NFL Picks: Expect Scoring Fireworks Between Seahawks & Packers on Sunday Night

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, September 20, 2015 12:12 AM GMT

These two teams have played some thrillers lately and both scored over 30 points in their season openers - will the trend continue? What's the best NFL pick for this contest?

In the Week 2 late game on Sunday night, we have another matchup in what has been an exciting series of games between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. But all of the recent thrillers have been at the CLink, which clearly benefited the Seahawks. This being a game at Lambeau Field, it is important to note that the Packers were absolutely dominant at home in 2014; going 9-0 SU including a playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys. In that win against the Cowboys Aaron Rodgers was injured with a sprain calf that definitely affected his mobility in the NFC Championship game against the Hawks. That won’t be the case this week, as Rodgers looked rather spry in his matchup last week versus the Chicago Bears.

In this game the Packers will have some injuries to overcome, as both inside linebacker, Sam Harrington, and right tackle, Bryan Bulaga, will miss this matchup versus the Seahawks. Unfortunately, it looks like Sam Harrington will be out for the remainder of the year which will force LB Clay Mathews into more inside run coverage – although he excels at that and everything else so we just have to worry about who is replacing him in pass coverage. The Seahawks are relatively healthy at this point, and hope to have cornerback Tharold Simon back on the field for Sunday’s game. With SS Kam Chancellor still holding out any secondary help for the Seahawks would be greatly appreciated.

Both of these teams had some breakout performers in the receiving corps that are worth noting in this game. Seattle’s 3rd round pick, Tyler Lockett, looks to be the steal of the draft so far. The “Rockett” had a punt return for touchdown the first time he returned a punt in his career, and also added a receiving line of 4 receptions for 34 yards on 4 targets. Lockett displayed soft hands and a great first move after getting the ball so I expect him and Russell Wilson to develop a report quickly. The Packers had an old friend return for their game against the Bears, as newly re-signed WR James Jones returned to the Packers on a one-year deal after spending a year in purgatory in Oakland. Jones caught two touchdown passes on 4 receptions for 51 yards. Jones spent the 2007-2013 seasons with the Packers so it isn’t too surprising that he walked in the door and had an immediate connection with Aaron Rodgers.

Both defenses had a bunch of missed tackles in Week 1, including four by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix alone. Some have said that the new no-contact rules in preseason practices and starters getting rare time in preseason games has had an effect on early season defensive play. I’d tend to agree with that, although the Seahawks are running some replacement level players beside Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas in their secondary as well.

The opening NFL odds in this game indicated a perfectly even matchup, with the typical home team advantage of three points given to the Packers. The line has nudged up to 3.5 at most books though, which is a terrible hook for a game that is billed to be close. The O/U total opened at 49 and now ranges 48.5 to 49.5 at various books. It is important to note that this is the highest total posted for a Seattle versus Green Bay game in the last ten matchups. The games last year ended with 50 and 52 points scored, respectively.

To be honest, I don’t like that hook and I can’t decide if I am being baited to take the Seahawks with my NFL picks in this game or not. As a result I’m going to be taking the over in this game. There will be some matchup issues with Sam Harrington being out and Jimmy Graham running his typical “out” routes. The Seahawks secondary is just average right now and Aaron Rodgers has a trusted receiving corp. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we saw a return touchdown by Lockett or defensive TD forced by the Seahawks’ vaunted front 7 in this game either. 

NFL Pick: It’s a primetime game and we should see enough fireworks on Sunday night for the Over of 48.5 at Heritage to cash easily.

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