Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-6,
The reigning Super Bowl champions certainly don’t need a
built-in edge, but the league’s best home-field advantage is
just one obstacle the Green Bay Packers have to conquer when
they visit the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night to kick off
the NFL season. Seattle rode a suffocating defense to its first
Super Bowl title in February, culminating its run by
manhandling Peyton Manning and Denver’s record-setting offense.
The Seahawks are 15-1 over the past two seasons at CenturyLink
Green Bay is touted as one of the top contenders to dethrone
Seattle and the reason is a healthy Aaron Rodgers, who missed
seven games last season due to a fractured collarbone. Rodgers
returned for the regular-season finale and authored a
last-minute comeback that clinched the third straight NFC North
title for the Packers. The last meeting between the teams in
2012 featured one of the more memorable endings – infamously
dubbed the “Fail Mary” – in league history, when Seattle’s
Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass on the final play of the
game that appeared to be an interception.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: The LV Superbook opened the
Seahawks as 5.5-point home faves, but that has moved to -6. The
total opened at 45, but has risen to 47.
INJURY REPORT: Packers – DT B.J. Raji (IR,
bicep). Seahawks – S Kam Chancellor (probably, hip), LB Bruce
Irvin (questionable, hip).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Packers (-4) + Seahawks
(-7) + home field (-3) = Seahawks -6
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We opened at Seattle -6 and
we have not seen any sharp money yet. We are almost split down
the middle on the game with 54 percent of bets taking the
Seahawks -6. The total, which has jumped two points since
opening, has 77 percent of backers on the over 47.” – Mike
Perry of Sportsbook.ag
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “First meeting between these
teams since the replacement ref faux pas contest in 2012
figures to bring the Packers in with added incentive. Problem
is Seahawks’ 12th man in home games where they are 17-1 SU the
past two seasons. Seattle is also 10-1 ATS in season openers at
home. Coupled with the success of defending Super Bowl
champions in Thursday games, 12-0 SU and 8-2-2 ATS at home, it
appears a tough row to hoe for Green Bay in this lid-lifter.”
Expert Marc Lawrence.
WAG WAR: Charmaine Glock, girlfriend of
Seahawk’s RB Marshawn Lynch and Claudia Sampedro, girlfriend of
Packers LB Julius Peppers.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (2013: 8-7-1, 1st NFC
North): Rodgers is not the sole reason for the
optimism in Green Bay – dangerous wideout Randall Cobb is back
after missing 10 weeks due to injury last season while running
back Eddie Lacy looks to build upon a season in which he
rumbled for 1,178 yards and 11 TDs and was named the NFL’s
Offensive Rookie of the Year. On the other side of the ball,
the Packers expect a major upgrade in the pass rush after the
offseason signing of veteran defensive end Julius Peppers
(118.5 career sacks) along with a return to health by
linebacker Clay Matthews, who has 50 career sacks in five
seasons but was hindered by a broken thumb for much of 2013.
Plugging the void left by a season-ending injury to behemoth
nose tackle B.J. Raji will be an issue against the Seahawks’
smash-mouth ground game.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (2013: 13-3, 1ST NFC West):
Seattle led the NFL in fewest points (14.4) and yards (273.3)
permitted while also ranking No. 1 with 28 interceptions –
eight by bombastic cornerback Richard Sherman, the leader of a
secondary known as the Legion of Boom. Aside from a post-Super
Bowl hangover, the Seahawks must cope with the loss of
defensive linemen Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Clinton
McDonald while playing in the fiercest division in football.
Dual-threat Wilson has posted a passer rating of at least 100.0
in each of his first two seasons and gets back a big weapon in
multi-talented wideout Percy Harvin – who missed nearly the
entire 2013 campaign due to injury. That will augment a ground
game powered by Marshawn Lynch, who has rushed for 4,051 yards
and 35 TDs the past three seasons.
* Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games in
* Under is 7-0 in Seahawks last seven vs. NFC.
* Over is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings.
* Seahawks are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 vs. NFC.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 54.15 percent of wagers are supporting the