Last week’s Sunday night game was a terrific showdown for first place in the AFC West with Oakland beating Denver, and I correctly recommended backing the Raiders on the Sports Interaction NFL spread as well as over the total. While that was the best matchup of Week 9, this Sunday night’s game between Seattle and New England is the most-anticipated game of the regular season and a rematch of a very memorable Super Bowl XLIX. We could easily see the Seahawks and Patriots again on the first Sunday of February for Super Bowl LI in Houston.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots
Point spread: Patriots -7.5
Date: Sunday, Nov. 13, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
Seattle (5-2-1) has a two-game lead in the NFC West Division following its wild 31-25 home win over Buffalo on Monday night — the Seahawks are 3-0 vs. the Patriots’ AFC East this year, also beating Miami 12-10 in Week 1 and the Jets 27-17 in Week 4.
You should never bet against the Seahawks on Mondays as they have now won 11 straight on that night. Russell Wilson has had a largely disappointing season after being a preseason top MVP betting candidate, but he played very well vs. Buffalo in completing 20-for-26 for 282 yards and two scores while also rushing for a touchdown.
Wilson’s mobility has been hampered this season due to ankle and knee injuries. Tight end Jimmy Graham had one of his best games as a Seahawk with eight catches for 103 yards and two scores. Bobby Wagner was everywhere defensively with 16 tackles, a half-sack, tackle for loss and three quarterback hits.
On the negative side, the offensive line has been a problem all year and still was. Wilson was sacked four more times and the running game was non-existent with 33 yards on 12 carries. Also, the 25 points allowed vs. the Bills tied a season high against that usually excellent Seattle defense. The Bills put up 425 yards of offense and held the ball for a whopping 40:17. That’s beating the Seahawks at their own game. The team is expecting back Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor from injury this week, however. That will help immensely.
Seattle could have easily lost Monday as the Bills were at the Seahawks’ 10 in the final minute but couldn’t punch it in. Seahawks star safety Richard Sherman also got away with a blatant roughing the kicker call at the end of the first half that cost Buffalo three points.
The Seahawks are 4-4 against the spread this season (2-2 ATS on road). They are +750 second-favourites to win the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots
The Patriots (7-1) have about as big an advantage as possible from a scheduling standpoint here as not only is Seattle on a short week and having to travel across country, but New England is coming off its bye week.
The Pats are tied for the NFL’s best record with the Dallas Cowboys, and New England has been dominating teams in the four games since Tom Brady returned — winning them all by at least 11 points — from his four-game suspension. If you want a point of comparison, New England also comes off a game vs. the Bills, winning in Buffalo 41-25 in Week 8.
Brady is the clear-cut MVP right now despite missing half the season thus far. He leads the NFL by a mile in QB rating at 133.9, which would set a league record, and is completing 73.1 percent of his passes (first in league) for 1,319 yards, 12 TDs and no interceptions. The Patriots haven’t thrown a single pick all year. Meanwhile, tight end Rob Gronkowski has taken off since Brady returned with 21 catches for 473 yards and three touchdowns in those four games.
New England coach Bill Belichick has already said that Super Bowl XLIX will be part of his team’s preparations for this game. A victory would assure the Patriots of finishing with a record of .500 or better for the 16th consecutive year. Every other NFL team has had at least one losing season since 2001.
The Patriots are 7-1 ATS this season (3-1 ATS at home). They are +200 favourites to win Super Bowl LI.
Seahawks vs. Patriots Prediction
New England closed as a 1-point favourite in that Super Bowl two years ago and of course won 28-24 when the Seahawks opted to not give bull-dozing running back Marshawn Lynch (since retired) the ball on second-and-goal from the Patriots’ 1 in the final seconds. Instead, Wilson’s pass was intercepted by Malcolm Butler in the most unlikely ending in Super Bowl history. Brady threw for 328 yards and four TDs and was named the game’s MVP. Every advantage points to New England here, but give the 6.5-point alternate line (-133) to be safe and go over the total.