2017 Seattle Seahawks Home Schedule Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
Can you call a team underachieving if it makes the playoffs five years in a row and has won a Super Bowl in that stretch? I suppose not, but it sure feels like the Seahawks should have more than one ring - we all know they should but for one fateful play call in Super Bowl XLIX. It seems to me that this team's championship window is closer to shutting than remaining open for the rest of the decade. But it could have one more run in it.
Seattle finished 10-5-1 last year and won the NFC West, which didn't have another team above .500, for the third time in four years. But the Seahawks were flawed. The defense wasn't the same after Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas broke his leg. Thomas threatened to retire but is back and healthy. Thus the Legion of Boom should dominate for one more season until Richard Sherman likely walks.This will be the seventh season that Kam Chancellor, Thomas and Sherman will be lining up together. The defense might not have second-round pick Malik McDowell all season, though, after he was injured in an ATV accident in Michigan. The former Michigan State star was expected to be part of the defensive tackle rotation.
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The offseason priority was to fix the running game and offensive line, which are intertwined. I really can't speak to the latter as it's tough to grade O-linemen - but I've seen that unit graded last in the NFL by a few reputable sites. The Seahawks signed former No. 1 overall bust Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi while drafting Ethan Pocic in the second round. The biggest splash was adding former Packers running back Eddie Lacy in free agency. The Seahawks really missed the retired (now unretired and in Oakland) Marshawn Lynch in 2016 as they ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing. Pete Carroll is an old school coach, preferring to wear down opponents with a punishing run game and count on his defense.
Lacy's a good player who has well-documented weight problems. He gets serious cash for hitting certain weights at points during the year. Lacy pocketed some money in hitting a 255-pound target in May and a 250-pound maximum in June. Lacy must drop to 245 and remain there in September, October, November and December to collect the final $220,000 in incentives. Frankly, it won't matter what Lacy weighs if Russell Wilson gets injured. If any team would be wise to sign Colin Kaepernick (or some other qualified veteran) it would be Seattle because Trevone Boykin is Wilson's backup. If Boykin has to play multiple games, this team is in trouble - although the NFC West could be won at 8-8.
Seattle has maybe the best home-field advantage in football and was 7-1 at CenturyLink Field last season, 5-3 against the spread and 5-3 "over/under." The Seahawks host two playoff teams in 2017: Houston and Atlanta. The road schedule is tougher. Seattle has back-to-back home games just once but ditto on the road. Overall, the Hawks have the seventh-easiest schedule in the NFL with an opponents' combined 2016 winning percentage of .455. BetOnline lists the Seahawks' win total at 10.5 , with the over at -125. I projected a 4-4 road record, and I can see a 7-1 home mark again if Wilson stays healthy (big if behind that O-Line). So go over that total only because I think Seattle can go 6-0 and no worse than 5-1 inside the division. Odds listed for the home team.
Sept. 17 vs. 49ers (-13): Seattle likely 0-1 as it visits Green Bay in Week 1. It's the fourth different 49ers coach in four years leading San Francisco into CenturyLink Field, this time Kyle Shanahan. I'd be surprised if the Niners score the spread in this game. Seattle beat the visiting Niners 37-18 in Week 3 last year. Wilson threw for 243 yards and a touchdown but did suffer a knee injury that would bother him for several weeks. Boykin played the final quarter-and-a-half, but it was a blowout by then. Key NFL betting trend: Seahawks are 5-1 ATS in this series as double-digit home favorites.
Oct. 1 vs. Colts (-7): Sunday night, with the Seahawks off a trip to Nashville. This line could grow substantially if Andrew Luck isn't available for Indy, a definite possibility. Too bad as it would be good to see him face off against Wilson, a fellow draftmate from 2012. Wilson went 74 picks later than Luck. Key betting trend: Seahawks 5-1 ATS at home vs. AFC South teams.
Oct. 29 vs. Texans (-7.5): Seattle is at the Giants the previous Sunday. Could be rookie Deshaun Watson under center for Houston (I think it will be), and the former Clemson star has been compared stylistically to Wilson. Key betting trend: Seahawks 3-7 ATS in past 10 as a home favorite of at least 7.5 points in October.
Nov. 5 vs. Redskins (-8): This is the only time Seattle stays home a second straight Sunday. These teams haven't played since 2014 and before that in the 2012 postseason when the Seahawks earned their first road playoff win in 30 years. That game basically ruined Robert Griffin III's career. Key betting trend: Seahawks 2-5 ATS vs. Redskins as a favorite (any location).
Nov. 20 vs. Falcons (-3): Monday night and Seattle will really be on extra rest after visiting Arizona the previous Thursday. Almost like a second bye week. The Seahawks were no match for the Falcons at the Georgia Dome in the divisional round of last year's playoffs but beat visiting Atlanta 26-24 in Week 6 on Steven Hauschka's 44-yard field goal with 1:57 remaining. Thomas had a big interception of Matt Ryan to set that up. Key betting trend: Seahawks 5-4-1 ATS in past 10 as a home favorite of 3 points or fewer.
Dec. 3 vs. Eagles (-7): Sunday night. Seattle is in San Francisco in Week 12. This is the Eagles' second trip to Seattle in as many years, with the Seahawks winning 26-15 last season in Week 11. Wilson threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Doug Baldwin. No Seattle QB in history had ever caught a TD pass. Key betting trend: Seahawks 5-4-1 ATS in past 10 at home vs. NFC East.
Dec. 17 vs. Rams (-13.5): Seahawks off their lone 1 p.m. ET game of the season in Jacksonville the previous Sunday. On the surface, this line makes sense. But the Rams have given Seattle fits for the past handful of years for whatever reason. The Seahawks have won six of the past seven in the series at home, though. It was 24-3 in Week 15 a season ago to clinch the NFC West.Wilson threw three touchdown passes, and Tyler Lockett had 130 yards receiving and a score. Key betting trend: Seahawks 3-2 ATS as a double-digit home favorite in series (past five years).
Dec. 31 vs. Cardinals (TBA): Per usual, no Week 17 lines. Seattle off a potentially important game in Dallas on Christmas Eve. I'm guessing the Seahawks have the division wrapped up by here, but they might have to play starters for a first-round bye. Seattle lost 34-31 at home on Christmas Eve to Arizona in 2016. The Hawks rallied from a 31-18 fourth-quarter deficit to tie but all for naught. That was the week after clinching the division so the team came out flat. Key betting trend: Seahawks 1-3 SU & ATS at home in past four vs. Arizona.
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