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A great football weekend is on tap and the NFL Blitz is geared up and ready to go! The NFL Blitz starts one hour before kickoff of the first game and will have all of the betting info that you need to Bang the Book during the playoffs!
Playoff Record: 3-1-1, +1.90
Overall Record on the season: YTD: 50-38-4, +6.20
Spread: Seahawks minus-8
Public consensus pick: 62 percent picked Saints
Public perception: This line opened at Seahawks minus-7 Saturday night and was bet higher by early bettors (which are mostly sharps), but the public has been betting it back down. Both teams often get public support, but it looks like the public is seeing New Orleans' 26-24 victory at Philadelphia, the first time the Saints have ever won a road playoff game, as a sign that they can get the job done away from home.
Wiseguys' view: As stated above, the early bettors were on the Seahawks. The wiseguys won't be as quick to assume that the Saints have gotten over their home/road dichotomy. The Saints were 1-7 ATS on the road this season and even though the Seahawks were a respectable though unspectacular 5-3 ATS at home (compared to 8-0 ATS last season), it's still a lot harder to go into Seattle and win than to go into Philadelphia and pull off the feat. Wiseguys will also be teasing the Seahawks under a field goal (as will plenty of the public).
Tuley's Take: For the second straight week, I'm unable to pull the trigger on the Saints as a road underdog. Their offense just isn't as in sync on the road, and they get a much tougher test with Seattle's defense (and don't forget the Seahawks won the regular-season meeting 34-6, and that hardly looked like a fluke). I do see this game playing out in a similar fashion -- maybe not quite so lopsided -- with the Seahawks containing the Saints' offense and grinding out a win. If I end up making a play at all, it'll probably be on the under (or teasing the Seahawks to the under).
The pick: Pass (lean to Seahawks, but probably more to the under)
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks - Open: -8, Move: -7.5
Most wagering outlets opened this with the home team either -8 or -8.5 with not a whole lot of line movement since post. The Saints earned their first postseason road victory in franchise history in Philadelphia last week and will look to build on that in Seattle. CenturyLink Field is a different beast, however, and the Seahawks posted a SU record of 7-1 (5-3 ATS) in the regular season.
"The Seahawks line hasn't moved one bit since early Monday morning when we went from -8 to -7.5, and I honestly don't see this line moving much if at all before game time," says Michael Stewart, an oddsmaker with CarbonSports.ag. "Action is coming in exactly as we expected, with a bit more Saints money coming in and we're OK with that money."
The Total has been a different story for this NFC matchup. Most shops opened the number at 48 and with some unsavory weather conditions in Seattle's forecast, bettors - sharp and public alike - have backed the Under all week.
"Tuesday we got wiseguy play on Under 48, so moved to 47.5, and another sharp played it Under 47.5, so we have gone all the way to 45.5," said Mike Perry, an oddsmaker with Sportsbook.ag. "This appears to be a weather play, as there is supposed to be rain all day accompanied by 25-30 mph winds. Fifty-nine percent of cash is on the Under."
The 8.5 points in favor of the Seahawks is an astronomically-high spread for a playoff game that is inflated due to the Seahawks’ embarrassing win over the Saints on December 2. But the Saints learned some valuable lessons from that trip and their confidence on the road is peaking after a historical team win on the road against the Eagles the previous week. It is extremely difficult to beat a good team that badly twice in the same season and Sean Payton is a master at making adjustments and motivating his players.
In the Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks are 4-4 ATS as a double-digit favorite at home. However, when favored by less than 10 points at home, as they are this week, Seattle's a perfect 5-0 ATS since the beginning of the 2012 season. The Saints are not only looking up at trying to cover on the road - something they're not particularly adept at - but they're attempting to do so in Seattle, in arguably the most intimidating stadium in NFL history.