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NFL Playoff Betting Analysis - Lions at Seahawks

NFL Playoff Betting Lines

How in the world did the Detroit Lions make the playoffs? The Lions only beat one team by more than a touchdown this season and gritted their way to close wins all season long even though they weren’t impressive in any category according to advanced metrics. Both the offense and defense finished with below average ratings compared to the rest of the NFL and there’s no doubt that this will be one of the prime candidates for reversion next season. However, now they are in the playoffs where anything can happen, and draw a tough Seattle Seahawks team in the Wildcard Round.

Lions vs. Seahawks
Date and Time
: Saturday, January 7, 2017, 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
NFL Playoff Odds at Seattle -8, O/U 42.5
Lions vs. Seahawks TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

The spread in this game opened with the Seahawks as a touchdown favorite and sportsbooks now have Seattle between an 8 and 9-point favorite. Don’t expect the number to come down for two reasons. First, squares and sharps alike are going to like Seattle in this game due to Detroit’s poor advanced metrics and how it closed the season. Additionally, books do not want to move this line down because it would invite more teaser action on Seattle.

These teams each ended the season on a down note against the number. Seattle failed to cover in four of its last six overall, while Detroit hasn’t covered a spread since its win over New Orleans on December 4.

Team and Coaching Playoff History

These two teams have completely different playoff resumes. This is Matt Stafford’s third trip to the postseason and he is still looking for his first playoff win. In his first playoff appearance, the Lions were routed by the Saints and failed to cover a 10.5-point spread. Two seasons ago, Detroit ended up losing to Dallas on a late touchdown from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams but ended up covering the number.

Seattle has been a playoff mainstay under Pete Carroll since he arrived as head coach in 2010. The Seahawks have made the postseason in 6 of his 7 seasons and have at least made it to the Divisional Round every time. Seattle is 8-4 SU under Carroll in the playoffs, but just 6-6 ATS and hasn’t covered in three straight playoff games.

This is Jim Caldwell’s second trip to the playoffs with Detroit and his fourth trip overall. In his first season as head coach, he took the Colts to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Saints, and hasn’t won or covered a playoff game since. He is 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS in the postseason.

Recent Games of Note

Detroit has been a smoke and mirrors team all season long, but won the games it was supposed to. All nine of the Lions wins were against teams that failed to reach the postseason and they were 0-5 against playoff teams. Against these playoff bound squads, the closest Detroit came was 7 points, but only against Houston did they actually have a chance to win late.

Seattle was one of the most interesting teams in the NFL all season. The Seahawks continued their recent trend of puzzling early season performances, losing to the Rams in the second week of the season, but couldn’t defeat a down Cardinals team and were blown out by the Packers in Lambeau Field. However, they also showed that they can knock off anyone, beating the Patriots in Foxboro, and upending the Falcons in Seattle in early October.

This is the type of game that Anquan Boldin was made for. Although he is one of the oldest receivers in the league and his speed has completely left him, there are few players as physical as he is, and he will be a constant target of Matt Stafford. Boldin led the team in receiving touchdowns this season and he has always stood out in the playoffs, coming up big in the Ravens’ Super Bowl run a few years ago. If Detroit is going to pull off the upset, Boldin will likely play a big role.