Seattle-Washington best bets: Can Russ cook on prime-time?
Back-to-back wins have the Washington Football Team in a position to pull back into the NFC playoff picture, as they host a Seattle Seahawks squad desperate to stop the bleeding in what has quickly become a lost season.
Here's how we're betting Seattle-Washington:
C Jackson Cowart: Washington +1
Can we fade both teams into oblivion? Washington has the worst ATS record (3-7) in the entire league after Sunday's results, while the Seahawks have lost five of six games since Russell Wilson's finger injury, including losses in his two starts since returning.
Seattle is probably the more talented side, but I feel better about what we've seen recently from Washington, which is 2-0 since its bye week with impressive wins against the Buccaneers and Panthers. They weren't fluky victories, either - Washington compiled more yards and first downs and was more efficient on third down in each contest, while turnovers and penalties were mostly a wash across both weeks.
Conversely, seemingly nothing has gone right for the Seahawks, who have been held to 15.2 points per game since Wilson's injury. They also haven't won a road contest since Week 4. This one could be over in a hurry if Taylor Heinicke and Co. can exploit Seattle's porous secondary early on.
Alex Moretto: Seahawks team total over 23.5
Wilson's return hasn't brought any joy to this Seahawks team, which has struggled to stay competitive in his first two games back. The offense has been all out of sorts, but I'm willing to issue a bit of a pass given there's some rust to be expected following a long absence, and the two games came against the strong defensive units of the Packers and Cardinals. It presents a good buy-low on the Seahawks offense as they take a significant step down in competition.
There's too much talent on this Seattle offense to buy what we've seen the last couple of weeks as the new baseline. We're also selling high on a Washington defense that, despite allowing just 21 and 19 points the previous two weeks, still surrendered 6.1 and 5.8 yards per play. That's right on par with the 5.9 it's allowed on the season, meaning nothing has really changed with this unit other than some good luck. Regression hits here on the scoreboard as Seattle starts to get right offensively.
Matt Russell: Russell Wilson over 243.5 passing yards
This is an incredibly interesting game to handicap because it's a personal decision for the bettor. Washington has been chronically underrated, while the Seahawks' rating is all over the map. They were considered close to six points better than Colt McCoy and the Cardinals at kickoff last week, which was obviously a mistake, but even with a significant drop, can they still barely be favored in Washington? Only if you believe that the inner workings of the Seahawks are fundamentally broken.
Whether it's on-the-field evidence or rumors out of Washington, there's reason to believe we haven't found Seattle's bottom. However, we know Wilson refuses to quit even if things are crumbling around him. On Monday Night Football, I expect Wilson to be the most reliable entity on the field. Whether he leads them to victory or is desperate while trailing, I'll back him to have success through the air.