Seattle at Green Bay Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,December 9, 2016 7:59, EDT in

It’s a potential playoff preview and one of the marquee matchups of Week 14 when NFC West leader Seattle visits a Green Bay team that is trying to earn a wild-card spot but would be in desperate straits with a loss at Lambeau. The Pack are rare home underdogs on NFL lines.

Seattle at Green Bay Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Sunday, Dec. 11, 4:25 PM ET
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay
TV: Fox
RadioSeattle / Green Bay
Stream OptionNFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Seahawks -3 (46.5)

Why Bet on Seattle?

The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West with a win and an Arizona loss. Seattle defeated Carolina 40-7 last week and rushed for 240 yards, led by running back Thomas Rawls (106 yards, two touchdowns) and wide receiver Tyler Lockett (75-yard touchdown run). Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground. Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards.

Since Week 11, the Seahawks have run for 519 yards (second) while averaging 6.41 yards per carry (first) and 5.09 yards before contact (first). The biggest factor has been Wilson’s health. When he can use his legs, things open up for the running backs. If Rawls can stay healthy and build on his Week 13 performance, the offense has a chance to hit its stride at the perfect time.

The victory was clouded by the loss of standout safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season at least to a broken tibia in the first half. After colliding with teammate Kam Chancellor in the second quarter, Thomas tried to get back up. But he couldn’t put weight on his left leg, and he’d find out later that it was broken. Thomas has been a key cog in the Seahawks’ defense since the organization drafted him in 2010. He played in 118 straight games (playoffs included) before missing Week 12 against Tampa Bay with a hamstring injury.

A five-time Pro Bowler, Thomas has always had great range. Thomas shuts down post routes and takes away seams. He’s a big-time hitter who has seven interceptions in his past 26 games and also serves as the last line of defense against the run. Only eight defenses have loaded the tackle box more than Seattle this season (defined as having one or more defenders in the tackle box than the offense has blockers). Thomas’ deep coverage skill is one reason the Seahawks are able to do this, but Seattle does rank fourth in rush yards per carry when they don’t load the tackle box (3.6).

Why Bet on Green Bay?

The Packers (6-6) defeated Houston 21-13 last week at Lambeau Field. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw two touchdown passes in the victory, has won 14 consecutive December home games, the second-longest streak in NFL history. During that span, Rodgers has thrown 34 touchdowns with four interceptions for a 116.2 passer rating.

Green Bay linebacker Julius Peppers had a sack in the Packers’ win over Houston. Peppers has 142.5 career sacks and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (141.5) for the fifth-most sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

Packers outside linebacker OLB Nick Perry (hand) could miss the rest of the season. He suffered what coach Mike McCarthy called a “significant” left hand injury and has already had surgery on it. The injury occurred in the first half of Sunday’s win over Houston. He returned to the game with a large cast on his hand but only lasted a few plays. Perry is having easily his best season as PFF’s top-rated 3-4 outside linebacker against the run.

Including the postseason, Sunday will be the fifth time that Green Bay and Seattle have played since 2012. The Packers beat the Seahawks at home last season, 27-17, in Week 2. Green Bay is 9-3 against the Seahawks at home during the regular and postseason, including six straight wins. Seattle is playing at Green Bay for just the third time ever in December (1990, 2009). The Packers and Seahawks are the only two teams in the NFC to make the playoffs each of the past four seasons.

Seattle at Green Bay Expert Pick: Green Bay Packers

Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Over is 5-2- 1 in the last 8 meetings.

Packers and over on NFL odds.