Seattle's Schizoid Seahawks Trying to Stay Trendy in Dallas
The old adage in sports is to win at home and break even on the road.
That's all well and good in the regular season, but in one-&-done playoffs, there's no such thing as break even.
As Seattle's Seahawks invade the JerryDome for a key NFL first-round bracket matchup, they've drawn serious interest as the dog du jour. If they're gonna live up to the billing, though, lotsa stuff's gotta go their way.
The line for this one opened at the Cowboys -3, which is the sportsbooks' way of saying home field advantage is worth a field goal. The hint is they're rating the game as a toss-up.
Why you should bet on Seattle ...
Seattle matches up well with the Cowboys. They handled Dallas, 24-13, up at the Clink in September. In fact, that's the victory that bounced them back for an 0-2 start.
Quarterback Russell Wilson will find holes in the Cowboys’ defense. Not only that but Russell’s favorite target, Doug Baldwin, is healthy. This will happen because the Seahawks are the best rushing team in the NFL, averaging 160 yards per. Dallas is gonna have to play them too straight up to take away both aspects consistently.
Their defense and special teams are capable of keeping them in a road game, too.
Why you should bet on Dallas ...
After winning seven of their last eight games, the 'Boys have momentum. They scored first in all games they won in that span and didn't in the one they lost. In fact, Dallas has outscored opponents in the first quarter, 76-24, which is the only time they can make such a claim.
It kinda says their defense plays better with the lead, which is also nothing new. The Cowboys' peachfuzz D rank fifth in the NFL against the run, so if they can stifle Seattle's ground game, they'll give Dak Prescott & Co a good shot at more snaps, and this game's gonna hinge on ball control. With Zeke Elliott averaging 127 yards per game and 7.9 yards per carry, Dallas can do that.
As well, the Cowboys have performed well at home, where the Seahawks seem to be a different team on the road. They may be money at the Clink but not so efficient elsewhere. Dudes just 3-11 all-time on the road in the post-season.
Instant analysis ...
To this point, we haven't really seen anything that supports the notion that Seattle's the trendy team here.
The rushing attack’s the main reason the Seahawks went 9-5-2 against the spread during the regular season. In away games, Seattle is 4-3-1 ATS. Dallas went 5-3 against the spread in home games.
But these are the playoffs. Experience is a factor, and the Seahawks have a definite edge in that category.
It is, which is why it's time to roll out the pertinent data.
This game's being played in prime time, and Seattle's got good vibes when they're under the lights:
- 11-2 SU in their last 13 prime-time games.
- 11-2 ATS in their last 13 prime-time games as an underdog.
- 25-6-4 ATS in their last 35 prime-time games.
- 12-3 ATS in their last 15 prime-time games vs teams with winning records.
- 22-5-1 SU in their last 28 prime-time games with Wilson as the quarterback.
It'd be cushy to take Seattle and the points in this one, but really. In for a dollar, in for a dime.
If you get our drift.
Moneyline pick: Seattle +115
Result: Dallas 24 Seattle 22 ... Cowboys cover
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.