Why Seattle will cover the spread: The Seahawks will cover this spread if they just do their thing on offense and run the ball effectively with running back Marshawn Lynch, as well as with quarterback Russell Wilson on option reads. Seattle rushed for 224 yards against the Redskins, and the reason that is not getting exclamation marks is because figures like those have become par for the course over the past five weeks or so…not that there’s anything wrong with that! Wilson was an efficient passer completing 15-of-26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown, but he probably would have succeeded if asked to do more.
Another key for the Seahawks is the great Seattle secondary putting the clamps on the great Atlanta receiving trio of wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White and tight end Tony Gonzalez.
2. Why Atlanta will cover the spread: The Falcons will cover this spread if they run the ball well, which is something they have had trouble doing. If there was ever a time though where they simply had to run, this is it and they cannot worry about hurt feelings, giving Jacquizz Rodgers more work if Michael Turner continues to prove inept. No matter how great a year Matt Ryan and his receivers had, the Falcons would have no chance if they opt for a one-dimensional passing attack vs. a third ranked Seattle pass defense allowing 196.6 yards per game on an NFL best 5.6 yards per pass attempt, and Ryan does not want to face the Seahawks pass rush while dropping back to pass on virtually every play.
3. Total Talk: Although Atlanta is the top seed, wild card Seattle looks to have all the edges here. The Falcons ranked 29th in rushing offense while averaging only 3.7 yards per rush and 20th in rushing defense, but allowing a 29th ranked 4.8 yards per rush. Atlanta does not figure to slow Lynch down and the Seahawks have been scoring at will recently just on the strength of the running game alone. We are also not too confident about the Falcons suddenly running the ball effectively, throwing Ryan to the wolves.
We like the ‘over’ because the only team that figures to stop the Seattle offense is Seattle if it decides to run the ball with the lead, and there is always the potential for Ryan to hit on one or two long passes. It just won’t happen enough to win.
4. Betting Trends for Falcons/Seahawks: The Seahawks are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games on fieldturf and 7-0 ATS in their last seven vs. teams with winning records.
Seattle 31 – Atlanta 21
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