Monday nighters this year have been fairly lackluster for the most part this season, but this game is the most important so far for the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. An important game for them and most definitely a watchable game for us. It is a pleasant change from SNF last night, with a pointless game between the Giants and Redskins taking the primetime spot. The game ended in bizarre fashion, with the referees signalling that the Redskins had a 1st down late in the game when they were trying to stage a comeback near mid-field, and then they deemed it wasn’t 1st down later on. The Redskins played so poorly that I imagine if there wasn’t any mistake then they would have marched them ball down to around the 15-yard line, and then come up short on 4th down. They did sort of end up getting the first down in the end, but Pierre Garcon inexcusably fumbled the ball away to the Giants. It is just quite sad though that an NFL officiating made that kind of error. Let’s move on to a much more important game Monday night.
Below average day for me yesterday, finishing 1-2 with the picks. My favorite pick of the day, Broncos/Chiefs OVER 49.5 did end up cashing, so that was good. Taking Thursday into consideration, I’ll be 3-2 with the picks in week 13 heading into tonight. The way I have been handicapping this entire year, I expect to be better, but I can’t complain with a 4-2 week, which would add another winning week to my resume.
Saints vs. Seahawks Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints +4.5(-110)
@Seattle Seahawks -4.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Seahawks Pick:
The home-field advantage didn’t work for the Chiefs yesterday at a difficult place for visitors win at. Everyone states that Arrowhead and CenturyLink are the hardest venues to win in. Arrowhead broke the noise record that Seattle broke, but I still think CenturyLink is one heck of a place to get a win in. No team has managed to win in Seattle thus far this season, with unexpectedly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming the closest in a Seahawk 27-24 OT win. No other team has really presented a sizable challenge other than that. Their last game at home in week 11 the Hawks blasted past the Vikings by a score of 41-20. In other words, home-field advantage in the playoffs for Seattle is extremely important. I think it’ll make the difference between getting to the Super Bowl and being rejected that opportunity. The Saints are familiar with CenturyLink, remember the game where Marshawn Lynch went on that epic beast mode run? Yeah that was against the Saints in the playoffs, which was part of a 41-36 win over New Orleans. Keep in mind though, that wasn’t the same Seahawks team we see today. That was a team that barely made the playoffs with Matt Hasselbeck leading the way at quarterback. The Seahawks are a much better team, but I don’t know if you can say the same for the Saints. I guess you can say they have stabilized.
Seattle brings the 2nd best defense in the NFL to the party tonight, allowing opposing offenses to average only 293.3 yards a game. Passing on them is virtually impossible, allowing only 180.4 yards through the air, 1st in the league. The Seahawks will have weather on their side tonight, as temperatures are expected to dip into the 30’s at kickoff. There is a slight chance of snow, but I don’t see any snowfall that will impact the game too much. The Saints are a different animal on the road than they are at home. Looking at them on the road versus at home is quite the difference. This is a team that nearly lost to the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, so it is imperative for the Saints to clinch home-field in the playoffs as well. Even more so than the Seahawks I would say. If the Saints need to go on the road in bad weather I definitely do not like their chances to come out alive. The defense is much better, though, something that’ll help them in bad weather conditions. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan took them from the worst to top-5 in a matter of a few months. The defense is allowing only 310 yards a game, and while Seattle is solid against the pass, the Saints are too placing 3rd in passing yards allowed per game.
The offense is still there with the Saints, as they are 3rd in the NFL, and now with a legitimate defense they can do some damage. Asking them to beat the Seahawks in Seattle with their woes on the road is a tall task, however. In the Saints’ road games this season, they just squeaked by the Falcons, lost to the Jets, lost to the Pats, nearly lost to the Bucs, with their only convincing win coming in Chicago, 26-18. Considering this is a primetime game in Seattle, I think this will be their stiffest test yet away from home. I don’t think they’ll be measuring the noise level at CenturyLink tonight, but I would bet it’ll be close to or greater than anything we’ve heard all season long in Seattle. The weather won’t be working in the Saints favor tonight, which I see being a huge disadvantage. Tony Gonzalez said it best about his team yesterday, that the Falcons are a dome team. The Saints are in the same situation. If this matchup was in New Orleans I would more than likely be taking the Saints, but since we’re in Seattle on MNF, you have to take the Seahawks.
PICK: Seahawks -4.5(-110)