Buffalo Bills (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1 SU, 3-4 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, November 7, 2016 at 8:30PM EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: BUF +7/SEA -7
Over/Under Total: 44
The Buffalo Bills come into CenturyLink to face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. This is going to be a hard-played game between two teams looking to atone for bad results on Sunday. The Seahawks followed a week 7 tie with Arizona with a tough 25-20 loss at New Orleans. Still, they're 4-2-1 and remain in good shape in the NFC West. Buffalo has been streaky, opening the season with two straight losses, followed by four straight wins, but they now find themselves on a two-game slide. On Sunday, the Bills fell to New England at home, 41-25. At 4-4, they look to get back on the right track in MNF in what would be an impressive road win.
This league can be pretty wacky and Buffalo is a prime example of that. Good luck trying to figure out what you're getting from week to week. Granted, New England will make a lot of teams look bad and some key injuries have affected certain aspects of the team. A defense that had been playing really well first gave up 28 in a loss to Miami, before giving up a huge showing offensively to the Pats. And while the Patriots do that to a lot of teams, to see Buffalo fade out of the game at home in a divisional matchup was disconcerting.
Maybe Seattle will be more to their liking. After all, the Seahawks offense can labor and Buffalo could have more success on the defensive side of the ball. Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander have been applying a nice pass rush. Guys like Nickell Robey-Coleman and Stephon Gilmore make plays in the secondary. It's just that they can be very inconsistent with there not always being reliable signs on how they'll perform.
The same goes for the Buffalo offense. Tyrod Taylor has been efficient, having not thrown a pick since week three. At the same time, they're not very aerially-inclined, ranked second to last in the league in pass production. Without Sammy Watkins, they are left with Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and tight end Charles Clay—all nice role players, but hardly what constitutes a good passing attack. They can run the heck out the ball and it's no coincidence that Buffalo's recent dip coincided with LeSean McCoy dealing with some injury issues. Taylor and Mike Gillislee each ran for TDs last week, but McCoy had really been dominant and not having him in there really puts a different light on this offense. They only got rolling a little on Sunday after the game was already sewn up by the Pats.
Sunday was hardly a shining moment for the Seahawks. They couldn't get the offense really cooking, with one touchdown coming from a Earl Thomas fumble return for a score, in addition to a trick play where Tanner McEvoy hit CJ Prosise for big play that set up a TD. Other than that, it was slim pickings for a Seahawks offense and Russell Wilson that continues to struggle with consistency. The line can sometimes hold it together, while other times, they struggle massively.
On Sunday, more was expected, even on the road. Seattle was facing one of the worst defenses in the league and still struggled. And even a late game-winning attempt was thwarted by a suddenly resolute New Orleans defense. That's the issue with the Seahawks, particularly in spots like this where they need to cover a big number.
The Seahawks defense was surprisingly banged around some up front by New Orleans. The Saints didn't just chuck the ball around as they sometimes do. They turned the run-game loose and got a huge performance from Tim Hightower. The Seattle defense actually had to make some big stops to prevent even more bad things from happening, as the Saints could have really piled it on with a few more breaks. And not having guys like Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor is probably starting to hurt, as well.
STOP WASTING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY! STOP LAYING -110 ODDS! START LAYING ONLY -105 TODAY ON THE BILLS VS. SEAHAWKS GAME AT THE WEB'S BEST SPORTSBOOK: 5DIMES
The Seattle offense is in a transitional stage that hasn't quite caught on yet. With retirements and injuries, their run-game has taken enormous hits that have rendered them a team that no longer relies on the run. And while last year offered promising signs for the aerial game and it has produced at times this season, it hasn't become the consistent force some envisioned. It's a real grind with the Seahawks for the most part. They hope the defense can do its job, while the offense scrapes up just enough production to get the job done. And naturally when you lock in that perception, they'll blow some team out or at least cover the spread.
This is far from an ideal road spot for the Bills. For a team on a two-game slide eager to get things back on the right track, going to Seattle isn't the best medicine. It's a tricky cross-conference and cross-country road game that should really test their mettle. And on top of that, they will be paired off against a Seattle team that is eager for a positive development. It's a hard matchup to gauge, as these teams don't often play each other. Both offenses face serious challenges this week in a game where defenses figure to dominate. But it's funny how often in games like that where we over-obsess on defense that the offenses end up making the biggest impact. And both offenses might be due for a good game, while each defense may be in at least a small funk. I'm going over.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting over in the Buffalo-Seattle game. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Buffalo vs. Seattle game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!