NFL Picks: Seahawks vs. Redskins Betting the Spread

Jason Lake

Thursday, January 3, 2013 9:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 9:40 PM UTC

Betting on the NFL isn’t always easy. Which 11-5 ATS team are you going to take: the Washington Redskins who are 7-0 SU and ATS in their last seven, or the Seattle Seahawks who are No. 1 on the efficiency charts?

Jason’s record on his final weekly NFL picks for the complete 2012 regular season:

51-38-3 ATS (–1.96 units vig)

10-6 ML (+5.82 units)

18-17-1 Totals (–1.71 units vig)

Profit: 16.15 units 

I’m still taking the Redskins. And it breaks my heart. I love the Seahawks, but as I laid out in my earlier article when the football betting lines opened for the Wild Card round, Washington is in a better position to cover. That goes double (not quite literally) now that the ‘Skins have moved from +2.5 to +3 on the NFL odds board. 


Du Soleil à 20 Cents 

What a glorious half-point that is, too. Check out my piece on the Minnesota Vikings and how they moved from +9 to +7.5 against the Green Bay Packers; that move is only worth about 10 cents, while Washington’s move from +2.5 to +3 is worth twice as much. That’s what happens when about one in six NFL games is decided by a field goal.

It takes a lot of pressure to get a NFL odds makers to move onto a magic number like that. Sure enough, it’s the Seahawks getting about two-thirds of the early support according to our consensus reports – both in number of bettors and dollars wagered. I imagine the East Coast Bias will kick in when the weekend comes and the public will start moving the needle toward Washington, but who knows for sure. Both teams have been popular with NFL betting fans of late, for obvious reasons. 


Then there’s that little factoid I stumbled upon when I wrote about playoff trends: Home dogs are 13-4 ATS in the Wild Card round since 1978. Now, please forgive me, but anytime I pull information like that off the Web, I seem to get in trouble. Multiple sources don’t seem to help anymore with all that cutting and pasting going on out there. I’ve already made at least one mistake in that article (see if you can spot it), so take these records with a grain of salt. 

Having said that, multiple sources confirm that Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos (+7.5) upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 last year, and who can forget the 2010 Seahawks (+9.5) evicting the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints from the playoffs? I’ve got Wild Card home dogs going 5-3 ATS over the past six seasons. They’re still good. 

Choose Wisely

The Seahawks are still good, too. Not only did they finish the 2012 regular season on top of the efficiency charts, Football Outsiders ranks their season No. 6 overall since 1991. That’s pretty damned impressive, but again, what does it mean? Seattle did far more damage at home (7-1 ATS) than on the road (4-4 ATS), and a lot more damage as an underdog (6-1 ATS) than as a favorite (5-4 ATS).

The Redskins ended 2012 at No. 9 on the efficiency charts, but I’d love to see the statheads divide the NFL season into two halves and show me the numbers for the second half. Both these teams have made extraordinary strides during that time. And I haven’t said nearly enough about rookie RB Alfred Morris (4.8 yards per carry, 13 TDs), who does a pretty good impression of Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch (5.0 yards per carry, 11 TDs). The football gods are cruel for making me choose. 

NFL Picks: Washington +3 (–105) at Pinnacle
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