NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Last Thursday night, we were treated to an excellent quarterback matchup of future Hall of Famers in Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger that we had only seen once previously because those guys are in separate conferences.
This Thursday, we get another sweet future HOF matchup as Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers visit Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in a crucial game for both sides. If it seems like these QBs play each other all the time, well, they sort of do. We're not talking Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning often, but pretty often.
Wilson came into the league in 2012 and this will be his seventh game in that span against Green Bay - including fourth straight regular-season matchup. The Packers are on a three-game winning streak in the series, but all three were at Lambeau.
Rodgers surely doesn't have fond memories of Seattle as his last trip there was the NFC title game following the 2014 season. Somehow, Green Bay lost 28-22 in overtime despite leading 19-7 with just over two minutes left in regulation. You will hear the name Brandon Bostick a lot this week, and I'm sure see him on a highlight or 50. The Green Bay backup tight end's gaffe of an onside kick in that game essentially is what lost it. Guy only played three years in the league and totaled 17 catches. He last suited up in 2016 for the Jets, but Packers and Seahawks backers will never forget him. Brandon Bostwick …. Bill Buckner. Just saying.
Packers at Seahawks Betting Story Lines
With Seattle at 4-5 and Green Bay at 4-4-1, I give the loser little shot of the postseason and it of course would lose any tiebreaker to the winner. The Packers currently sit seventh in the NFC and Seahawks ninth. Green Bay does have a reasonably easy schedule left, with its two toughest games at Minnesota and at Chicago. Maybe they lose those, but they will be favored in all the rest. A 9-6-1 record could be good enough for a wild-card spot but likely not the NFC North.
Seattle is at least done with the Rams, but its schedule is tougher with a trip to Carolina and home matchups vs. Minnesota and Kansas City. At least they get to play the 49ers twice and Cardinals once. I struggle to see how this team is better than 9-7 even with a win here, but you never know.
Green Bay has yet to win on the road or lose at home in 2018. It easily handled Miami on Sunday 31-12. Rodgers has been pestering Mike McCarthy to get running back Aaron Jones more involved and that happened vs. the Dolphins as Jones rushed for a career-high 145 yards and two scores. That dude has skills and leads the NFL in yards per carry at 6.8. I fully expect him to be more of a workhorse going forward. Rodgers threw a season-low 28 times vs. the Fins. An improved running game not only opens the field for Rodgers, but when he throws less he obviously is less at risk to being hit.
The Seahawks are only about five plays from being unbeaten. OK, they aren't that good, but every loss is by one score (eight points or fewer). They gave the Rams everything they could handle in both meetings but lost them by a combined seven points. It was 36-31 in L.A on Sunday. Wilson had three TD passes and got Seattle to the Rams 35 in the final minute but then was incomplete on four straight passes.
Seattle couldn't run the ball a lick last year but is first in yards per game and second in attempts in 2018. Usual No. 1 Chris Carson was out Sunday due to injury, so Mike Davis and rookie Rashaad Penny split the load. Penny was the surprise star with 108 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Seattle ran the ball 34 times for 273 yards against a good Rams defense.
Packers at Seahawks Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Seattle is a 1-point favorite with a total of 49 . On the moneyline, the Seahawks are -133 and Packers +113. On the alternate lines, Seattle is -1.5 (-120), -2.5 (-110), -3 (+115) and -3.5 (+140). The Packers are 4-5 against the spread (1-3 on road) and 5-4 "over/under" (2-2 on road). The Seahawks are 5-3-1 ATS (2-1 at home) and 3-6 O/U (1-2 at home).
Green Bay is 2-7 ATS in its past nine vs. the NFC. It is 0-4 ATS in its past four after an ATS win. The Seahawks are 7-0-1 ATS in their past eight on Thursday. They are 10-4 ATS in their previous 14 after scoring more than 30 points their previous game. The over is 5-2 in Green Bay's past seven on Thursday. The under is 13-5 in Seattle's past 18 vs. the NFC. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings.
Packers at Seahawks Betting Prediction
I read a statistic that truly blew my mind this week: Since Thursday night football was instituted as a weekly deal in 2006, teams that flew west at least two time zones are 0-11 straight up and ATS in that game. That's freaking hard to fathom. In addition, Seattle is nearly unbeatable in prime-time home games under Pete Carroll (14-2 SU). Take the Seahawks at -2.5 and go under.
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