But that won’t stop our expert NFL bloggers from going head to head over who will cover the spread between the Lions and Seahwks. So if you’re still on the fence about who to back, listen up, we’ve reached out to those who know these teams best. Jeremy Reisman, of Lions blog Pride of Detroit and Mark Lathos of Seahawks blog Field Gulls, strap on the pads and debate who will cover the spread in Saturday night’s NFC Wild Card game.
WHY THE LIONS WILL COVER
Jeremy Reisman is the managing editor of Pride of Detroit. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PrideOfDetroit.
The loss of Earl Thomas plays right into the Lions’ strength
The Lions admittedly don’t do a lot of things well. But the one thing they excel at is throwing the ball. The loss of Earl Thomas has decimated the Seahawks passing game, placing them 30th in DVOA since Thomas’ absence. Though Matthew Stafford is going through a slump of his own, the Lions managed to put up a few very impressive drives against the Packers and Cowboys.
CenturyLink Field doesn’t scare them
Last year, the Lions rolled into Seattle as the league’s only remaining winless team at 0-3. There was little hope for a win, and it was on a huge “Monday Night Football” stage, so the pressure was on. The Lions were 10-point underdogs and proceeded to take Seattle to the wire. If it weren’t for the infamous “batted-ball” controversy, the Lions likely would have upset the Seahawks for their first win of the season.
The Lions offensive line could be healthier
Against the Packers last week, the Lions were down their starting center (Travis Swanson) and right tackle (Riley Reiff). It appears Detroit will get at least one of those players, possibly both, back for their Wild Card game. Against an impressive Seahawks front four, getting those two back would be absolutely huge. When at full health, the Lions offensive line has been much improved from years past and any time Stafford has more time, it’s trouble for the defense.
WHY THE SEAHAWKS WILL COVER
Mark Lathrop is a contributor for Seahawks blog Field Gulls and also writes for Sportsbookreview.com. You can follow him on Twitter @mlathrop3 and the blog @FieldGulls.
They’ll Convert on 3rd Down
This is the first year that the Seattle Seahawks have taken a significant step back in rushing – a strong suit since their Super Bowl winning season. After ranking 3rd in 2015, Seattle has fell to 25th in the league in rushing yards. This has created more 3rd and long opportunities which Seattle has struggled with, as they convert at a 38.2 percent clip. Luckily for them, Detroit’s 3rd down defense is nearly the worst in the league and they allow a 45.5 percent conversion rate – ranking 31st in the NFL.
A Dome Team Comes Outdoors
Detroit is 3-5 SU on the season on the road. What do those three road wins have in common? They were indoors. They Lions lost all three games they played outdoors this year both SU and ATS. They even lost to a Bears team playing without a starting quarterback. The weather this Saturday night is supposed to be nasty as well, with a rain/snow mix and temps near freezing. Bring the cats inside. Rain is for the birds.
A Track Record That Speaks for Itself
Since Russell Wilson took over as quarterback for the Seahawks, he is a perfect 4-0 in playoff games at CenturyLink Field. On the other side Matthew Stafford has been to the playoffs just twice, getting unceremoniously bounced on the road each time. Now, Seattle is still 0-4 ATS in their last four playoff games, so tread lightly on the points. But Seattle is the team to be trusted in this spot, not Detroit.