Seahawks big dogs to Favre's Vikes

By: Chuck Harter | Monday, November 16, 2009

Seattle is 0-5 SU & ATS in its last five games on the road.

The Minnesota Vikings, 8-1 SU and 5-3-1 ATS, quietly stayed right on New Orleans’ tail in the NFC with last week's 27-10 victory over the Detroit Lions as 17-point home favorites.

Next up for Minnesota? The Seahawks this Sunday afternoon at the Metrodome.  Opening numbers have the Vikes as 11-point favorites with the 'total' set at 46 ½.

Sometimes NFL handicapping is as simple as assessing team strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis the spread. That appears to be the case heading into the Vikings’ battle with a Seahawks team that is 3-6 both SU and ATS.

Seattle comes into the game ranked only 27th in rushing (93.3 yards per game), and will meet a vaunted Minnesota run defense that is fifth (94.4 YPG) in the NFL this year. The Seahawks. a nine-point underdog, did run for a season-high 164 yards in their 31-20 loss at Arizona on Sunday. But don’t count on it happening on the road against the Vikes.

Backup Justin Forsett rambled for 123 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown against the Cardinals, coming into the game after Julius Jones left in the first quarter with a broken rib. Jones stayed overnight in hospital because of blood inhalation, and his status is unclear for Sunday’s game.

Regardless of whether Forsett or Jones starts against Minnesota, Seattle will be hard pressed to repeat its success on the ground against the Vikings. If that doesn’t pave the way for a Minnesota cover at home, Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson should take care of matters.

Favre looked refreshed following a bye week in the Vikes’ win on Sunday, going 20-of-29 for 344 yards with a TD toss against the lowly Lions. Peterson did his part as well, rushing for 133 yards on 18 attempts with two scores for Minny.

Looks like the public is on the Vikings early in the week. Oddsmakers released the 11-point spread on Sunday evening, and bets poured in on Minnesota, with about 65 percent of wagers ATS coming in on the favorites through early Monday morning. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings are giving two touchdowns by kickoff against the Seahawks, who have yet to cover on the road this season (0-4 ATS).

One trend working in Seattle’s favor is the strong performance of spread underdogs over the past three weeks. The pups went 8-3-2 ATS on Sunday to improve to 27-12-2 against the number in the last three weeks of action. Double-digit dogs were particularly profitable on Sunday, going 2-0-1 ATS.

The most recent meetings between the two teams have gone the way of the visiting underdogs.  The Vikings took the 2006 contest in Seattle where the Seahawks were favored by 6 ½;  Two years earlier at the Metrodome, Seattle got the 27-23 triumph with the Vikings favored by a touchdown.

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