Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks Preview
Where: CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Washington
When: Saturday, January 7, 8:15 PM ET
Line: Detroit Lions (+8) at Seattle Seahawks (-8) – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: NBC
Writer’s Pick: Detroit Lions (+8)
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Betting on the Detroit Lions (+8)
The Detroit Lions went 9-7 during the regular season on the strength of their ability to come back from behind. Seven of their nine wins were fourth-quarter comebacks. They certainly rode their luck in those wins. Their supposed odds to win all seven of those games were 1-in-40,000.
However, the Lions’ luck finally ran out on them in their final three games as they were handily beaten by three playoff teams – the New York Giants (17-6), Dallas Cowboys (42-21) and Green Bay Packers (31-24).
The Lions defense was 13th in scoring defense this season, but they were rated as the worst defense in the league per DVOA. Their pass defense was worst in the league, and it showed in their last two games against the Cowboys and Packers. Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers both completed around 70 percent of their passes and threw for a combined seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Meanwhile, quarterback Matthew Stafford has not been the same since the finger dislocation he suffered in Week 14. Stafford was a legitimate MVP candidate prior to the injury, throwing for 21 touchdowns and five interceptions. Since then, though, he’s had just three touchdowns against five picks.
Stafford can still sling it, though – he had 347 passing yards against the Packers – and has the big play threats in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones to attack a Seahawks secondary won’t be the same without star safety Earl Thomas.
Betting on the Seattle Seahawks (-8)
The Seattle Seahawks will head into the playoffs as arguably the most vulnerable of the four NFC division winners. They topped the NFC West almost by default at 10-5-1, but they will be significantly beat up on both sides of the ball.
Thomas’ loss in the secondary is obviously huge. Meanwhile, they lost the big-play threat of receiver Tyler Lockett, who broke his leg against the Arizona Cardinals. The running game also remains unreliable, with Thomas Rawls banged up/ineffective and rookie Alex Collins very much untested.
However, they still have Russell Wilson going up against the worst pass defense in the league, which should be enough to give them the edge in this wild-card matchup. Wilson had a bit of an off-night in the season finale against San Francisco, but he did torch a solid Cardinals defense the week before to the tune of 350 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
Wilson faced the Lions last season and completed 77 percent of his passes for 287 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks won at home, 13-10.
Home-field advantage will be the other obvious edge for the Seahawks. Seattle has won each of its last six playoff home game, with its last loss coming way back in 2004. The Seahawks had another stellar season at home. They went 7-1 – with their lone loss coming against the Cardinals – but were only 4-3-1 ATS.
Despite Detroit’s struggles, the Seahawks have too many question marks to be considered over a touchdown favorite. Seattle should still win, but the Lions (+8) get involved in another close game, 27-21.
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