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Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys Point Spread - Pick

Seattle Seahawks (8-6 SU, 5-8-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: SEA +4.5/DAL -4.5
Over/Under Total: 47

The Seattle Seahawks come out to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a big week 16 matchup where the loser could be out of the playoffs. Seattle needs to work its way back from their second straight loss on Sunday, an embarrassing 42-7 defeat at home to the Rams. Their playoff position is now precarious and they need to win a tough one on the road against a Cowboys team that is making a run after looking to be out of it. They won their second straight game on the road and third in a row overall with a 20-17 win over the Raiders on Sunday night. And they get Ezekiel Elliott back this week. Both teams are 8-6. Who can take a step toward the postseason this week?

Seattle picked a bad time to fall flat. After gaining some momentum with their 7th win in 9 games by ending the Eagles' long winning streak, they lost to the Jags and now the Rams. A 6-point loss the Jaguars on the road was disappointing, but could be explained away. But to fall to the Rams by 35 points in a battle for divisional supremacy is a hard hit, one where recovering might not be easy. There seems to be some contention developing between players on a defense that is in tatters from injuries. And the offense is entirely too unreliable. The Seattle formula for success is a tenuous one and has fallen flat at an untimely point in the season. This is not a time you'd expect the Seahawks to suffer the worst loss of Pete Carroll's tenure.

Russell Wilson was not his typical self on Sunday, going 14-for-30 passing with just 142 yards and a TD. The line did a lousy job of protecting him. After looking better for a number of weeks, the line has regressed over the last few weeks. A 26-yard TD throw to Luke Willson when the score was 40-0 was their only glimpse of success on this side of the ball. There have been a large handful of different running backs, none of whom have been able to spark the Seattle run-game. They have receiving talent with Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and Tyler Lockett and that quartet combined for 31 yards receiving on Sunday. Needless to say, this offense doesn't deliver on a consistent basis.

Injuries have taken their toll on the Seattle defense. The secondary has one constant member in Earl Thomas. The middle is strong, but KJ Wright missed last week with a concussion and banged-up Bobby Wagner might be compromised. Frank Clark and Dion Jordan both had sacks on Sunday, but it's hard to praise a defense that gives up 42 points at home in a must-win type of game. With 72 combined points allowed in their last two games, this is a defense that is a state of regression. There are still a lot of guys on this sideline that have what it takes to be champions and some of that class will need to be seen now.

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The Cowboys were pretty fortunate on Sunday night, holding off the Raiders as they were driving. Oakland QB Derek Carr reached for the end zone on what would have been the go-ahead score, fumbling the ball out of the end zone, with the Cowboys getting the ball back. A win is a win, but it was a fortunate one nonetheless. They appeared to be in control early, with some poor execution allowing the Raiders to climb back into it. A late field goal with less than 2 minutes left gave them the lead, one they were lucky to maintain for the 20-17 win. With 3 straight wins bringing them to 8-6 and the return of Elliott, there is still some hope.

The Dallas offense will welcome Elliott back this week. On Sunday, Prescott was 18-for-27 for 212 yards, but had no touchdowns and threw two picks. Guys like Rod Smith and Alfred Morris did pretty well filling in for Elliott, but don't quite compare to the defending rushing champion. His return could open up the aerial game, with Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten still waiting to be turned loose. The offensive line has started playing better and this offense could be prepared to thrive down the final stretch-run of the regular season.

The Dallas defense stepped up nicely on Sunday. Jeff Heath has become a reliable playmaker on this side of the ball and his play on Carr at the end really saved the game. They were pretty stout and able to hold off the Raiders and they made their move to take over the game. In this three-game winning streak, they have given up a combined 41 points and found their stinginess at just the right time. Getting Sean Lee Back has been a key, as he is the leader of the defense whose presence seems to elevate the entire group. They never seem too far from reverting to their lesser form, but they are playing better at just the right time.

It's hard to cast a vote in confidence for the Seahawks after they were hammered at home last week in such lopsided fashion. Urgency could resonate, but why did it not last week or the week before that? As of now, the Cowboys are the ones responding to the urgency and doing so through personnel issues, whereas those issues look to have the Seahawks a bit ragged going into the last two weeks of the season. Teams can switch their looks on a dime this season and that wouldn't register as too much of a surprise this week. But at home, I see Dallas keeping it going forward with the big win.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Dallas Cowboys minus 4.5 points. Bet the Seattle vs. Dallas game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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