Breaking down the Seahawks vs. the points
By Jim Moore
After taking the Buccaneers and the points last Sunday, I’m at 5-4 against the spread in Seahawks games this year.
I’ve taken the Seahawks’ opponent in the last four games, feeling like the points that Vegas offered with the underdogs were too good to pass up. In three games I was right – Tennessee, St. Louis and Tampa Bay – and in one game I was wrong – Arizona.
Amazingly, the Seahawks have been favored in every game this year. The only time they won’t be is on Dec. 8 when they play at San Francisco. This week as I write this, they’re favored by 5 over the Falcons. That’s down from 6.5 earlier this week.
Six reasons to take the Falcons and the points:
• They’re a desperate team at 2-6. They have to win to still have a chance to make the playoffs.
The Seahawks beat the Bucaneers in overtime on Steven Hauschka’s field goal last Sunday, marking the third time in four games they won but didn’t cover the spread. (AP)
• Matt Ryan plays better at home. He’s completed 73 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and only one interception in four games at the Georgia Dome.
• The Falcons are better at home, beating the Rams and the Bucs while losing close games to the Patriots and Jets.
• Roddy White returns, giving Ryan another downfield weapon to go with Tony Gonzalez.
• If the Rams’ Zac Stacy and the Bucs’ Mike James can run for more than 100 yards against the Seahawks, Steven Jackson can, too.
• Without Max Unger, the Seahawks will be playing without three starting offensive linemen, which suggests that Russell Wilson will struggle to find time to throw again.
Six reasons to take the Seahawks and give the points:
• Redemption. The Seahawks will want to atone for the 30-28 loss to Atlanta in the playoffs last year.
• Ryan himself. I know the Falcons’ quarterback is listed in the reasons why you should like Atlanta and the points, but I also think the Seahawks’ secondary will be fully engaged this week. I’m guessing that it was hard for them to get up for the quarterbacks they faced the last two weeks in Kellen Clemens and Mike Glennon.
• Seattle’s improved run defense. Also guessing that we won’t see the Falcons go over 200 rushing yards like the Rams and Bucs did. Why? Because we’re led to believe that Bobby Wagner will be on the field for fewer snaps, yielding to better run defenders K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith. Plus, the Falcons have the worst rushing offense in the league, averaging 64.4 yards a game.
• Thanks to the 49ers, who have won five in a row, the Seahawks will have plenty of incentive to keep winning themselves. They have a one-game lead in the loss column and need to stay in front of San Francisco to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
• The Falcons aren’t the team they were last year. It’s hard to get that out of my head, but teams change from year to year, and this is not the same quality team that played in the NFC championship game. They allow 27.3 points a game, and they’re not as dynamic on offense without Julio Jones. When you’re 2-6, you find ways to lose.
• And the best reason why the Seahawks will beat the Falcons and cover the five-point spread – they’re the vastly superior team.
Prediction: Seahawks 34, Falcons 20.
Season record against the spread: 5-4.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com every Monday. You can reach Jim at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.