Seahawks vs. Redskins: Betting the Total
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 telling you right off the bat that I’m picking the OVER in this match-up. And no, it’s not because I picked the UNDER in the other three games, and the UNDER went 3-1 in the Wild Card round in 2006, 2008 and 2010. But I will admit there’s a pleasant football betting symmetry there.
I’m picking the OVER for Sunday’s Wild Card game (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX) because it’s 5-1 in Seattle’s last six games and 4-2 in Washington’s last six. Both teams ended up going UNDER in Week 17, but not by much, so I’m not too worried. And the middling total of 46 doesn’t motivate me to change my mind.
Ner carry) and Seattle’s Russell Wilson (100.0 passer rating, 5.2 yards per carry) have lifted their respective teams back into the playoffs with tremendous second halves to the 2012 season. The year-end efficiency charts have Seattle ranked No. 1 overall (No. 4 offense and defense) and Washington No. 9 overall (No. 6 offense, No. 17 defense). That’s a whole lot of offense to put into one stadium.
To Halve and To Hold
The Seahawks season is easy to cut into two. The UNDER started the year 5-0 as Wilson got his feet wet and Seattle’s outstanding defense held firm. Then Wilson caught fire as Seattle upset the New England Patriots 24-23 (OVER 42.5). That started an 8-3 run for the OVER; Wilson has 21 TD passes and just four picks in those 11 games, plus another four rushing TDs and only five fumbles.
Griffin had a strong game in his NFL debut and only threw three picks in his first nine games combined, but it wasn’t until after the bye week that he really found his groove, throwing four TD passes in consecutive games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins haven’t lost since, SU or ATS, and the OVER is 4-3 during this stretch despite having to play the Eagles offense twice and the Cleveland Browns offense once.
You can also easily divide Seattle’s season along the standard home (7-1 ATS, OVER 4-4) and away (4-4 ATS, OVER 4-4) split because of that ridiculously noisy crowd back at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks will have to play this one at FedEx Field, where the temperatures are expected to remain above freezing under partly cloudy skies – nothing anyone from Seattle hasn’t seen before. Again, factoring in Wilson’s second-half surge, the OVER is 4-0 in Seattle’s last four road games.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the ‘Skins are 5-3 SU and ATS at home with the UNDER at 5-3, including 3-1 in the last four games during their hot streak. That is a concern. But I’m going to blame it on the other guys. The New York Giants (No. 7) were the only opponents among the four with a Top 10 offense, and New York’s offense had already hit the wall by the time these two NFC East rivals met in Week 13.
As they say, anything can happen on any given Sunday. But there are more arrows pointing at the OVER than the UNDER, and by a fair amount. Happy New Year.
NFL Picks: Take OVER 45.5 at Bet Phoenix