Fresh off back-to-back impressive victories over the Bills and Broncos, there remains no rest for the Patriots as they’ll travel to football’s toughest environment, to take on Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks have been great at home this season and have been lucky enough to host football’s biggest home-field advantage. Seattle is undefeated in CenturyLink Field in two games this season, despite being underdogs to both the Cowboys and Packers. Starting quarterback Russell Wilson has struggled in recent weeks, but has a knack of doing just enough to get the job done. Against an improved Patriots’ defense, Wilson will need to be at his best if his team is to improve to 3-0 on their home-field.
Meanwhile for New England, after beginning this season plagued by inconsistency, Bill Belichick’s side has really picked it up of late. Since the second half of their beatdown of the Bills in Week 4, this is a team that could resemble one of the best in the NFL right now. A key reason for much of their recent success can be attributed to both, an improved defense, and a more balanced attack. New England has developed a reliable running game, and is no longer solely dependent on Tom Brady moving the ball with his arm. New England will get some much needed relief on the injury front prior to this contest. Big target Aaron Hernandez will return for the Pats at tight end alongside the hobbled Rob Gronkowski, though Julian Edelman and linebacker Dunt’a Hightower both remain out.
Patriots vs. Seahawks Spread & Betting Odds:
New England Patriots -3.5 (-115)
@ Seattle Seahawks +3.5 (-105)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Patriots vs. Seahawks Pick:
New England has looked unstoppable the past two weeks, and though this is certainly one of football’s toughest places to visit, it’s hard to against the Pats in this type of form. This should be a fascinating encounter, featuring New England’s top-ranked attack squaring off against Seattle’s number one ranked defense. Aaron Hernandez is expected to return from injury for New England, which should be a huge boon to their already prolific passing attack. Brady is blessed with so many weapons at skill positions, and despite the effectiveness of the Seahawks’ defense, stopping Tom Brady and this offense is never easy.
Seattle’s best feature to their scary defense is their stifling pass rush. However, New England enters this contest with the NFL’s third-ranked run game and expect them to utilize Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden with regularity to add balance to their offense. Both teams have capable ground games and don’t be surprised if both teams focus on establishing the run for the majority. Brady may struggle with time and space in the passing game, and throwing into the Seattle secondary is always a risky proposition. Conversely, the Seahawks don’t really trust Russell Wilson to let him throw the ball consistently. These running plays will eat clock time, and will likely keep the play clock moving and the scoring low.
Though the Patriots remain the much better side on a neutral field, after seeing the effectiveness of Seattle at home twice this season, it’s hard to ever back the road team. For those reasons, the better play seems to be on the Under 44 points for this contest. Brady and Co. possess a dominant offense, but dominating the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense in their own backyard is simply not going to happen. Brady’s offensive line has struggled to protect him at times this year, and that’s a match-up the Seahawks pass-rushers can certainly exploit. On the other side, New England’s defense has improved since last season, and Seattle’s offense remains pretty stagnant. In the end, consider the Under in this spot. A 20-17 scoreline seems fitting for this one.
PICK = Under 44 (-110)