The San Francisco 49ers came roaring out of the gate in the NFC West and have been atop the division all season long. They’re still there with a glossy 11-2 record but now they’ve got some company. The Seattle Seahawks are one game behind at 10-3. Now the bad news–the Seahawks are coming off what was their worst performance of the year in last week’s 28-12 loss against the Rams in Los Angeles. Seattle will hit the road again on Sunday, this time heading to Charlotte, NC to take on the reeling Carolina Panthers.
One of the most time honored angles that has been effective in all of sports betting is to play teams in their first game after they fire a head coach. Unless they’re the 2019 Carolina Panthers, that is, as they failed to show up completely in their first game after Ron Rivera was canned. Carolina lost 40-20 against the Falcons in Atlanta–a loss that was made all of the worse by just how emphatically team owner David Tepper ‘circled’ the game as a must win revenge spot. That completely non- competitive loss all but certainly had Tepper scratching interim coach Perry Fewell’s name off of the list of candidates for the permanent job.
The Seahawks have a glossy 10-3 record this year but nothing really ever seems to come easily for Seattle. They’re just 7-5 ATS on the season and have just a +20 point differential this year. There are other teams in the league with winning records and a paltry differential, most notably the AFC South leading Houston Texans who are 8-5 with a +8 differential. Sharp NFL observers have pegged the Texans as being phony all year long, however, and Seattle doesn’t exactly want to be in the same company. The best explanation for Seattle’s winning record and poor differential is that the team has a knack for making big plays when they’re needed which is definitely a good quality but not one that is always sustainable when a team reaches the postseason.
The best thing the Seahawks have going for them in this matchup is that they’re facing the Carolina Panthers. Seattle has done a very effective job running the football this season (ranked #3 in the NFL) and no team has allowed more rushing touchdowns against than the porous Panthers at 24. Seattle has never lost at Carolina with Russell Wilson under center and have been an except ATS team on the road in recent years. Seahawks are 5-1 SU/4-1-1 ATS on the road this year and 12-7-1 ATS over the past three seasons. They’re also on a 4-0 SU/3-0-1 ATS run coming off a loss to a divisional rival.