NFL Odds & Picks For Seahawks vs. Bills: Bet Seattle in High-Scoring Game
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Wilson.
- The Seahawks’ incredible offense travels east for a potential shootout in Buffalo.
- The Bills’ offense and Josh Allen could use this matchup as a get-right game.
- Raheem Palmer explains why he’s backing the Seahawks and expects the over to hit.
NFL Odds: Seahawks vs. Bills
With a 24-21 win over the Patriots, the Bills improved to 6-2 on the season and 4-0 in the AFC East, putting them in sole possession of first place. But despite the hot start, they were a late-game Cam Newton fumble away from losing that matchup and have plenty of doubters.
Are the Bills a contender or a pretender? We’ll find out this Sunday as they host the 6-1 Seahawks, who the oddsmakers have installed as road favorites in what figures to be a high scoring affair.
Can Josh Allen and the Bills offense keep up with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks? Let’s find out!
Want to take a guess on how many times the Seahawks have scored fewer than 30 points this season?
That was a 27-26 comeback victory over the Vikings during which the Mike Zimmer-coached team dominated the time of possession (39:28 vs. 20:32) and ran 83 plays compared to the Seahawks’ 52. Even in a season when scoring has reached record highs, only one other team has put up 30 or more points in every game except one: The Packers.
Nevertheless, it appears that taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands is the only thing that will stop the Seahawks from scoring at will. They’re first in points per game (34.3) and total success rate as well as second in offensive efficiency, yards per play (6.4) and early-down success rate via Football Outsiders. They’re also first in red-zone touchdown percentage, converting on 88% of trips inside of their opponent’s 20-yard line.
The Seahawks have played musical chairs at running back with injuries to Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring), replacing them with DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. Those two injuries and the absence of guard Mike Iupati (back) haven’t stopped the Seahawks’ rushing attack, as they rank first in rushing success rate and eight in rushing efficiency, giving credence to the notion that running backs don’t matter in today’s NFL.
Wide receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both on pace for 1,000-yard seasons, entering Week 9 with a combined 85 receptions for 1,255 yards and 14 touchdowns. The duo has been among the best of the NFL this season and should have their way with a Bills defense that is 22nd in passing efficiency.
For as great as the Seahawks’ offense is, they’re just 21st in defensive efficiency and 30th against the pass while giving up 28.4 points per game. The one bright spot for their defense is their ability to stop the run as they are sixth in rushing efficiency, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry, ranking fifth in the NFL. Their pass rush has been nonexistent as they’re just 24th in pressure rate (20.3%) and 22nd in sacks (12).
Fortunately, the Seahawks traded for Carlos Dunlap, who ranks in the top 20 in pressure rate. They also welcome back All-Pro safety Jamal Adams back from a groin injury that he suffered in Week 3. Although they’re still missing the services of cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin, Ugo Amadi and defensive end Ben Mayowa, this unit should be trending up.
The Bills are no slouches offensively, averaging 24.8 points per game and ranking sixth in total success rate and expected points added, 10th in early-down success rate and eighth in explosive play rate with 11% of their plays going for 20 or more yards.
However, the Bills’ offense has been trending downward over the past four games. Through the first four games, the Bills were averaging 30.7 points per game, ranking 10th in total success rate and fifth in explosive play rate with 14% of their plays going for 20 or more yards. In Weeks 5-8, though, they averaged 18.7 points, ranking fifth in total success rate and 22nd in explosive play rate with just 8% of their plays going for 20 or more yards.
On the surface, it’s quite troubling that the Bills scored just 16, 17, 18 and 24 points in games against the Titans, Chiefs, Jets and Patriots.
So what happened? Their offensive output has been skewed by unfavorable circumstances.
Their game against the Titans was marred by a postponement that had them preparing for their following week’s matchup against the Chiefs. Games against the Chiefs and Patriots were impacted by heavy winds and/or rain. Finally, their game against the Jets saw the Bills move the ball up and down the field at will only scoring 18 points despite not punting the entire game — a clear sign of a team that performed under expectation.
Whether Allen can keep up with Wilson remains to be seen. Nonetheless, given a clear weather forecast for Sunday and Seattle’s defensive struggles, we should expect an offensive output from the Bills that looks more like their first four games.
Like the Seahawks, defense has been the Bills’ biggest issue.
Despite playing a below-average schedule, the Bills are allowing 24.9 points per game while ranking 23rd in defensive efficiency, 22nd against the pass and 24th against the run. Buffalo ranks just 19th in pressure rate (21.2%), and given their struggles against inferior competition, the Bills’ offense will need to do everything they can to match point-for-point with the Seahawks.
In the 90s and early 2000s, you would often hear about West Coast teams struggling when flying East. Although that trend has been debunked in recent seasons, Wilson’s success flying to the East is nothing short of remarkable.
With Wilson at the helm, the Seahawks have won 10 straight games when flying to the Eastern time zone and are 21-6 straight-up and 18-7-2 against the spread (72%) all time according to our Action Labs database.
Trends aside, I like the Seahawks in this matchup. Although they’re laying three points on the road, it’s fair to wonder what this number would be if Newton didn’t fumble last week and the Bills lost to the Patriots last week — think it would be closer to the dead zone of 4-5.5 rather than 3.
Although the Bills are 6-2 this season, they have a point differential of just -1 with a pythagorean expectation of just four wins. The 4-3 Dolphins, who are second in the AFC East, actually have a higher point differential than the Bills at +58.
Buffalo ranks just 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which is lower than three of Seattle’s last four opponents in Miami (ninth), Arizona (11th) and San Francisco (12th). That means this matchup appears to be a step down in class. I’ll be laying the points with the Seahawks.
There’s also some value playing the over. Although I grabbed it at 52, I would play this up to 54.5.
PICKS: Seahawks -3 (up to 4); Over 54.5 (or better)