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Matchups Week 1: Seahawks vs. Broncos

Broncos vs. Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Spread: Seahawks +6

Game Total: 43

Team Totals: Seahawks (18.5), Broncos (24.5)

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.

The Line Report

  • The consensus line for this contest is Seahawks +6, although several Seahawks +6.5 options are available.
  • This line opened between Seahawks +4 and Seahawks +4.5.
  • This line has gradually made Seattle a bigger home underdog, with a peak of +7.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Seahawks +6.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Seahawks +6.5.
  • The consensus line for this total is currently 43-points, although there are several 43.5-point options available.
  • This total opened between 41 and 41.5-points. It rose to a peak of 45-points and has settled in between 43 and 44 points recently.

Notable Injuries

Seahawks: Edge L.J. Collier (IR). RB Kenneth Walker III (Questionable), OG Damien Lewis (Questionable).

Broncos: WR Tim Patrick (IR), TE Greg Dulcich (IR), LB Josey Jewell (Out), WR K.J. Hamler (Questionable), RT Billy Turner (Questionable), Edge Randy Gregory (Questionable)

The Seahawks Offense vs. Broncos Defense

Denver has a fringe top-10 front four, while Seattle has a below-average offensive line. Broncos Edge Randy Gregory is currently listed as questionable, so we have to check in on his status before game time. If Gregory is ready to go, the Broncos have a solid trench advantage in this contest.

The only edge the Seahawks’ offense can have is through their wide receiver duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Fortunately for Denver, they have a top-10 caliber secondary that can mitigate that group.

Notes and Observations

  • The Seahawks were 9-8 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Seahawks were 6-10 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Broncos allowed the 18th most rushing yards and the 9th most receiving yards to opposing running backs last season.
  • Denver allowed the 11th fewest yards to wide receivers last year.
  • The Broncos allowed the 7th fewest receiving yards to tight ends in 2021.

The Broncos Offense vs. the Seahawks Defense

From a talent perspective, both the Broncos’ offensive line and the Seahawks’ front four are below-average units. Neither team is in a position to exploit the other’s weakness in this contest.

Denver’s offense has great potential, but this is the first game for their new quarterback and head coach. Adding former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completely transforms the Broncos’ offense.  Wilson is one of the best “bad line” quarterbacks in recent memory, and a strong and well-rounded skill group supports him.

Notes and Observations

  • The Broncos were 8-9 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Broncos were 5-12 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Seahawks surrendered the 13th most rushing yards to running backs last season. They also allowed the most receptions and yards to running backs in 2021.
  • Allowing considerable passing game production to running backs is a feature of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks defense across multiple defensive coordinators.
  • Broncos’ new head coach Nathaniel Hackett was previously the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2019 to 2021. Green Bay’s running back duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for 86 receptions on 102 targets for 704 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. Jones specifically was seventh in targets and receptions amongst running backs last season.
  • When Jones and Dillon faced Seattle last season, they combined for 8 targets.
  • Denver will deploy some form of timeshare between running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
  • In 2021, the Seahawks gave up the 14th most yards to wide receivers.
  • Seattle gave up the second-fewest PPR points to perimeter receivers but the sixth most to wide receivers lined up in the slot.
  • The Seahawks allowed the 11th most receiving yards to tight ends last year.

What You’re Betting On in Seahawks vs. Broncos

A bet on the Seahawks is a bet on a bottom-tier roster with a limited option at quarterback. It’s also a bet on a significant home underdog, in a primetime game, facing their former quarterback in his first game with his new team. If you’re betting on Seattle in this spot, you are betting on the Seahawks treating this game as their Super Bowl and exceeding expectations. No team is more familiar with Wilson than the Seattle Seahawks.

Additionally, Seattle’s defense played very well against Hackett’s Packers last season. The Seahawks lost that contest 17-0, but they held the league’s eventual MVP (Aaron Rodgers) to 17-points despite being shut out.

A bet on the Broncos is a bet on a contending team playing their first game with their new head coach and their new quarterback. They’ll be playing on the road, in primetime, in Wilson’s old stomping grounds of Seattle. If you’re betting on Denver, you’re betting on the Broncos’ talent advantage over the Seahawks.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: Denver will be a popular, logical pick in winner pools. In confidence pools, I have Denver clustered with the viable survivor options I’d rather avoid this week: Colts, Bengals, Titans.

Spread Pool: From a pure football standpoint, Denver is a superior team, with a few matchups edges, that has an exponentially more reliable quarterback than Seattle. The Seattle side is entirely built on them exceeding expectations in a contest with a considerable emotional narrative: Russell Wilson’s first game as a Bronco in his former stomping grounds of Seattle.

Survivor: I am avoiding Denver in survivor this week, but they are not an unreasonable option.