The Seahawks are once again a top pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year - and why not? Their core group of superstars returns this season with the addition of some cheap youngsters that are physical freaks.
“Seahawksy” is a word these days, and this team's roster is full of playmakers that fit that mold. This excellent squad should be able to put up some points this year, so let’s take a look at some O/U trends for Seattle as we look forward to 2015.
A Good Defense Doesn’t Mean Autobet the Under
Seattle has been known for its defense the last two seasons, but now that Russell Wilson is entering his fourth season, don’t be surprised if the offense steals some of the show. Since that defense gets a lot of attention in setting the O/U lines, we could see some values on taking the over in a majority of games in the 2015 season. Including the playoffs last year the over was 11-8, which was a big swing compared to the 7-12 result favoring the over in 2014. In Russell Wilson's first season in 2013 the O/U was 9-9, but that was after the under cashed in the first five games of Wilson’s career.
Live Dogs Cash the Over
In each of Seattle’s five losses last year the Over cashed at the window. There are some similarities in those games that are worth taking a look at. Four out of those five games were on the road when Seattle was a favorite. The only home game was against the Dallas Cowboys when the Hawks were a ten-point favorite. So, if you have qualms about laying a bunch of points with Seattle, consider taking the over instead.
Improved Return Game Should Help Win Field Position Battle
The Seahawks were almost dead last in average kick return yardage last year, as Percy Harvin never really panned out in that role. Their punt return average was also among the absolute lowest of the league. Keep in mind that they were desperate enough to throw All-Pro safety, Earl Thomas, back on punt returns. This year the addition of Kansas State burner, Tyler Lockett, has done wonders for the return game so far in the preseason. He took a kickoff back for a TD in his first game so he’s definitely made a good first impression. Compared with a stout defense, a decent return game is able to flip the field, so expect Wilson and the offense to have plenty of short fields to work with this year. At least Steven Haushka should have a decent year even if they don’t score touchdowns.
Yes, But the Defense is #1
The 2014 Seattle Defense was incredibly good, allowing an average of only 15.9 PPG and 185.6 passing yards per game. A point could be made that the defensive line is actually better this year over last year’s squad. In my theory that the over will cash the majority of the 2015 season, having this public perception of stellar defense is actually a necessity. In reality, I will be counting on the defense to create turnovers, and the improved offense to capitalize on them.
An Exception to the Rule
All Seattle home games against division foes went under the listed total last year. All Seattle home games against division foes in 2013 went under the listed total. This isn’t to say that the under is a lock when Seattle plays at home, as overall the total was 4-4 last year at CenturyLink. But you could say the defensive game plan has been set against the quarterbacks in their division and the Seattle Seahawks have an ability to be dominant at home.