Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
Week 14 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: SEA -2.5/GB +2.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The Seattle Seahawks come to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers in a big week 14 NFC matchup on Sunday. The Packers were certainly hoping to be in a more-advantageous spot at this point, but back-to-back wins have them at 6-6 and with some life in the NFC North and the wild-card picture. On Sunday, they beat the Houston Texans, 21-13, and now look for a win that would really boost their confidence and put their 4-game losing streak even more behind them. Seattle was able to bounce back from a 14-5 loss at Tampa with a dominant 40-7 win over Carolina at home on Sunday Night Football. There were a lot of good signs in the win, as Seattle looks to be a real conference contender heading into the final quarter of the season.
Sunday was in many ways an ideal game for the Seahawks. And on the heels of an ugly loss, it was the right medicine for Seattle heading into a difficult road spot in Green Bay against an urgent and surging Packers team. On Sunday night, Seattle registered 29 first downs with 533 yards of total offense. And other than a long pass play in the second quarter, the Seahawks defense again thrived at home, keeping Carolina off the board for the duration of the game.
Russell Wilson threw for 277 yards on Sunday, while adding a few useful runs. The night was punctuated by the return of form for Thomas Rawls, who rumbled for 106 yards and two TDs. Seattle put up 240 yards rushing against a Carolina team that had been giving up an average of 80. Tyler Lockett ran for a TD on a 75-yard reverse, while catching 5 balls for 63 yards. Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin, and Jimmy Graham all were productive. Graham caught a touchdown. The line was good in springing the run, though not always air-tight in keeping defenders out of the pocket. And that's been the story for Seattle's offense this season. It's been up-and-down with big gaps in their level of play from week to week. But in recent weeks, this side of the ball is firing more often than not.
The defense had a good day on the field against Carolina on Sunday. It wasn't all roses with S Earl Thomas being lost for the season. They've given up 36 combined points in the last three games. They lead the league in points allowed with just 16.2 a game. DE Michael Bennett has a game under his belt after missing five games and should give the line a boost here soon. Kam Chancellor being back gives this defense a lot more heart and soul. Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright are tough in the middle, while the secondary is still tough, though the loss of Thomas doesn't help.
The Packers are not even close to being back to where they want to be, but back-to-back wins at Philly and at home against Houston show they still have fight left in them. They've had to overcome a lot of uneven play and injuries this season. Their defense was getting exploited over the course of consecutive weeks, while the offense seemed off-course. And at least they're back in winning form with two straight victories.
It wasn't easy on Sunday with Green Bay breaking it open a bit late with two scores. Aaron Rodgers wasn't electric, but was efficient with 2 TD throws on 20-for-30 passing. They have been left without much of a run-game, with WR Ty Montgomery again leading the team in rushing with just 40 yards. Jordy Nelson was big with 8 catches, 118 yards, and a touchdown. Randall Cobb caught a TD, but Houston kept them in check for long stretches, as Green Bay depended on their defense, combined with a flat Texans offense, to get the win. This week stands out as a far more-rigid test for the Packers.
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The Green Bay defense was big on Sunday, holding Houston to just 7 points until late in the 4th quarter. They have given up 13 points in consecutive games after a 4-game stretch where they yielded an average of 38 points per game. Injuries had threatened to derail this side of the ball and not they're near full-strength, but they're getting some guys healthier. The pass-rush has come around in recent weeks, with Nick Perry, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, and Mike Daniels chipping in. They're a little on the light side with just 11 turnovers. Against a potentially more-explosive Seattle offense, we'll see where this defense really stands this week.
We saw when Green Bay hosted Houston on Sunday that this is the time of year where weather can be a real factor, with snow whitening up the Lambeau landscape. It can be hard playing in Lambeau in these types of conditions, even if Seattle isn't necessarily averse to bad weather. But if looking to time a Seattle explosion, this might not be the week to do it. This rings of a well-contested game where having the points might be key. I'm taking Green Bay.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Green Bay Packers plus 2.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Seattle vs. Green Bay game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!