The loudest stadium in the NFL these days is in Seattle with the "12th Man" fans there making it perhaps the hardest place to visit in the league. In 2013, Seattle rode home-field advantage in the playoffs to the Super Bowl, beating the Broncos in the big game. Last year, Seattle managed to snag home-field advantage again despite a 3-3 start. The Seahawks beat the visiting Panthers and Packers in the NFC playoffs before losing an epic Super Bowl to New England. Now it's time to pay quarterback Russell Wilson the $20 million a year he is asking for.
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Seattle was 7-1 at home last regular season, 5-2-1 against the spread and 4-4 "over/under." The Seahawks' 2015 home schedule ranks just about right in the middle of the pack with an opponents' 2014 winning percentage of .520. It's the easiest one in the NFC West -- obviously it helps the Seahawks they don't have to play themselves while the other three division clubs do.
Here's the schedule with very early (opponent) odds.
Sept. 27 -- Bears (+9): Perhaps no team in the NFL has a tougher two-game opening than Seattle does as it visits St. Louis in Week 1 (Rams are my NFC sleeper team) and then an NFC Championship Game rematch in Green Bay on Sunday night in Week 2 before finally getting a home opener against Chicago. It's the Bears' first trip to the Pacific Northwest since 2009. Seattle won in Chicago in the last meeting, 23-17 on Dec. 2, 2012. Key trend: Seahawks 8-1-1 ATS in past 10 September home games as a favorite.
Oct. 5 -- Lions (+6): Detroit nearly got a trip to Seattle last postseason but was hosed in the wild-card game against Dallas. Great matchup here between the best receiver of this era, Detroit's Calvin Johnson, against the best secondary in the NFL. Will Richard Sherman be on "Megatron" all game? This is Seattle's only Monday night game. Key trend: Over/under has gone over in eight of Seahawks' past 10 at home vs. NFC North.
Oct. 18 -- Panthers (+8): Seattle beat the Panthers 31-17 in last year's divisional round. Wilson threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns, and Kam Chancellor returned an interception 90 yards for a TD midway through the fourth quarter. Wilson completed all eight of his third-down pass attempts for 199 yards and three touchdowns. During the regular season, Wilson had a pair of touchdowns and four interceptions on 128 pass attempts on third down. Carolina outgained Seattle and held the ball for nearly nine minutes longer. Key trend: Seahawks 5-4-1 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC South.
Nov. 15 -- Cardinals (+5.5): This follows trips to San Francisco and Dallas and then a Week 9 bye, so that's why Seattle goes nearly a month without a home game. The good news is this is the start of three in a row at home. Arizona lost 19-3 in Seattle in Week 12 last season, which started the Seahawks' regular season-ending six-game winning streak. Wilson finished 17-for-22 for 211 yards with a touchdown and added 73 yards rushing. He was sacked seven times. It was only a 9-3 game at halftime. Arizona could do nothing offensively behind Drew Stanton. Key trend: Seahawks 7-3 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in series.
Nov. 22 -- 49ers (+5.5): This was probably the best rivalry in football there for a couple of seasons, but now that Jim Harbaugh as at Michigan and the 49ers are rebuilding on defense, I think it may be one-sided at least in 2015. Seattle beat the visiting Niners 17-7 in Week 15 last year. That eliminated San Francisco from the playoffs. Wilson was 12-for-24 for 168 yards and rushed for another 27 yards. The Seahawks sacked Colin Kaepernick six times. Key trend: Seattle 7-3 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in this series as well.
Nov. 29 -- Steelers (+5.5): Certainly could be a possible Super Bowl matchup here. That's priced at +6500. Pittsburgh hasn't visited Seattle since the 2003 season. The Steelers come off a bye week for this one. Key trend: Seahawks 4-1-1 ATS in past six at home vs. AFC North.
Dec. 20 -- Browns (+10.5): This one could be ugly. Can you imagine Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown against that Seattle defense in what could be some rough December weather in the Pacific Northwest? Although it could be a minor letdown game for Seattle following trips to Minnesota and especially Baltimore. Key trend: Seahawks 10-0 in past 10 at home as a favorite of at least 10 points but 6-4-1 ATS.
Dec. 27 -- Rams (+6.5): Seattle hosted St. Louis in Week 17 last year and won 20-6 to clinch the top seed in the NFC. Marshawn Lynch scored on a 9-yard run with 12:07 remaining to take the lead, and Bruce Irvin returned an interception 49 yards for a TD. The Seahawks became the first team since the 1969-71 Vikings to lead the NFL in scoring defense in three straight seasons, giving up 15.9 points per game. Key trend: Seahawks 8-2 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC West.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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