Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, November 13, 2016 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: SEA +7.5/NE -7.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The Seattle Seahawks come into Gillette Stadium on Sunday Night Football to face the New England Patriots in Foxborough. New England is on a 4-game win streak and won 7 of their 8 games to begin the season. They have also covered 7 of 8 spreads, including all four spreads since the return of Tom Brady 4 games ago. Not that they've had it easy, but things could get a little tougher this week with Seattle and their vaunted defense coming into town. Seattle scored a nice 31-25 win over the Bills on MNF and now look for a big win on the road against a team many have identified as the NFL's top squad.
The Pats are coming off a bye week. During that time, they traded one of the big names from their defense as Jamie Collins was shipped out for a conditional draft pick. On the surface, that could be perceived as a loss, but Collins wasn't really putting out full effort and wasn't all that instrumental to the fact that the Patriots are third in points allowed at just 16.5 points per game. In their last game, they beat Buffalo, 41-25, as a team eclipsed 17 points against New England for the first time since week two. They are 17th against the pass and 13th against the run. They haven't had much of a pass rush this season and have just 8 turnovers through 8 games. So for them to the third best defense in the league in points allowed, what it's really all about at the end of the day, shows that this is a very resourceful and clutch group.
Brady has been dialed in since his return. He is completed 73.1% of his passes with 12 TD passes and zero picks on 1319 yards passing. No New England QB has tossed a pick at the halfway point of the season, which is pretty eye-opening. This is an offense that offers a lot of balance, with an equal ability to air it out and to pound it. And the line has done its job for the most part, holding up well despite some injury issues. They have allowed a bit too much of a pass-rush since Brady's return, but with two weeks to get ready for this, look for the New England coaching staff to address any remaining snags in the fence.
Brady and the Pats have been getting some nice standout performances from their key playmakers this season. LeGarrette Blount has been a robust presence in the backfield, rushing for 9 touchdowns and 609 yards. Having a healthy Rob Gronkowski boosts this offense's overall venom substantially, as he has rounded into near-vintage form. Tough questionable, fellow tight end Martellus Bennett has also had his moments. WR Chris Hogan, a first-year Patriot, is beginning to make a nice connection with Brady. Throw in Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and James White, there are a lot of options for this offense.
Those who have tried to time a Patriots' coming-down-to-earth have been left chasing their tails this season, with New England covering the spread all but one time. With them striving to patch things up in Brady's absence, followed by the spike in energy with Brady coming back into the fold, and then a bye week is quite the emotional rollercoaster. To get to this point has taken a lot of energy and effort. We're at that weird time in the season where even teams can go wayward a bit. Again, we don't want to bet on a hunch, but could this be the week where the Pats downshift just enough to give Seattle the ATS edge?
Seattle was able to outduel the Bills on Monday Night Football, despite the fact that the Bills hung in there pretty well and played a decent game overall. The Seattle offense was on-point aerially and able to overcome a lack of a running game and the fact that the Bills held onto the ball at a better than 2-to-1 rate. A big performance by Russell Wilson, some key defensive plays and special teams plays, a big pass rush, and some clutch helped get the Seahawks over the hump.
The aerial game has been big for the Seahawks, especially in light of their erratic run game. On MNF, they only ran for 33 yards as a team, though they were able to extract two TD scores from it. What really helped was the continued game-changing play of Jimmy Graham, who was at 103 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to recapture the vintage form of his past has been key in keeping this Seattle offense relevant. Doug Baldwin also had a big day, with a big kickoff return from Tyler Lockett also giving the offense a boost.
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On defense, we didn't see the typical smothering Seattle group on MNF perhaps, but a win is a win. Buffalo was able to rack up 30 first downs. Tyrod Taylor was pretty proficient by his standards with 289 yards through the air. They were also able to put up 162 yards rushing against this group. But some key plays were useful in curbing the Buffalo offense, with a big Richard Sherman pick and return and five sacks being key parts to the Seattle win. Sometimes, it says a lot about a team when they are outshined across the board in the box score, yet are still able to manufacture wins. That's what championship teams can do.
This is a heavyweight matchup. Not that the Patriots haven't played some tough teams, but this could be their toughest game of the season thus far. They're catching a Seattle team that might be rounding into shape, though their defense didn't exactly play the part on Monday. Nevertheless, this has some earmarks of being a competitive game where I'm inclined to take the points.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Seattle Seahawks plus 7.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Seattle vs. New England game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!