Week 3 NFL Free Pick - Seahawks at Titans
FREE PICK: Seahawks +3 at Titans (Covers 56.7%)
With the state of Seattle's offense in such shambles, one person may not make a difference. However, do you ever think the Seahawks front office regrets trading center Max Unger to New Orleans for Jimmy Graham? The reason I pose the question is because the Seattle offensive line is so bad, so full of holes, they often need Graham to block on the outside instead of run patterns and improve their passing game. You know, the reason they traded for him in the first place. Instead, on one of those plays in Week 3, Graham was rolled up on and injured his ankle while blocking. Pete Carroll says Graham is now questionable for Week 3.
Regardless if Graham is active or not, he is not the problem. The Seahawks have scored one touchdown through eight quarters this season and are averaging 10.5 points per game. It wasn't until midway through the fourth quarter that their anemic offense mustered up a touchdown against the 49ers – a defense that allowed 287 yards and 23 points to the Panthers. Oh, and Carolina could only manage three field goals in Week 2. In other words, weather be damned, the Seahawks should have dropped 20+ points on the 49ers with ease. Seattle's top-tier, but rapidly aging defense held Brian Hoyer *eyeball emoji* to 99 yards passing, but allowed Carlos Hyde to pick up 8.3 yards per carry including a 61-yarder.
The Titans DeMarco Murray was missing in action for most of the second half in Week 2 when his offense scored 31 of its 37 points in a blowout win over the Jaguars. Murray is dealing with hamstring tightness that has bothered him dating back to training camp. He along with rookie receiver Corey Davis (hamstring) are day-to-day. With Murray sidelined, Derrick Henry rushed 14 times for 92 yards with a touchdown. Henry's longest rush was only 17 yards. So, his 6.6 yards per carry was consistent against an above-average Jaguars front seven.
Tennessee, who finished the 2016 season ranked 30th in pass defense (269 PYPG) current ranks 20th in defensive pass efficiency in our Week 3 power rankings. The Titans have allowed 231 yards per game, three touchdowns with two interceptions against Derek Carr and Blake Bortles. The rush defense held Leonard Fournette to 40 yards in Week 2, but remember Blake Bortles spent most of the second half trying to rally via the pass as per the norm.
At the end of the day, this line implies that these two teams are equal on a neutral field, and we don't believe that to be the case.
According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, Seattle wins over Tennessee just 48.8% of the time with an average losing score of 20.0 to 19.6. As a three-point underdog losing by an average margin of just 0.4 points, the Seahawks cover the spread 56.7% of the time, which would justify a $45 wager for an average $50 bettor.