The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings endured very similar losses in Week 2. They are both under enormous pressure to bounce back in Week 3. This is the home opener for the Vikings, who lost their first two games by a combined four points. It’s the second game Seattle will play in a domed stadium, having won in Indianapolis in Week 1 against the Colts. This is a fascinating NFL game betting matchup sure to produce fireworks.
|Game: Seahawks (1-1) at Vikings (0-2)
Location: US Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, MN)
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
Head to Head
The last time these teams met was last year. Seattle won 27-26, making key defensive stops late in the game and mounting a comeback behind Russell Wilson. The Vikings outplayed the Seahawks for most of that game, but as we have seen so many times in recent years, Minnesota consistently allows winnable games to slip away. The Vikings just did that in their most recent game, which we will discuss more below.
Next game: at San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks’ last game was against the Tennessee Titans in Seattle’s home opener and those who betonline on the Seahawks were disappointed with the result. For most of the day, the Seahawks were the better team. They grabbed a third-quarter lead of 24-9 and a fourth-quarter lead of 30-16, but if you have followed the Seahawks over the course of the Pete Carroll era, a two-score fourth-quarter lead (with at least six or more minutes left to play) simply is not safe. Seattle has a hard time finishing games cleanly and easily.
The Seahawks always seem to play very close games that go down to the wire, either by making a late comeback or by allowing a late lead to vanish. This game was the latter example and the Seahawks paid the ultimate price. They missed an extra point. They allowed Derrick Henry of the Titans to bust loose on a long touchdown run of over 60 yards. Their offense failed to control the ball, going three-and-out on its last possessions of regulation time.
Tennessee tied the game at 30-30 in the final minute. The Seahawks’ offense could not respond in overtime. Tennessee got the ball back, kicked a walk-off field goal and won 33-30. The Seahawks did not cover the spread and the game went over the total.
Seattle’s pass rush and pass defense were big weak spots in 2020, certainly through the first 10 games of the season. Those problems resurfaced in Week 2. It’s another game which will prevent the Seahawks from getting that high playoff seed they need if they want a realistic path to the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks have plenty of notable injuries and we’ll see how many players are able to play this week, keeping in mind that we generally get a lot more information by Thursday or Friday. Receiver Dee Eskridge is battling a concussion which kept him out for Week 2. Running back Rashaad Penny is nursing a calf injury. Offensive lineman Brandon Shell was injured late in the loss to the Titans. Defensive tackle Bryan Mone, cornerback D.J. Reed and guard Damian Lewis are also injured and might be questionable (if not worse) for this game.
Next game: vs Browns
The Vikings, like the Seahawks, were done in by the kicking game. Much as the Seahawks missed a PAT that had a huge impact on the final outcome, the Vikings lost because of their own kicking problems. Greg Joseph pushed a 35-yard field goal wide right on the last play of the game, costing the Vikings a victory. The Arizona Cardinals walked away with a 34-33 win that went over the total,, although the Vikings did cover the spread.
The Vikings have had a nightmare at the placekicker position. You will recall that in the NFC Wild Card Game in the 2015 NFL season, Blair Walsh choked on a 27-yard chip shot that cost Minnesota a playoff win. In more recent years, other kickers have completely crumbled after the Vikings brought them in.
Even some of the better kickers in the league, such as Dan Bailey (who had a very good run in Dallas), could not perform well in Minnesota. Joseph’s missed kick is the latest kick to the groin for a franchise that keeps finding spectacular ways to lose.
The Vikings lost in overtime to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. This team just can’t get out of its own way. Whereas some teams always find a way to win, this team does the exact opposite. It is often in position to win but can’t make the final play that makes the ultimate difference. The Vikings fail when it matters most, and their inconsistency always seems to catch up with them in important games.
Cornerback Harrison Hand, linebacker Anthony Barr and rookie offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (the team’s first-round NFL draft pick earlier this year), all missed Week 2 against the Cardinals. We will see if any of them are able to bounce back and play vs the Seahawks.
Betting on the Game
Taking either team straight up is a huge risk. The Seahawks were up 14 points in the fourth quarter and blew that lead to the Titans last week. The Vikings could easily be 2-0 but are instead 0-2, having played an overtime game and a second (separate) game that came down to the final play. The Seahawks merit more trust only because the Vikings are possibly the least trustworthy team in the NFL. Neither team, however, does things the easy way, if at all. Staying away from the moneyline makes sense for NFL predictions.
With the point spread being just one point, this is almost a pick-em game. If you’re not confident picking this game on the moneyline, why pick this game against the spread? If the line moves to Seattle minus three points, then it might be worth making a play on the Vikings, but that’s it.
The total of 55½ seems low. Seattle is averaging 29 points through two games. Minnesota is averaging 28½. Both teams played in games last week that produced at least 63 points. They have plenty of playmakers. They both have problems on defense. Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins could put on a show. Taking the over is the best play.