2016 NFL Playoff Odds - Wild Card - Seahawks vs. Vikings Betting Odds Preview

Line: Seahawks -5

A classic matchup featuring the leagues best running back and the leagues best run defense will face off on Sunday afternoon in the Wild Card round. The host Minnesota Vikings will have star running back Adrian Peterson ready to go against the two time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks and their number one ranked rush defense. Both teams will be subject to the low temperatures that a January game outdoors in Minnesota will present.

The Vikings front office has worked hard to build an all around offense around young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and have been successful in many regards however when it comes down to it Peterson will ultimately decide the success of the offense. After sitting out the majority of last season due to a suspension and being older than 30 (ancient by NFL running back standards) people did not know what to expect from Peterson this season. He responded with 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. When the teams met head to head this season Peterson was held to only 18 yards on 8 carries while the Seahawks destroyed the Vikings 38-7. It is key to get the running game going so that the pressure may be taken off second year quarterback Bridgewater. He took steps forward in his second season throwing for more yards with fewer interceptions but is still far from a definite answer as a starting quarterback for the long term. Rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs emerged as Bridgewater’s top target with 52 catches for 720 yards and 4 touchdowns. The team’s defense gave only 18.9 points per game and excelled in getting off the field on third down.

The Seahawks have been a team built on defense during recent seasons and this season was no exception as the defense allowed a meager 12 points per game largely due to the run-stuffing defense that gave up 81.5 rushing yards per game. With the teams running backs in a constant state of flux due to injuries to Marshawn Lynch being injured on several occasions and backup Thomas Rawls breaking his ankle, quarterback Russell Wilson had to step up to get the team out of the 2-4 hole they dug themselves and he certainly succeeded in doing that. He threw for a career high 4,024 yards and 34 touchdowns. 24 of these touchdowns were incredibly over the last 7 games of the season. He spread the ball around to all of his receivers especially after losing tight end Jimmy graham to a season ending injury. Doug Baldwin was his top target late in the season and finished with over 1000 yards receiving while tying for the league lead with 14 touchdown catches. The offense will get a much-needed boost if Lynch is able to return to field, which was expected as of press time.

This game will likely be a low scoring, defensive battle. With the weather in Minnesota potentially being a huge factor. The red hot Seahawks and a returning Lynch will be too much to overcome.

Pick: Seahawks -5

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