Seahawks vs. Ravens NFL Picks: Back Seattle to Cover -4.5

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 11:51 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 11:51 PM UTC

Have the Seattle Seahawks found the cure for what ails them? They've beaten the NFL odds in three straight games heading into Sunday's tilt with the Baltimore Ravens.

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NFL Pick: Seahawks -4.5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 9: 46-44-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-31 Total

Where did it all go right for the Seattle Seahawks? Two months ago, they were on the brink of collapse at 2-4 SU and 1-4-1 ATS. Now the Seahawks are in control of an NFC Wild Card spot at 7-5 SU and 5-6-1 ATS. Looks like they'll get one more kick at the playoff can after all; Seattle's next three opponents have losing records going into Week 14.

Their next victims don't even have a starting quarterback. The Baltimore Ravens (4-8 SU, 3-7-2 ATS) have already lost Joe Flacco to a torn knee, and Matt Schuab is iffy at best to face the Seahawks this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) after he suffered a concussion in last week's 15-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins (–3.5 at home). That hasn't stopped a few intrepid sportsbooks from listing Baltimore as a home dog of up to 6.5 points on our NFL odds board.


Mourning Joe
Spoiler alert: We're recommending Seattle for your NFL picks this week. The Ravens signed Jimmy Clausen on Nov. 24, one day after he was waived by the Chicago Bears, and it was Clausen taking the first-team reps in Wednesday's practice while Schaub sat out. You might remember Clausen (60.1 lifetime passer rating) from his fill-in start in Week 3 against the Seahawks. Final score: Seattle (–16.5 at home) 26, Chicago 0.

If Clausen does play on Sunday, he'll be inheriting an offense that's much worse than the one he left. Football Outsiders has Baltimore's offense ranked No. 22 overall (No. 26 pass, No. 13 rush) in efficiency, 10 spots behind the Bears. Injuries have been a big problem all over the field for Baltimore, and Flacco (–8 passing DYAR) was having a hard enough time working with the leftovers before he got hurt. Schaub (–79 passing DYAR last week) was much worse against the Dolphins. Imagine what might happen with Clausen this week.


Saint Lewis
As for the Seahawks, their turnaround isn't all that surprising. Week 3 against the Bears was their first game with safety Kam Chancellor in the lineup after he ended his holdout. And the 'Hawks have had some unusual/unlucky results this year, blowing fourth-quarter leads in all their losses. Things have looked much better recently, prompting the gang at Football Outsiders to rank Seattle No. 1 overall in Weighted DVOA, which discounts the early games.

Still, this is coming from a team that's suffered a number of key injuries, including TE Jimmy Graham's season-ending ruptured patellar tendon. So again: How have they done it? We've talked in passing about the tweaks Seattle has been making to the offensive line. The difference-maker appears to be Patrick Lewis, who took over at center for Drew Nowak in Week 8. In the five games since, QB Russell Wilson has been sacked just eight times total, and Wilson's gone pick-free in his last three games while playing at an MVP level. This one's for you, Mr. Lewis.

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