Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks are in dire straits behind a 2-4 record and facing a must-win game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The early prognosis isn’t favorable, though, as bookmakers stack the NFL odds against Pete Carroll’s embattled side. Can the Seahawks defy the markets and salvage their campaign?
|Game: New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-4) |
Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA. Date/Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
|New Orleans Saints||-4½ -110||-220||42½|
|Seattle Seahawks||+4½ -110||+180||42½|
Since the Sean Payton era began in 2006, the Saints have won four of the five regular-season meetings between the two clubs, This run of form includes two straight wins since 2016. The Saints beat the Seahawks 25-20 at the Superdome on Oct. 30, 2016. They also beat the Seahawks 33-27 on Sept. 22, 2019, at Lumen Field.
This tilt between these NFC playoff hopefuls will be different on account of the changes at quarterback. Jameis Winston is the newly minted starter for the Saints while backup quarterback Smith is likely to lead the charge for the Seahawks for a second straight week while Russell Wilson recovers from hand surgery.
New Orleans Saints
Next game: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a bye week, and they’ll be well-rested and raring to go for this Week 7 clash. The Saints are 3-2, beating the Washington Football Team in Week 5.
Winston and Co. took the 33-22 win in the nation’s capital to come through as the 2½-point road favorites in NFL spreads betting. Winston put in a good performance, going 15 of 30 for 279 yards and four touchdowns. He did have one interception, raising his season tally to three. Alvin Kamara led the team in rushing, scampering for 71 yards and one touchdown while Marquez Callaway led the receiving corps with 85 yards on four receptions and two touchdowns.
Defensive end Marcus Davenport (shoulder) , linebacker Kwon Alexander (elbow), tackle Terron Armstead (elbow), quarterback Taysom Hill (undisclosed), wide receiver Deonte Harris (hamstring) and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring) are all questionable Monday. Defensive tackle David Onyemata (suspension) is eligible for Monday.
Next game: vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Smith did his best to keep the Seatte’s season hopes alive, but his ill-timed fumble in overtime cost the Seahawks and they succumbed to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20.
To be fair, the Seahawks were lucky the game even went into overtime, thanks to a controversial call in the dying seconds of the game that set up the Seahawks for the game-tying field goal.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers were livid with the call, but in the end, it worked in their favor as T.J. Watt tackled Smith and punched the ball out of his clutches to set up the easy game-winning field goal in overtime.
— Steelers Burner (@Steelers_1986) October 21, 2021
The Seahawks haven’t fallen below .500 in the Russell Wilson era, but that may well be the case for the first time since 2012. They boast a subpar 2-4 record after six weeks, with their season hanging in the balance of Smith’s performance.
Tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (chest), running back Alex Collins (hip), guard Damien Lewis (shoulder), cornerback Sidney Jones IV (chest), and defensive end Darrell Taylor (shoulder) are all questionable. Wilson (hand) is out until early December while running back Chris Carson (neck) is out indefinitely.
Betting on the Game
For the longest time, a Saints-Seahawks showdown represented a marquee matchup between NFC contenders. However, with Drew Brees hanging up his cleats in the offseason and Wilson now cooling off on the sidelines with an injury, Monday night’s installment of this heated rivalry will have a hard time living up to those of its predecessors.
Predictably, books are tipping the Saints as the 4½-point favorites for this game while the total is projected to 42½ points. Although it’s hard to get a true measure of the Saints right now, the underlying opinion is that former No. 1 draft pick Winston is a better quarterback than Smith.
Payton has Winston on a tight leash, and so far, it’s working modestly well. Separately, the Saints defense, which roughed up Aaron Rodgers in Week 1 and enjoyed positive outings against the New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team, should have a field day against Smith, whose propensity for turnovers is one of the reasons why he is no longer a starting quarterback.
Another aspect of this matchup that feeds into this market of NFL betting lines currently available is the fact that the Seahawks defense is unreliable. It’s one of the worst in the league so even if Smith defies his critics (yours truly) and has the game of his life, the defense could erase all his good work in the blink of an eye.
A lot is being made of the Seahawks’ performance against the Steelers last Sunday, but Pittsburgh has had its fair share of issues this season, too. So, going toe-to-toe with the Steelers doesn’t say a whole lot.
The Seahawks are in dire straits. Last week’s disappointing loss probably didn’t help Smith’s confidence nor the team’s faith in the journeyman’s ability to carry the team in Wilson’s absence. Hence, the Saints are the better bet here to both win and cover.