Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Detroit Lions (1-2)
Opening Spread: Lions -6.5.
Opening Game Total: 50.
Team Totals: Lions (28.25), Seahawks (21.75).
The Line Report
- This line opened as Lions -6.5.
- This line has moved down to Lions -4.5 as of Wednesday night.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Lions -4.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Lions -4.
- This total opened between 49 and 50 points.
- This total has settled in between its opening at 49.5 points as of Wednesday night.
Lions: Questionable: RB D’Andre Swift, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR D.J. Chark, WR Josh Reynolds, TE T.J. Hockenson, LG Jonah Jackson, C Frank Ragnow, LB Chris Board, K Austin Seibert.
Seahawks: IR: RB Travis Homer, Edge L.J. Collier, S Jamal Adams. Questionable: WR Marquise Goodwin, DL Shelby Harris.
The Lions Offense vs. the Seahawks Defense
At full strength, the Lions’ top-10 caliber offensive line has an edge in the trenches against the Seahawks front. That said, LG Jonah Jackson and C Frank Ragnow are both on the injury report for the third week in a row. Through the first three games, Seattle is third in pressure rate, which is significantly higher than expected. That said, Seattle has faced three average to below-average offensive lines in the Broncos, 49ers and Falcons. Despite Seattle’s hot start, if Ragnow plays, I’m still treating this situation as if the Lions have a significant edge in the trenches.
Nearly every relevant Lions’ skill position player is on the injury report. At full strength, the Lions’ skill group presents a significant challenge to the Seahawks’ defense. Given the Lions’ injury uncertainties, I will provide an update on this contest in our live blog this Sunday.
Notes and Observations
- The Lions are 3-0 against the spread this season.
- The Lions are 3-0 on overs this season.
- The Lions have scored the second-most points per game this season (31.7).
- Per The Edge, Jared Goff is 18th in the league in yards passing and 20th in yards per attempt.
- Among running backs, Swift is seventh in yards rushing with a league-leading 8.6 yards per carry.
- Teammate Jamaal Williams is 19th among running backs in yards rushing, and he’s tied for the league lead in touchdown runs (4) and red zone carries (11).
- Swift and Williams are tied for 12th in yards receiving among running backs with 77 yards.
- It wouldn’t be a surprise if Swift sat out this contest, leading to an expanded role for Williams. If Swift sits, Craig Reynolds would be next in the pecking order behind Williams.
- The Seahawks have given up the second-most yards rushing and the fifth-most yards receiving to opposing running backs this season. Pete Carroll’s style of defense invites short passes to running backs.
- Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is tearing up the league through three games. He ranks third in the league in PPR (points per reception) points (73.1), fourth in receptions (23), ninth in yards receiving (253), fifth in receiving touchdowns (3), eighth in target share (30.6%), all with a rock-solid 2.58 yards per route run and an expectedly low 5.6 ADOT.
- Chark is tied for second on the team in target share (16.7%). He leads Detroit in air yards share (35%). Whether St. Brown can ultimately go or not, I love Chark’s chances for a potential spike week against Seattle’s style of defense.
- Seattle has allowed the sixth-fewest yards receiving on the fewest receptions to wide receivers this season.
- Among tight ends, T.J. Hockenson is 10th in target share (16.7%), and 12th in air yards share (11.5%).
- Seattle has allowed the eighth-most receiving yards on the 18th-most receptions to tight ends this season.
The Seahawks Offense vs. the Lions Defense
The Detroit Lions’ front four has exceeded my expectations through the first three games while posting the league’s second-highest pressure rate (36.8%) during that span. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has taken the 10th most hurries, the 10th-most pressures and the 17th-most sacks on the season. If this game happened on opening day, I would have treated this one as a relative trench draw between two bottom-tier fronts. As things stand now, I’m giving the Lions’ defense a mild edge in the trenches.
When these two teams played last year, the Seahawks blew out the Lions in Seattle 51-29. DK Metcalf scored three touchdowns in that contest. The departure of Russell Wilson is the biggest difference between these two teams since that matchup. I’d argue the return of Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah is the second.
Notes and Observations
- The Seahawks are 1-2 against the spread this season.
- The Seahawks are 1-2 on overs this season.
- Per The Edge, Smith is 20th in the league in yards passing and 15th in yards per attempt.
- Seattle’s backfield is currently a three-man committee between Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Walker and Deejay Dallas. Dallas has taken over Travis Homer’s pass-centric role.
- The Lions have allowed the 13th-most yards rushing and the 12th-most yards receiving to opposing running backs this season.
- Metcalf (148 snaps, 100 routes run, 25% target share, 35% air yards share) and Tyler Lockett (139 snaps, 93 routes run, 26% target share, 35.8% air yards share) have very similar roles. However, Lockett has been more productive this season.
- The Lions have allowed the tenth-most yards receiving on the tenth-most receptions to wide receivers this season.
- Seahawks tight ends Will Dissly (107 snaps, 40 routes run, 8% target share, 7.4% air yards share) and Noah Fant (91 snaps, 47 routes run, 10% target share, 5.9% air yards share) have very comparable roles, even though Fant is a more dynamic athlete.
- Detroit has allowed the seventh-most yards receiving on the 11th-most receptions to tight ends this season.
This is What You’re Betting On in Seahawks vs. Lions
A bet on the Lions is a bet on a talented offense continuing to perform like an elite one against a talent-poor Seahawks defense. Detroit is coming off a tough loss against Minnesota last week. They outplayed the Vikings for 58 minutes but lost in painful fashion 28-24.
If you’re betting on Detroit here, you are betting on the Lions bouncing back after that tough loss. Dan Campbell’s focus on playing with high effort to this point is why I’m less worried about Detroit coming out flat against Seattle. Still, that outcome is possible.
Detroit’s offensive line has a trench advantage in this contest. Their defensive front has a small trench edge and Okudah gives the Lions a much better option to help mitigate Metcalf than last season. The litany of significant Lions on the injury report is your biggest concern with any Detroit bet in this spot.
A bet on the Seahawks is either a bet on Smith’s offense keeping this game close or on Seattle’s defense limiting Detroit’s red-hot offense. The Lions have hit the over in all three games this season, which gives Seattle’s offense some chance of exceeding expectations here. Detroit has a ton of significant players on this week’s injury report, which is the clearest edge Seattle has in this contest since they have far fewer injury concerns as of Wednesday night.
In general, I like to bet against teams coming off an emotional game the week before. Detroit blew a late lead against Minnesota last week, so if you’re betting on Seattle a flat, slow start from Detroit is a potential outcome that will help that position.
Seahawks vs. Lions Pool Picks
Awards Market Ramifications: A win here puts Lions coach Dan Campbell into Coach of the Year contention.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’m taking the Lions in winner pools, and I expect to have them ranked towards the top in confidence pools. My only caveat is Detroit has a number of significant players on the injury report. I won’t lock in any Detroit plays until their injury situation is clearer later in the week.
Spread Pool: I have some interest in the Lions as -4.5 favorites against a Seahawks team whose win total I bet the under on this spring. That said, I’ll wait until closer to kickoff to make any decisions, given the Lions’ extensive injury report.
Survivor: I want to take the Lions in one of my survivor pools, but once again, I’m going to wait until the injury report is resolved. I will be updating this contest during our Sunday live blog on all of these fronts.