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MNF – Lions at Seahawks
By Kevin Rogers
The Lions and Seahawks each made the postseason in 2014, but both clubs have combined for only one win through each of their first three games. Detroit travels to the Pacific Northwest to hostile CenturyLink Field shooting for its first victory of the season, while Seattle looks to build off a shutout last week against another NFC North opponent.
The Seahawks (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) overcame a slow start to blank the beat-up Bears, 26-0 to cash as 16 ½-point home favorites. Rookie Tyler Lockett returned the second half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to open up a 6-0 lead into a 13-0 advantage for Seattle, while Russell Wilson connected with Jimmy Graham on a 30-yard touchdown strike to put the game out of reach. Seattle’s defense limited Chicago to 146 yards in safety Kam Chancellor’s first game of the season after missing the first two losses due to a contract dispute.
Detroit (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) jumped out to a 21-3 lead at San Diego in the opener, but since then, the Lions have been outscored 80-27 in the last 10 ½ quarters. In last Sunday night’s 24-12 setback to the Broncos, Detroit rushed for just 28 yards on 19 carries, while scoring their least amount of points at Ford Field since a 7-3 victory over Green Bay in 2010. Matthew Stafford was intercepted twice, bumping his total to five on the season, while dealing with a rib injury suffered in the Week 2 loss at Minnesota.
Pete Carroll’s club has won 26 of their last 28 home games (including playoffs) since the start of 2012, including a 6-3-1 ATS mark last season. In the role of a double-digit home favorite in this span, Seattle owns a barely profitable 6-5-1 ATS record, while losing outright at home to Dallas last October. The Seahawks are a perfect 6-0 SU while covering five times in their last six home games against NFC North opponents with the only non-cover coming against the Packers in the dramatic NFC Championship game last January.
The last time these teams hooked up in Detroit during Wilson’s rookie season of 2012, the Lions rallied for a 28-24 victory thanks to a late touchdown pass by Stafford to Titus Young with 10 seconds remaining. Detroit picked up the cover as 2 ½-point favorites, as Stafford put together one of the best games of his career by throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions are visiting Seattle for the first time since Stafford’s rookie campaign of 2009, as Detroit squandered a 17-0 lead to lose 32-20 as 11-point underdogs. In case you don’t remember, Stafford was intercepted by Seattle’s Josh Wilson with 22 seconds left, as Wilson returned the pick for a score to give Seattle the front-door cover.
Seahawks’ star running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as out for Monday night with a hamstring injury, as the All-Pro suffered the injury at Green Bay in Week 2. Lynch tried to play through the injury against Chicago, but carried the ball only five times for 14 yards before exiting, giving way to rookie Thomas Rawls. The former Central Michigan standout rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries in place of Lynch, as Rawls will likely be counted on, along with former Bills’ running back Fred Jackson.
From a totals perspective, each team has hit the ‘under’ the last two weeks following an ‘over’ in Week 1, as the Lions are seeing their lowest total of the season on Monday with a 43. Under Jim Caldwell, Detroit has cashed the ‘under’ in eight of 10 games away from Ford Field, while scoring 20 points or less seven times in this stretch. Seattle’s defense has allowed 17 points or less in six of the past seven games at CenturyLink Field, with the ‘under’ cashing four times.
The Seahawks have won five straight Monday night games during the Carroll tenure, as the last Monday night contest take place in the Pacific Northwest came in December of 2013, a 34-7 blowout of New Orleans. The Lions are making their fifth Monday appearance since 2011 and just their second on the road in this span, as they blew out the Giants to kick off the 2014 campaign at home, 35-14.
Underdogs have ruled on Monday night this season, posting a 3-1 SU/ATS record, as the Chiefs were the first ‘dog to lose in last week’s setback at Green Bay. The ‘under’ cashed in each of the first three Monday games, but that streak also came to an end thanks to the high-scoring affair at Lambeau Field in Week 3.
The Seahawks opened up as a 9 ½-point favorite, but that number really hasn’t moved significantly, hitting 10 at several books. The total has stayed steady at 43 throughout the week, as weather doesn’t look to be a factor. The game kicks off at 8:30 PM EST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.