The Seattle Seahawks are back at home this week after a divisional win on the road that boosted their record to 7-5 but still keeps them one game behind San Francisco in the NFC West standings. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers are coming off a dramatic bye week that resulted in the release of Baker Mayfield. At 4-8, their playoff chances are as good as gone, but they’ll be looking to add some games to the win column as the season winds down – the Seahawks are the only team on their remaining schedule that currently has a winning record, so it’s possible they could ride out the season on a high.
Read on for more on this matchup, its odds, predictions, injuries, depth charts, and more.
Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds
The Seahawks are 4.5-point home favorites over the bumbling Panthers this week. However, there are lots of questions that still need to be answered so this line could see some movement as kickoff gets closer. Whether or not PJ Walker and/or Kenneth Walker will be participants in this week’s game could have the biggest impact on this spread, so you’ll want to stay up-to-date with their statuses throughout the week.
At 44.5 points, this is Carolina’s second-largest over/under so far this year. It’s ironic considering that they are only averaging 19.2 points per game, but Seattle is averaging a fifth-best 26.5 points per game, with the over hitting in three of their last four games, so it seems plausible.
Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction
The Seahawks narrowly avoided the disaster that would have been losing to a 3-8 Rams team last week, all thanks to the man under center. Geno Smith has done it all this year – but until last week, he hadn’t led this offense on a game-winning drive. That all changed when he found DK Metcalf in the endzone after a 75-yard drive and left Los Angeles with a 27-23 win for the Hawks.
Smith threw for three touchdowns in the win, posting a single-game career high 367 passing yards and a single-season career high 3,169 yards in the process. He boasted a 116.1 passer rating to add to his near-perfect season. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were both top-five receivers in Week 13, tallying 128 and 127 yards respectively, plus a touchdown each.
The run game was short-staffed as rookie phenom Kenneth Walker went down early with an ankle strain, backup DeeJay Dallas is battling injury, and so is secondary backup Travis Homer. Walker is listed as questionable for this week but having him back in the lineup would be huge this week as the Panthers allow 135.7 rushing yards per game and have an opponent rush play percentage of almost 45%.
Quite frankly, the offense is not the concern for Seattle this week – or any other week for that matter. The Seattle run defense is currently competing for the bottom spot in the league. They’re allowing 155.3 yards per game, rank near-last in every single rushing defense category, and in their five losses, have given up an average of 209.4 rushing yards per game. In essence, when they cannot control the run game, it has cost them the result.
In their four wins, the Panthers have averaged 183.75 rushing yards per game. In their last six games since Christian McCaffrey departed, they are 3-3, compared to 1-5 through their first six games. In those six games, D’Onta Foreman has been the engine of the offense, notching over 100 rushing yards in all but two games. All things considered, Carolina has a chance to stay competitive against a talented Seahawks team if they run the ball. The Seahawks secondary is stingy – led by rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen who is currently leading the league in interceptions (6).
Quarterback questions in Carolina just got a whole lot bigger in the Panthers’ Week 12 bye. With the release of Baker Mayfield, PJ Walker and/or Sam Darnold will continue to lead this offense through the end of the season. As of now, Walker is currently expected to be the starter this week, though he will be coming off a high-ankle sprain, so questions about his strength and performance are imminent. If Walker remains on the sideline this week, Darnold proved to be a solid backup option as his Week 12 start resulted in a win for the Panthers. Darnold now has the same amount of wins in one start as Baker Mayfield had in seven (one).
As bad as the Seahawks defense has been, their offense has been even better. The chemistry between Smith and his two receivers is among the best in the league, and if Kenneth Walker is healthy, they shouldn’t have a problem outscoring a struggling Panthers team, especially at home.
My prediction: Seahawks win 30-17, Seahawks cover, over 44.5
Panthers 0-2 ATS with rest advantage
Panthers 2-6 ATS in non-division games
Over is 2-0 when Panthers have rest advantage
Seahawks 3-2 ATS at home
Seahawks 3-3 ATS after a win
Over is 2-1 when Seahawks are at home
Carolina Panthers Injuries: PJ Walker (Q)
Seattle Seahawks Injuries: Kenneth Walker (Q), DeeJay Dallas (Q), Travis Homer (Q)
D’Onta Foreman vs. Seattle Run Defense
The Seahawks run defense will likely see the bulk of the action this week as questions under center for the Panthers coupled with a strong Seattle secondary will direct them to run the ball through Foreman. He has been a steady contributor to the offense and in the teams’ three wins since Christian McCaffrey’s departure, he has tallied at least 110 yards rushing. The Seahawks front seven allows the second-most rushes per game (31.5) and rushing yards per game (155.3), the fourth-most rushing touchdowns per game (1.3), and the fifth-highest opponent rush play percentage (46.84%). That being said, when they’ve game planned against the run, they are able to win games. In their seven wins, they’ve given up an average of 116.5 yards per game compared to their 209.4 when they lose. This week will be a good warmup for them before they face the 49ers and Christian McCaffrey in Week 15.