Last Week: 2-5
All Time Results: 110-99-2, +17.1 Units
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks 1st Half Under 23.5 -.25 Units
Lacking punch in their ground game after injuries took away their top three running backs, the Seattle Seahawks have started slowly in recent games. They have scored 17 points combined over their last three first halves. While Seahawks HC, Pete Carroll promises to get revived veteran Marshawn Lynch going in this game, the Seahawks limited running back play since his return has been pronounced. The Seahawks picked up only 4 rushing first downs against Philadelphia last week, and three of those came on Russell Wilson scrambles.
For their part, as they have done all season, the Packers will rely on the run game in this one to establish themselves on offense. This strategy may be fairly effective against a Seahawks team ranked in the bottom 10 in rush defense. A few scripted, methodical drives by Green Bay to begin the game could put us in a great position to cash this ticket, especially if the Seahawks start off slowly again.
Here is the beauty of this play. By isolating the first half, we avoid the possibility – the very real possibility – that either of these quarterbacks scoring 14 points in the last 5 minutes after their team has hit desperation mode. I can’t handicap this game without thinking of the Packers leading 19-7 with two minutes to go in the 2014 NFC Conference Championship game. In that one, Russell Wilson scored twice in the final minutes to miraculously force the game into overtime. Aaron Rodgers is just as capable to score fast late in a game in the playoffs, and we have seen it before.
Seattle Seahawks +4 @ Green Bay Packers – .1 Units
Three Team Teaser, 6.5-Point Teaser (+150): Seattle Seahawks +10.5 @ Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers -.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens -2.5 vs. Tennessee Titans – .5 Units
Doubling down on my two teaser teams from Tuesday, and adding the Seahawks to the mix. I think Seattle is fairly blowout resistant. Remember Seattle trailed 31-0 in the first half against the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 Divisional Round, only to lose the game by 7. Since 2012, aka in the Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks have covered a 6-point teaser in 13 out of their 14 playoff games.
No QB is more capable of scoring quickly in a two-minute drill than Russell Wilson. Russell, Hustle & Bustle has 28 Game Winning Drives in his career, more than Aaron Rodgers does for his entire career and more than any other QB since Wilson entered the league. Wilson’s mobility was on full display in the wild card round, rushing for 45 yards. He came up with big plays in key spots too, helping the Seahawks convert 8 out of their 15 third downs. I expect him to be able to break containment multiple times again against a Packers defense built to pressure the QBs around the edge.
On the other side of the ball, the Packers have repeatedly relinquished double-digit leads in the second half. We’ve seen this team race out to big leads against the Vikings, Cowboys, Panthers, Redskins & Bears– only to hold on to a slim advantage in the 4th quarter. Given this trend, the chances of a Packers’ narrow win are much higher than usual for a 4-point favorite.
The Seahawks are 56% ATS (36-28-5) on the road in the Russell Wilson era. Over the last two years, while the team has become less defense-dependent and more Hustle & Bustle-dependent, the Seahawks are 71% ATS (10-4-3) away from Seattle. The kid doesn’t rattle. Wilson is 5-0-1 over his last 6 games as a road dog.
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