Packers-Seahawks TNF Betting Preview: Russell Wilson Thrives Under the Lights

Packers-Seahawks TNF Betting Preview: Russell Wilson Thrives Under the Lights article feature image

Gary A. Vazquez, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Russell Wilson

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Betting odds: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

  • Spread: Seahawks -3
  • Over/Under: 48.5
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX/NFL Network/Amazon Prime

>> All odds as of Thursday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: At the time of writing 58% of the tickets  and 75% of the dollars are on Seattle. With steady Seahawks money hitting the market, oddsmakers have adjusted the home team to -3 at almost all shops (see live betting data here). — PJ Walsh

Trends to know: Seattle has one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, the Seahawks are 32-22-2 (59%) against the spread at home including the playoffs. In prime-time games at home the team is 11-3-1 ATS. — John Ewing

Wilson has excelled under the lights. According to our Bet Labs data, he 29-year-old quarterback is 19-6-2 (+12.1 units) ATS in prime-time games. In fact, Wilson is the most profitable quarterback in prime-time, profiting bettors almost five more units than the second-best QB, Matt Ryan.

Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, has been mediocre in prime-time games, going 26-21-1 ATS record (55.3%) and he’s just 5-9 ATS as an underdog. — Evan Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Seattle’s rushing offense vs. Green Bay’s rushing defense

The Seahawks are the run-heaviest team in the league with a rush rate of 51.1%, and since turning their campaign around with their first win of the season in Week 3, they’ve had an obscene 58.4% rush rate. With Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks have three running backs with at least one 100-yard rushing game this year.

And on defense, the Packers have a rush funnel defense, ranking ninth against the pass but 26th against the run in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.

Nose tackle Kenny Clark is a top-10 interior lineman with his 90.1 Pro Football Focus grade, but he’s better at rushing the passer than stopping the run, and the Packers will likely be without edge defender Nick Perry (knee), box safety Kentrell Brice (ankle) and cornerback Kevin King (hamstring), none of whom practiced this week.

Interior linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle) and cornerback Bashaud Breeland (groin) are also questionable.

Facing a banged-up defense that is already poor against the run, the Seahawks will look to control the ball and manage the clock with their unyielding ground game. Matthew Freedman

The Packers will be able to run, too: If you’re looking for an area that the Packers can have success, look past Aaron Rodgers and look at the ground game. No, really.

Believe it or not, the Packers lead the NFL in yards per rush at 5.2, thanks to an offensive line that ranks fourth in Adjusted Line Yards. They will face a Seattle defense that has been vulnerable against the run all season. Aaron Jones is running with a purpose and could have a big day on the ground as the now featured back. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Seattle Seahawks

Freedman already mentioned a few of the Packers’ key injuries on defense: King, Brice and Perry will all miss Thursday night’s game. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) will also join them on the sideline, while tackle David Bakhtiari (concussion) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) are questionable to play.

The Seahawks aren’t exactly 100% either, but only linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) is tentatively not expected to suit up against the Packers. It remains to be seen how big of a workload running back Chris Carson (hip) will see alongside Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny. — Ian Hartitz

DFS Edge: Aaron Rodgers is certainly capable of dominating any matchup at any time and in any stadium, but he’s historically not been his best self away from the friendly confines of Lambeau Field.

Overall, Rodgers has averaged 24.7 DraftKings PPG with a +3.6 Plus/Minus and 61% Consistency Rating at home compared to 21.5 PPG with a -0.02 Plus/Minus and 50% Consistency Rating. Any exposure to Rodgers should be focused on DraftKings, where his $5,900 price tag comes with a 99 percent Bargain Rating and +4.2 Projected Plus/Minus. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Seahawks -3

Finally! A Thursday night game I feel like I can bet on. I generally like to stay far away from the slopfests we usually get when two teams meet on a short week.

However, I see value in the Seahawks this Thursday night in a game I think they should be favored in by more than a field goal.

On the surface, we have a great home team with one of the best home-field advantages playing a team that has yet to win a road game (0-4). Plus, Seattle is significantly healthier, as it will get the services of Chris Carson (who has been fantastic this season) and run-blocking mauler guard DJ Fluker.

From a matchup perspective, Seattle should have success on the ground. The Seahawks average 4.8 yards per carry (top 10) and are the most dedicated rushing offense in the NFL, averaging a league high 32.0 carriers per game. Green Bay allows 4.5 yards per carry (21st in league) and ranks 26th in overall run defense DVOA.

The Packers’ defensive line also ranks 30th against the run and near the bottom of the league in most other metrics. It also will have to make do without Perry. Seattle should get push up front all night long.

That should set up Russell Wilson and the passing game against a depleted Packers secondary. Having already traded starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Packers will also be without Brice, who had started all nine games this season.

Expect Wilson and the Seattle receivers to hit a few big plays down the field set up by play action against an ultra-thin Packers’ secondary that only had four safeties dressed against the Rams — one of them being Brice.

Aaron Rodgers won’t let the Packers get blown out, but he will be facing a Seattle team that ranks sixth in overall Pass Defense DVOA.

Bottom line — the Seahawks are just a slightly better and healthier team right now, which is why I think this line should be 3.5/4, creating value on the home team.

And if you are looking for an X-factor, Seattle’s special teams have performed significantly better this season. The Seahawks rank 10th in net line of scrimmage per drive, while the Packers rank 27th. Seattle should win the field position battle all night.

Don’t burn me now, Thursday Night Football. — Stuckey

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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