NFL Picks: Even the Weather Will Side with Steelers +4 When Visiting Seattle

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 26, 2015 3:49 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 3:49 PM UTC

This could be the last stand for the Seattle Seahawks as we know them. It'll be tough putting them in our NFL picks as 4-point home faves versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 25: 43-37-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 24-31 Total


This is it for the Seattle Seahawks, isn't it? Yes, they thumped the San Francisco 49ers 29-13 to cover the biggest spread on the Week 11 NFL odds board as 14-point home faves. But those were the 49ers. This week, the Seahawks welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Emerald City. And they're still laying up to four points against the Steelers, who are coming off the bye week with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Good gravy.

The sharps know what we're talking about. Our consensus reports show 70 percent of first responders were on Pittsburgh as a 5.5-point puppy, and 68 percent of bettors are hanging with the Steelers at +3.5. However, in terms of raw dollars, the action at press time is split almost evenly. Seattle even has a $1000+ bet on the board, and an average bet of $80 – twice that of the Steelers. What gives?


Hard-Luck 'Hawks
Let's start by acknowledging how well the Seahawks (5-5 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) have played this year. Despite all their problems with the offensive line and safety Kam Chancellor's early holdout and Marshawn Lynch's assorted injuries, the 'Hawks rank No. 5 on the efficiency charts at Football Outsiders, two spots ahead the Steelers. Seattle's performance level has been good enough to earn 6.6 Estimated Wins to Pittsburgh's 6.3 EW.

At the same time, the Steelers (6-4 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) have made it this far despite Roethlisberger missing four games with a sprained knee. Michael Vick and Landry Jones had their moments, but Big Ben is one of the very best quarterbacks in the league. He wasn't even supposed to play in Week 10 because of a sprained foot, but when Jones was injured early on, Roethlisberger stepped in and shredded the Cleveland Browns (+7 away) 30-9.


Doing It for the Rawls
So let's talk about Seattle's offensive line. It's awful – if you look only at pass protection, where it's dead last in the NFL with an adjusted sack rate of 10.9 percent. When it comes to run blocking, however, the 'Hawks vault to third overall. Thomas Rawls (6.0 yards per carry) has outperformed Lynch (3.8 yards per carry), and will continue to carry the load this week while Lynch recovers from a sports hernia.

The weather report looks unusually good for a late-November game in Seattle: clear skies and temperatures in the low 40s at kick-off (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS). That's going to help Roethlisberger and the Steelers more than it will the home side. Seattle's Legion of Boom defense might be able to contain WR Antonio Brown, but WR Martavis Bryant and TE Heath Miller could put up some big numbers on Sunday. We're recommending a small wager on the Steelers for your Week 12 NFL picks, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

Free NFL Pick: Take the Steelers +4 at Bovada

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