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The 0-3 SU ATS Detroit Lions visit the 1-2 SU ATS Seattle Seahawks in the 4th week of MNF. On the NFL Week 4 card, there were 4 winless teams, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans and the Detroit Lions. These “fight for your life teams” all squeezed out narrow victories earlier this week. But, all were in competitively priced games, unlike this double digit spread tonight. As much urgency as Detroit will feel in this game, there is similar need for a Seattle team, who as a 2 time Super Bowl team, would have problems rebounding from a 1-3 SU ATS hole. The history of Super Bowl teams in the following year has well documented negative results. To date, the Seahawks have clearly shown they are having a tough time meeting the challenge of rebounding from the fateful call that costs them last year’s Super Bowl. The last time these two teams met was in 2012, when the Seahawks were just emerging as a title contender. It would be a tough sell to think even HC Carroll can motivate his players from that 28-24 loss at Detroit.
Last season was the first with Detroit for respected HC Caldwell. He did a great job in lifting the Lions to the playoffs, after a pair of previous seasons, when they went 11-21 SU ATS. Last year was characterized by an outstanding defense that saw Lions allow just 18 PPG, 302 YPG and have the No. 1 rush defense in the league at 70/3.2. The heart and soul of that defensive front, Suh and Fairley, are now departed. It leaves a defense that is allowing 28 PPG, 395 YPG and 112 RYPG. Working in their favor is the fact that 0-3 SU teams, when playing on MNF, have covered 5 straight times and that MNF underdogs are on an 8-1 ATS run. If they are to be successful at the point of attack, they will need to turn around a running game that is averaging only 17 carries per game, while running for just 45/2.6. All those were league worst numbers entering Week 4. And, along with that declining defense, a good reason for the Lions’ winless record. Another reason why the Lions struggle is their lack of leadership at the QB position. QB Stafford has never transformed Detroit into a winning pointspread proposition. For his career, Stafford is 31-48 ATS as an NFL starter. In the Lions’ 24-12 loss to Denver last week on Sunday Night Football, all of those flaws came to the fore. Now, they must face a hungry Seattle team on the strongest home field in the league.
Century Link Field has been a fortress for the Seahawks. To reflect on that excellence, consider these numbers which are among Seattle’s best role. The Seahawks are 20-5 ATS playing at home, following a home game. That includes subsets of 14-2 ATS in non-division games such as this and 12-0 ATS when facing a losing team, clearly the case tonight. After opening the season with a 0-2 SU ATS road mark at avenging foes, St. Louis and Green Bay, Seattle returned home last week to regain their mojo. In the role of 15 point home favorite, the Seahawks obliterated the Bears with a 371-146 yardage edge. That included running 29 times for a 159 RY! With the nation watching and the fans in full throat, it will be no surprise if the Seahawks carry over that momentum to tonight’s contest. On the positive side is the return of Kim Chancellor, who will go a long way in defending the Lions’ top receiving threat, Calvin Johnson. On the negative side is that RB Lynch will miss this game with a strained hamstring.
This bureau never finds it easy to lay double digits in NFL contests, a league in which crazy things happen each week. But, with the Seahawks feeling just as much urgency as the Lions and their history of playing with momentum at home following a home game, it is hard to fade the Seahawks knowing the statistical profile of the Lions this season. As a result, if you are playing this game, I believe the ODDS are in your favor if you follow my NFL PICK of the Seattle Seahawks.