Patriots vs. Seahawks Odds & Pick: Covering Machines Clash in Sunday Night’s Super Bowl 49 Rematch
Getty Images. Pictured: Bill Belichick, Russell Wilson
Patriots vs. Seahawks Odds
Two 1-0 teams will meet in Seattle in a rematch of Super Bowl 49. Both Bill Belichick and Russell Wilson have been covering machines throughout their respective careers, so something has to give on Sunday night.
Let’s take a closer look.
New England Patriots
Let’s start with those gaudy Bill Belichick stats against the spread (ATS).
Since 2003, he’s 162-102-9 (61.4%) ATS in the regular season, covering by an average of 3.65 points per game for a 20.4% Return on Investment (ROI) — that makes him the most profitable coach out of 128 in our Bet Labs database over that period. He’s produced even better results as an underdog at 23-9-2 (71.9%) ATS, covering by an absurd 7.28 points per game for an absurd 39.6% ROI.
It’s pretty amazing how much Belichick continues to outperform the spread, despite everyone knowing he’s the best coach in the NFL and maybe the greatest of all time.
What’s different about Belichick this season is he no longer has Tom Brady under center. Cam Newton now runs the show for a very different looking offense. Based on Week 1, New England will play much slower than in recent years with a heavy rush-based attack that features Newton’s rushing ability.
The underwhelming wide receiver group still lacks explosiveness and struggles to gain separation. Last week against the Dolphins, the Patriots ran for more than 200 yards on 42 attempts while throwing for only 155 yards on 19 attempts. In fact, Newton had the same amount of rush attempts (15) as completions.
New England needs the running game to excel. If Newton stays healthy, the Patriots will be extremely effective in converting on short-yardage situations to keep drives going.
On the other side of the ball, New England lost plenty of production in the offseason via opt outs and free-agency departures. The secondary still has as much talent as you’ll find in the NFL, but the front seven may take some time to come together.
I also expect major turnover regression after the Patriots benefited from an extreme amount of takeaways last season against a very easy schedule of opposing offenses and quarterbacks. They did pick Ryan Fitzpatrick off three times in last week’s opener, but they can’t count on Wilson coughing up the ball this weekend.
Speaking of Russell Wilson, like Belichick, “Mr. Unlimited” has been very kind to bettors over the years.
He boasts a career regular-season ATS record of 69-53-7 (56.6%) for a 10.2% ROI. That places him as the seventh-most profitable quarterback since 2003 out of 238 in our Bet Labs database.
I’m sure you’ve also heard about primetime Russ, when he shines brightest. Wilson is a phenomenal 21-9-3 (70%) ATS under the lights for a 32.7% ROI, covering by an average of 6.27 points per game.
So, what has happened when Wilson and Belichick have met in the past? Advantage Russ in both regular-season meetings:
- 10/14/12: won 24-23 in Seattle as 3.5-point dogs
- 11/13/16: won 31-24 in Foxboro as 7.5-point dogs
Check out Wilson’s combined stats across those two victories: 41-of-64 for 641 yards with six touchdowns and no picks. His improvisation and ability to keep plays alive with his legs have given Belichick’s man-heavy defenses trouble in both meetings.
I’m sure Patriots fans are already yelling about the Super Bowl meeting when Belichick came out on top against Wilson in the most meaningful meeting of their careers — although we all know Pete Carroll takes the blame for that loss.
What will happen in the fourth meeting? I expect a fourth straight one-possession game. That’s mostly what Seattle plays anyway.
The Seahawks started their season with a win in Atlanta. The final score was pretty convincing, but both teams averaged 6.6 yards per play, and the Falcons finished with more than 500 yards of offense. Seattle won the turnover battle 2-0 and benefited from Atlanta going 0-4 on fourth down attempts.
Seattle really improved its secondary in the offseason, particularly with the addition of Jamal Adams. The defensive backfield should be much better in 2020 to go along with a very good group of linebackers. The defensive line is an area of weakness that New England will look to exploit with a heavy dose of ground and pound.
The Seahawks were very fortunate last year on paper, coming out on top in numerous one-possession games. They would normally be a major regression candidate, but that’s just how they’ve won in recent years. Start slow, get behind and then unleash Wilson in the second half to pull out a close victory.
I don’t see any real value in the spread or total, which my numbers have close to spot on. If you have the Patriots +4.5, I show some edge there, but I would rather bet this game live or for the second half.
There’s still a lot I want to learn about both teams.
New England has major questions up front on defense, and I want to see more from an offense that maybe didn’t show much against Miami in a Week 1 game it led throughout.
I also want to see if Carroll will #LetRussCook earlier in games like he finally did last week — Carroll even let Wilson go for it in the first half on a fourth-and-5, which led to a long touchdown pass.
If the Patriots get off to a hot start, I will look to get Seattle live at under a field goal. And if Seattle isn’t letting Russ cook early in a low-scoring affair, I’ll look for a live over, especially if the Patriots have a lead.
I’m not sure this Patriots team is built to come from behind, but the Seahawks are more than capable of exploding in second halves. As you might imagine, betting on Wilson in the second half of games has been a cash cow. He’s 74-51-4 (59.2%) ATS in the regular season for his career. Only Andrew Luck is more profitable out of 206 quarterbacks in our database.
But then again, Belichick has also been pretty good ATS in second halves with a 55% career cover rate (129-106-6). It should be a fascinating chess match between two of the best in the betting game.