Seahawks -3 O/U 45.5
I mentioned the lines being inflated this week when I bet on the Titans and Ravens. I feel like we are getting a break with the Seahawks only being favored by 3. For as dominant as Seattle has been at home the Vikings have been as bad on the road. They come into the game ranked 8th on defense (11th passing, 9th rushing) but they have had the benefit of facing the 9th easiest schedule of opposing offenses. In road games against teams with a winning record the Vikings have allowed 20 carries for 100 yards to the Rams in week 4, 39 carries for 148 yards to the Bears in week 11 and 39 carries for 160 yards to the Patriots last week. This is good for a Seahawks offense that leads the league in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game. The Seahawks are a very physical team on both offense and defense and that physicality is amplified when they play at home. Their stadium is well known for being the loudest in the league and is a daunting place to play especially at night. The old ‘Pete Carroll Strut’ came in a late season prime time game and I think we will see a little bit of that tonight.
I have mentioned since preseason that the Vikings were very overrated going into this year. I have continued to remind people that Kirk Cousins has the most turnovers since becoming a starting QB in the NFL. He is extremely overrated which in turn overrated the Vikings as well. If you look at offensive efficiency metrics, the Vikings were ranked 5th last year (3rd passing, 18th rushing) with Case Keenum, and are ranked 17th this year (13th passing 32nd rushing) with Kirk Cousins. I’m sure Vikings fans are ecstatic they have Cousins signed to a huge long-term deal. I know I sure would be (sarcasm). As easy as it is to pin all the Vikings offensive struggles on Cousins, it is not all his fault. The offensive line has struggled this year which has completely taken away their running game. Their worst ranked rushing offense has forced them to be one-dimensional all year and that is not how the Vikings were successful last year. They are no longer able to control the clock and keep their defense off the field. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense get all of their stats against bad teams but when they play good teams they get bullied. I mentioned that Seattle plays a physical brand of football, the Vikings do not play physical and I can see them getting bullied tonight.
The Seahawks will be without Doug Baldwin but I do not see that being an issue. He has been oft-injured and pretty much a non factor all year. They will still have Tyler Lockett who has been their big play receiver downfield. Opposite him they have rookie David Moore who has been filling in for Baldwin admirably. It doesn’t seem to matter who the Seahawks have at receiver with their rushing success and Russell Wilson behind center. The Vikings will be without cornerback Trae Waynes for this game. He is not really good in my opinion but the drop-off from him to the next defensive back is huge. Top Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes is playing but I am not sold on him being 100% healthy. This will be his second straight week playing after what looked like a very severe hamstring injury. Only time will tell if he makes it through the whole game. This is a game I see the Seahawks dominating in front of the “12th Man”. I don’t know who the Seahawks have raising the flag but I’m sure it will get the crowd fired up as it always does. This is the kind of game where Tyler Lockett catches a deep TD pass to give them an early lead and the crowd is just nuts the whole game. Seahawks cover this one easy.
P.S. The Seahawks winning this game will also cash our pre-season tickets of Vikings under 10 wins.