Week 14 NFL Free Pick - Seahawks at Jaguars (12/10/17)
FREE Pick: Seahawks +3 @ Jaguars (Covers 56%)
Despite the 8-4 record and chance to catch the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, two things have plagued Seattle this season: shoddy blocking and offensive penalties. Through 12 games, the Seahawks have been flagged a league-high 114 times for a league-high 967 yards - 120 more penalty yards than the Jets who rank second.
However, if you've caught their past two games, in which they are 2-0, the whistles haven't blown and laundry hasn't flown as often. Seattle only committed five penalties for 46 yards in the Seahawks' win over the Eagles and six for 35 yards in their win over the 49ers. Now compare that to an average of 117 penalty yards in the three games before that, in which they were 1-2, and their 22-16 win at Arizona came against Drew Stanton. If the Seahawks continue to play clean and keep the football ahead of the chains, that makes Russell Wilson even more dangerous.
Do you know which Seattle running back leads the team in rushing? It's Chris Carson. The guy who hasn't played since October 1st. So, when third-year back Mike Davis is inserted into the lineup two weeks ago and proceeds to make an impact on the ground and passing game, the Seahawks welcome the unexpected, but desperately coveted, production. Davis racked over 100 total yards against the Eagles' league-leading rush defense last week. Davis as a viable threat opens up the option and play-action play calls, which are huge weapons for Wilson.
Leonard Fournette is obviously hampered by his bum ankle. He's rushed for less than 3.0 yards per carry in three out of his past four games; a span of 77 attempts. His lack of production places more pressure on Blake Bortles. Although the Jaguars quarterback has shined in two games against the Colts this season, he's still completing less than 60 percent of his passes and now faces Seattle's pass rush, which is arguably his toughest test to-date. Marqise Lee can only bail out Bortles so many times and Lee disappeared against the Cardinals when Patrick Peterson shadowed him. It could be deja vu all over again this Sunday.
According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, Jacksonville wins outright just 53% of the time on the road and by an average margin of just 0.8 points. As a three point underdogs, Seattle covers the spread 55.8% of the time, which would justify a $36 wager for an average $50 bettor.
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