By Greg Dempson
The Seattle Seahawks have one key component missing in their run toward a Super Bowl appearance and that piece is Earl Thomas. He was injured on December 4th in their game vs. the Panthers. At that time Seattle was allowing the fewest points in the league, (17 PPG.) They had not allowed any team to score more than 26 points and held four teams without a touchdown.
The Seahawks were ranked 7th in total defense allowing 335.6 yards per game and they were also 10th in defending the pass allowing 235.5 yards per game. In their first four games without Thomas they allowed 38 to Green Bay and 34 in a home loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle was hard pressed to win at San Francisco in week 17 and allowed the 49ers 23 points. Seattle looked good at home vs. an anemic Rams offense led by rookie quarterback Jared Goff as they Los Angeles to 3 points. Last week in their Wild Card game against the Lions they allowed 6 points to a Detroit team that was road weary and led by a quarterback with a bad finger and an injured offensive line.
Earlier this season, (at home,) the Seahawks were hard pressed to defeat the Falcons 28–26 with Earl Thomas in the line-up. Now they play a road game vs. the highest scoring team in the league, the Falcons.
From the Stats Department
- Seattle averaged only 15.9 PPG when away from home including 9.6 in the first half.
- Atlanta averaged 35.0 PPG at home as well as 21.5 PPG in the first half while holding opponents to 15.9 PPG in the first half.
First Half Systems
- Play against underdogs in the first half that average 18 to 23 points per game when playing against an excellent offensive team that scores an average of 27 or more points per game after allowing 14 points or less in their last game. This system is 39–16 = 71% ATS the past 10 seasons.
- From game nine out, play on first half favorites of 2 to 6 points that score 27 or more points per game when playing against a good defensive team that allows between 14–18 points per game. This system is 61–29 = 68% ATS since 1983.
I had four opinions last week and they all won.
Onto this week’s Every Edge selection, I am backing the Atlanta Falcons at –3 points in the first half, (and I bet this for more than a beer and pizza wager!)
For additional winning systems, selections, angles and Tweets, visit www.gregdempson.com