Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 09:30 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Seattle +6½ -110 over Baltimore
1:00 PM EST. We don’t pay much attention to systems or trends and if anything, patterns like that only present a better argument for regression over time. In this case, a very interesting and revealing trend speaks to a buttoned-up franchise and one of the best NFL coaches of the last two decades, so we’re paying attention. In what might be considered a disadvantage for the Seattle Seahawks, traveling across the country and playing at 1:00 p.m. EST, which is 10:00 a.m. where they reside, can’t be an easy feat. Don’t tell that to Pete Carroll, though. In their last 32 games, the ‘ol ball coach has Seattle 23-9 straight up in the early window. Few teams are as consistently prepared and motivated for spots like this one, and we like that to make a big difference on Sunday.
It would come at a good time, too. Seattle has won its last two games,but they haven’t looked very impressive doing so. In Week 7 they snuck by the Cardinals even though they allowed Arizona to hang around far too long. Three bad turnovers made life more difficult for the Hawks. Last week it took a game-winning drive at home to fend off PJ Walker and the visiting Browns. Again giveaways were the problem.
Geno Smith is capable of throwing some truly elite passes. The dude is a legitimate franchise QB and it’s made quite the story, but he can also get too bold for his own good. Two of his last three interceptions have come on his opponent’s 27 yard line or better, eliminating two easy scoring opportunities the last two weeks. Against an opportunistic Ravens’ defense that’s ranked 11th in INTs through eight games, we expect that Geno and the offense are emphasizing these hiccups in practice this week. With a coach as effective as Pete Carroll, we trust the same flops won’t happen.
Less than two weeks ago, the Ravens destroyed another upper-echelon NFC opponent, the Detroit Lions, in a very similar spot at home. The market is likely taking that into consideration, but we have our doubts about a spread this big. The Seattle-defense is still flying under the radar but they’ve played like an elite unit, allowing just 4.8 yards per play, a top-five mark in the league. Lamar Jackson often shoulders the load for his offense, and lately the whole world can see that Baltimore still doesn’t have enough weapons at the wide-receiver position. Other than Mark Andrews, no catcher has been consistent. Despite the hype, even rookie Zay Flowers only has four games with over 60 receiving yards.
A capable Seattle offense and a better-than-advertised Seattle defense should not only keep this game close; the Hawks can win straight up. We’ve seen them do it before– like Week 2 at Detroit– and we can’t blindly expect that Baltimore will continue to annihilate other teams simply because they’re at home. While the Ravens have an impressive number of top-ten marks on offense and defense, the only elite team they’ve faced this season was the Lions in Week 7 (we don’t count the Bengals in Week 2, not with Burrow on one leg).
Oddsmakers have inflated their perception on the Ravens, and that’s not something we can agree with. We don’t need any more reasons to play on Seattle, but it helps that two big divisional games, the Browns and Bengals at home in Weeks 10 and 11, are on the horizon. Don't be shocked if Pete Carroll’s squad shocks Charm City.
Seattle +6½ -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)