Seahawks-Lions Betting Preview: Which Side Is Being Undervalued?

Seahawks-Lions Betting Preview: Which Side Is Being Undervalued? article feature image

Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kerryon Johnson

Betting odds: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions

  • Spread: Lions -3
  • Over/Under: 49
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

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

Betting market: The action has slightly tilted toward Seattle in recent days. The Seahawks are getting more tickets (59%) and money (65%) at the time of writing (see live data here).

That could be part of the reason most books have moved the juice on Seahawks +3 up around -120. It will be interesting to see if oddsmakers get enough Seattle action to force a move down to +2.5.  — PJ Walsh

Trends to know: Seattle has won three of its past four games to even its record at 3-3. In his career, Matthew Stafford is 30-42-2 (42%) against the spread when playing a team that is .500 or better, according to our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing

Seattle’s defense is not what it used to be, but it is still allowing just 19.5 ppg this season, which ranks fifth in the NFL.

In Stafford’s career, he has faced a defense allowing fewer than 21 ppg at home 27 times and is 10-17 ATS, including 4-11 ATS over the last 5 years. — Evan Abrams

The Detroit Lions have been one of the hottest betting teams in 2018, covering five games in a row and joining the Chiefs as the only teams to cover every game since Week 2. — Evan Abrams

Situationally, this is an early kick locally for Seattle. But the Seahawks do come off a bye week while the Lions come in off a road win with two more huge road games on deck against division rivals Minnesota and Chicago. — Stuckey

Both teams come in at 3-3, but the Lions’ three victories have come over three teams with a combined 12-7-1 record, while the Hawks’ three wins have come against teams with a combined 5-15 record. — Stuckey

Sneaky storyline: Lions’ success along the O-line

One of the most surprising teams in the league to me this season has been the Lions, who are a legitimate threat to make the playoffs in the NFC.

Their success really stems from their play in the interior, which has exceeded expectations because of excellent picks in the most recent draft.

Detroit’s offensive line has allowed the second-fewest QB hits (21) in the league, trailing only the Saints’ 20. It also ranks No. 3 in yards before contact (3.3), which has finally given Detroit a running game.

Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson looks like the real deal, but he didn’t break the team’s 100-yard game drought by himself. The offensive line, led by an outstanding guard duo in T.J. Lang and rookie Frank Ragnow, has played excellent football up front. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Seahawks

The Seahawks could welcome back linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) and tight end Ed Dickson (quadriceps) coming off their Week 7 bye. The likes of running back Rashaad Penny (finger) and defensive end Dion Jordan (knee) also appear to be on the probable side of things.

The Lions aren’t overly banged up, either, but running back Theo Riddick (knee), linebacker Jarrad Davis (calf) and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) should be considered questionable for Sunday.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Biggest mismatch: Seahawks run game vs. Lions rushing defense

While the emergence of Da’Shawn Hand has helped the Lions rank No. 1 overall in adjusted sack rate, Detroit really misses Ansah when defending the run.

The Lions rank 30th rush defense DVOA. And while trading for defensive lineman Damon “Snacks” Harrison (who is a top-five run stopper on the interior) will help tremendously in that department, I’m not sure how much run he will get in his first week on a new defense — if at all.

While the Seahawks average 4.3 yards per rush (middle of the road), they are running it as much as anybody in the league over their past four games.

On the season, they average 30.0 rush attempts per game — the second-highest average of any team entering Week 8, trailing only the undefeated Rams, who generally hold large leads late.

In a pass-heavy league in 2018, Seattle has overhauled its entire offense to become a power-rushing team, and you can expect that same run volume again this week against an opponent that ranks tied for dead last in yards per rush (5.3) allowed.

This matchup in the trenches when Seattle has the ball should determine the outcome of this game.

If it were played later in the year when Snacks was assimilated into the defense and Ansah was healthy, the Lions would have the edge. For this week, I think you have to give Seattle the advantage. — Stuckey

DFS edge: Golden Tate costs $6,000 on DraftKings and he leads all receivers on the main slate with his +4.02 Projected Plus/Minus in our FantasyLabs Models.

He’ll primarily run against slot cornerback Justin Coleman, who’s allowing a passer rating of 93.8 when targeted this year — the worst mark among the Seahawks’ starting corners. — Justin Bailey

Bet to watch: Seahawks +3

You know the deal by now: In general, I’m looking for teams that are being rated incorrectly in relation to each other, and I am looking for an inevitable correction.

Detroit put up 32 on Miami last week, won the game, and is now being rated evenly (minus home field) versus a Seattle team that has turned out to be better than expected.

Each of Seattle’s three losses have come by a touchdown or less and all are pretty explainable in terms of caliber of opponent.

Now off a bye, I’m not sure the Seahawks should be getting any points at all — and you’re getting the full field goal. That’s good value. I’m rolling with Seattle. — Ken Barkley

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.