The Seattle Seahawks versus the Washington Redskins at Washington is going to be one of the hottest contests of wildcard weekend. The point spread is narrow and for good reason as both teams are hot right now, both have similar strengths and both teams are being led by rookie QBs. Seattle arrives to this game with an 11-5 record having beat notables teams such as the 49ers, the Packers, the Patriots and the Vikings. In doing so they have shown that they can beat both pass and run centric offenses. The Redskins have a 10-6 record and have beat teams such as the Vikings, Baltimore and Dallas.
The Seahawks are favored to win this game by a 3 point spread and the over/under is 46 points. That gives an estimated score of about 24-21 for Seattle
The biggest factor working in favor of the Redskins is home field advantage. At home this season the Redskins are 5-3. The Seahawks are 3-5 on the road. Seattle beat Carolina, Buffalo and Chicago on the road; but they had to take the Bears to OT to get the win. At home the Redskins have beat Dallas, Baltimore, the Giants, Minnesota and Philadelphia; but they needed OT to beat the Ravens. So Washington does play better at home but they have not played a defense as good as Seattle’s defense when at home this season.
On defense these two teams allow nearly the same amount of rushing yards per game. Seattle averages 103.1 yards allowed and Washington allows 95.8 yards against the run. But the pass defense is where Seattle really shines allowing only 203 yards to Washington’s 282 yards allowed. On the road Seattle has averaged 18.8 points allowed which is higher than their season average of 15. 3 points allowed. At home Washington has allowed an average of 22.1 points a game which is lower than their season average of 24.3 points a game.
On the road the Seahawks have scored an average of 22.4 points a game and that is lower than their season average of 25.8 points scored a game. Washington has scored an average of 27.3 points a game this season but at home they have averaged 25.8 points a game. Therefore these numbers all point to a game where no one goes over 25 points. On offense the Redskins have been just a little better with the pass than Seattle but about the same with the run. However since Seattle has that better pass defense, Washington’s stronger pass offense should be neutralized. It seems as though the odds estimate of 24-21 for Seattle seems pretty much bang on the money.
The over/under number of 46 leaves wiggle room for 1 point above or below the spread. For example, a score of 25-21 would cover the spread but not go over, or a score of 24-22 would not cover the spread and also not go over. Therefore the over/under bet is very dangerous this week. The spread is more likely to be covered than not based on the average superiority of Seattle’s defense as compared to Washington’s defense. This is only the second time in NFL history that two rookie QBs have faced off in a playoff game.
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