NFL Betting Picks for Packers vs. Seahawks Season Opener

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, August 30, 2014 4:54 PM GMT

Our sports handicapping expert takes a look at the opening point-spread, and total in the upcoming Green Bay/Seattle game. Read what he projects in regards to future line movement and his insightful NFL betting data pertaining to that subject.

Opening Night of the NFL Season
The defending world champion Seahawks will host the Packers this upcoming Thursday at Century Link Field in Seattle. This contest will commemorate the start of the 2014 NFL season, and keeps with the tradition established in 2004, that the Super Bowl champion plays on the opening Thursday night of the year. The one exception came in 2012, when the season opened on a Wednesday in order to accommodate the inauguration of President Barack Obama’s 2nd term in office. The game will be televised nationally by NBC, and the kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET.

 

The Opening Numbers
The NFL odds opened with Seattle as a 5.5 point home favorite. The Seahawks briefly went to -6.0 and then came back down to the current point-spread of -5.5. At the time of this writing, 52% of public money had been wagered on Seattle. During the past 3-seasons when a home team opened and closed as a 5.5 point favorite, they went 8-3 ATS, and won 10 of those 11-games straight up.

The total in this contest opened at 45.0 and has since moved to 45.5. The betting trends show that 56% of public money has been wagered on the over so far. My guess is that early public money wagered on going over the total has prompted the books to bump this total up by a half point. During the last 3-seasons when the public has influenced a total to be moved in a Packers game, they been right on just 12 of 34 occasions (35.3%). Conversely, when the public is instrumental in moving a total in a Seahawks game over the last 3-seasons, they’ve been correct in 14 of those 32 instances (43.8%).

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How I Project the Betting Trends to Go
I predict we may see Seattle Seahawks go possibly to 6.0, and at the most 6.5. It wouldn’t shock me whatsoever if this game stays at a steady 5.5 until 24-hours prior to kickoff. Hypothetically if this number on the favorite does go up, and it’s generated by money siding with the Seahawks, the public has been correct 16 of 28-times (57%) of the time over the last 3-seasons when they prompted a line movement on Seattle. There’s no doubt, that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, in most instances, would certainly be an enticing option for an NFL pick when installed as an underdog. However, they will be facing a Seahawks team which has won 17 of 18 home games over the past 2-seasons, and covered 13 of those 18 contests. The public perception right now is playing at Seattle is the most difficult place to play for opposing teams. It would be difficult at this juncture to argue that point.

 

The History of the NFL Opening Night
The one thing the books will account for is the fact that since the Super Bowl champion began playing in this game annually since 2004, they’ve gone 8-2 straight up, and 7-3 ATS. It must be noted that one of those SU&ATS losses came a season ago, when the Baltimore Ravens were the first Super Bowl champion to open on the road since the tradition began. Unfortunately for the Ravens organization, they couldn’t get the MLB Baltimore Orioles to cooperate in switching a home date that coincided with the opening night of the NFL season, and were forced to open on the road. In that respect, we can say that the home teams since 2004 have gone 9-1 straight up and 8-2 ATS during the first 10-years of this format.