Teams coming off a Super Bowl loss have historically not performed well in their following season opener. Let's breakdown the NFL odds & find the best value pick as Seahawks visits St. Louis.
How Has The Betting Line Moved?
Open: Seattle -4
Current: Seattle -3.5
It has been more than six months since Russell Wilson threw the redzone interception in the dying seconds of last year’s Super Bowl that ended the Seattle Seahawks quest to repeat as champions but the memory remains vivid in the minds of NFL fans and will likely stand for a very long time as the single most impactful play in the history of the game. No one play in NFL history played a bigger role in a team winning the Super Bowl than Malcolm Butler’s interception and while the Seahawks will tell you they have moved on it will be interesting to see if they show any signs of a hangover following that epic loss. Seattle made the necessary offseason adjustments to stay on top but they will open the year with a tough test against NFC West rival the St. Louis Rams on the road.
It’s not surprising to see some money come in on the Rams here but expect the public to be on the Seahawks as we get closer to game time. The public will obviously be all over them. However, sharp action has slightly been on St. Louis as they know that the Rams have played the Seahawks very tough in recent seasons.
3 Key Storylines
A Potential Super Bowl Hangover: Teams coming off a Super Bowl loss have posted a 5-7 record in their season openers but have gone just 2-10 against the spread in those games. The Seahawks went 10-6 against the spread last season including an outstanding 6-2 mark on the road while St. Louis covered only three times at home last season so it will be very interesting to see how this contest plays out and whether or not Seattle shows signs of a Super Bowl hangover in its opener.
Rams Ready For The Spotlight: St. Louis has made substantial progress in each of the last two year’s under head coach Jeff Fisher and while they finished 6-10 after losing their final three games of last season they were the only NFL team to record wins over both of the team’s that played in the previous Super Bowl. The Rams pulled out a 28-26 win over the Seahawks at home in Week 7 and then shut down Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in a 22-7 Week 11 win to prove that they could hang with some of the league’s top contenders. The high point was back-to-back wins over the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins in which they outscored their opponents by a combined 76-0 and Fisher is confident that this group can build on the success it enjoyed last season. St. Louis added quarterback Nick Foles, rookie first-round pick running back Todd Gurley and then solidified the right side of their offensive line with rookie second-round pick guard Robert Havenstein and rookie third-round pick tackle Jamon Brown so the offense should improve. Meanwhile, an absolutely loaded defensive line should be the catalyst from improvement on that side of the football and if everything comes together they could enter Week 1 as an underrated contender that is ready for the spotlight.
Seattle’s Retooled Offense: The Seahawks’ loaded defense has been the biggest reason for the team’s success over the last couple of years and while they did their best to keep that unit intact there is no doubt that they really tried to upgrade the offense in the offseason. The addition of tight end Jimmy Graham should really help Wilson’s progress as a passer and it will be interesting to see what second-year receiver Chris Matthews can bring to the table after he looked really good in the Super Bowl along with rookie third-round pick receiver Tyler Lockett. Running back Marshawn Lynch remains an absolute battering ram on the ground and Seattle should maximize his potential but they did upgrade the talent around Wilson with Graham as a major weapon and it will be interesting to see how the retooled offense looks in Week 1 against St. Louis.
Bet Early or Bet Later…. And What’s The Play?
The 12th man gives the Seahawks a home-field advantage unlike any other team in the NFL but they have been relatively mediocre on the road including a 3-5 record on the road against teams from the Midwest over the past three seasons with two of those victories coming in overtime. Seattle lost to a terrible Rams team in 2012 and then lost again on the road in St. Louis last year so at the very least we feel this should be a close game with the Rams getting the benefit of the doubt based on the 3.5 points they are getting on the betting line. The NFL odds of the line dropping below 3 are slim so there shouldn’t be any rush to get the pick in especially with the chance that the number could still climb back to Seahawks -4 at some books before Week 1 arrives.
NFL Pick: St. Louis +3.5 at Pinnacle