When the Seattle Seahawks started the season 0-2, some people were already putting a fork in them. But apparently Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor cures all as his return led to a blowout win over Chicago last week. I would caution this, however: the Bears are probably the worst team in the NFL. Yet the Seahawks have jumped to +800 third-favorites at Bovada to win Super Bowl 50, +425 second-favorites behind Green Bay to win the NFC for a third straight year and -110 favorites to win the NFC West again even though division-rival Arizona has looked dominant in its 3-0 start.
As for the Lions? I expected some regression from last year, especially on defense, after losing Ndamukong Suh. But the team was able to retain coordinator Teryl Austin, so things figured to be OK. But it hasn't, with Detroit at 0-3 and now there already are rumors that head coach Jim Caldwell might be in hot water if things don't turn around. In fact, on Bovada's Week 4 special prop on the first coach to be fired, Caldwell is +400 to be the guy, behind only Miami's Joe Philbin (+225).
Lions at Seahawks Betting Story Lines
The Seattle defense allowed 61 points in the first two weeks, road losses to the Rams (34 points not acceptable vs. St. Louis) and Packers (27 allowed at Lambeau actually not bad). Then last week it blanked the Bears, forcing a punt on every single Chicago possession and not letting it cross Seattle's 45. But, again, the Bears' quarterback was the awful Jimmy Clausen, and top receiver Alshon Jeffery didn't play.
One good offensive sign last week for the Seahawks is that they finally used tight end Jimmy Graham. He had only seven catches for 62 yards the first two games and complained he wasn't being used correctly. Graham was targeted eight times in Week 3 and caught seven for 83 yards and a touchdown. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch left that game early with a hamstring injury and didn't return. He is being called "50-50" to play Monday. Since being traded to the Seahawks in October 2010, Lynch has missed just one game: at Cleveland in 2011, when he sat out because of a back injury. Out of nowhere, rookie Thomas Rawls played 51 percent of the snaps with Lynch out last week and had 16 carries for 104 yards. I'm willing to bet you never heard of Thomas Rawls unless you attended the same college (Central Michigan).
The Lions have gotten progressively worse. They absolutely should have won Week 1 in San Diego but blew a 21-3 lead, allowing the Bolts to score 30 unanswered. In Week 2, that Lions defense allowed the fairly one-dimensional Vikings to rush for 199 yards (Lions were spectacular vs. run last year) in a 26-16 loss. And then last Sunday night, Detroit lost 24-12 at home to Denver. Peyton Manning was sacked only once after he was sacked seven times in the first two games. Detroit is allowing 27.7 points per game this season, a total it allowed well more than 27) in a game twice last season.
One problem for the Detroit defense could be that excellent linebacker DeAndre Levy hasn't played yet due to a hip problem. He's iffy for Week 4. So is lineman Ziggy Ansah (groin). Offensively, the Lions aren't taking any chances downfield despite two excellent receivers in Calvin Johnson and former Seahawk Golden Tate. Johnson has been targeted by throws which traveled more than 15 yards in the air just three times this season. Tate claimed this week that opponents are calling out what plays the Lions are about to run. Caldwell says he hasn't considered taking over play-calling duties from coordinator Joe Lombardi. The Lions' running game has been non-existent with 135 yards on an NFL-low 51 carries (league-low 2.6 ypc). And Matthew Stafford is the lowest-rated NFL quarterback by Pro Football Focus.
Not much to glean from last meeting, which Detroit won 28-24 at home on Oct. 28, 2012, to end a three-game skid in the series. Stafford threw for 352 yards and three scores, including the game-winner to the long-forgotten Titus Young with 20 seconds left. Russell Wilson was 25-for-35 for 236 yards with two TDs and an interception. Lynch ran 12 times for 105 yards.
Lions at Seahawks Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , the Seahawks are 10.5-point favorites (+100) with the total at 43. Seattle is -550 on the moneyline and Detroit +425. On the alternate lines, the Seahawks are -10 (-110) and -9.5 (-120). Detroit is 0-3 against the spread this season and 1-2 "over/under." Seattle is 1-2 ATS and 1-2 O/U.
The Lions are 7-1 in their past nine following a double-digit loss at home. They are 1-7 ATS in their past eight on the road. Seattle is 7-1-1 in its past nine on Monday. It is 4-0 ATS in past four vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 9-1 in Detroit's past 10 following a loss. It is 10-2 in the Lions' past 12 on the road. The under is 4-0 in Seattle's past four on Monday. It is 7-3 in the Seahawks' past 10 following a win of more than 14 points.
Monday Night Football Predictions Lions at Seahawks Betting Picks
I'm not convinced the Seahawks are fixed yet, and it would be nice to know if Lynch would play. But they are still pretty unbeatable in front of that frenzied crowd. The Lions annually are a bust in road games. Stafford simply isn't the same guy outside his Ford Field dome. Give the 9.5-point alternate line and go under the total as it's tough seeing the Lions score more than 14.
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