NFC Championship Picks: Packers at Seahawks

NFL Championship Sunday is finally here and the Green Bay Packers will kick things off against the Seattle Seahawks at 3 pm eastern. We have a ton of handicapping info along with a prediction for this huge matchup!

Early camera shots from the football preview shows around the nation are depicting a nasty day in Seattle with high winds and rain but it’s still hours until kickoff and the old saying in the Pacific Northwest is that if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes. The total on this game opened at 46.5 and is currently shopping at 45.5 with the majority of online sports betting shops but that could fall another point if the wind persists.

It’s hard to get a feel for this game without knowing the true status of Aaron Rodgers’ calf but my take is that for Green Bay to win this game, they’ll need Eddie Lacey and the O-line along with the entire defense to play the game of their lives.


The Seattle Seahawks are 19-4 SU/ATS at home off a home game. See for yourself with this SDQL betting chart from The last team to score more than 17 points against Seattle in this spot was the Atlanta Falcons, Week 4, 2011, when they beat the Hawks 30-28. That was before Russell Wilson had even joined the team. His record at home off a home game since earning the starting job in 2012, is 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS.

Three of Wilson’s wins were off a bye week so scrap those and we’re down to 6-1 ATS and 2-4-1 O/U. Another four of the games were against teams with a losing record so if we focus on the three remaining games we have Seattle going 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS. The margins of victory were 2-7-6 points and none of the games saw more than 40 total points scored. Opposing teams finished with point totals of 12-13-17.

Rodgers has lost four-straight games on the left coast SU/ATS (2-4 ATS overall) and the Packer’s defense has been absolutely torched in the three most-recent games. Two were in San Fran (one PO game) and the other was Week 1 in Seattle. GB’s D allowed 34-plus points in each of these three games but it’s worth nothing that had they been getting the generous line of +8.5, the Pack would have gone 4-2 ATS in these six games


Green Bay was shaky against the run but the defense has made adjustments and since the Week 9 loss at New Orleans, the only team to rush for more than 115 yards against the Pack was Dallas in last week’s Division Final. On the road, the Packers have lost four-straight games ATS against mobile quarterbacks but after analyzing the game sheets, there are a few things that stand out:

  1. Three of the games were in the first month of the season and that hasn’t been a good month for Mike McCarthy. Home or away, September is his second-worst month of the season SU and the worst ATS.
  2. Other than Kapper’s big romp in the playoffs, the other three QBs didn’t do much on the ground. Kapper lit them up pretty good in the air, too, but Wilson hasn’t done much.
  3. Total RY allowed look pretty bad and that’s a credit to the play-calling and the QB’s mobility. They are keeping the Packer’s D on its toes.
  4. GB’s RY only averaged around 80 YPG in these four games. Sure, a team’s run game is reduced when they are trailing but part of the problem is that GB didn’t have the type of back they currently have now in Lacy. Since Week 10, Green Bay has outrushed its opponents 140 yards to 93 yards.


Playoff road dogs between +7 and +10 points are 15-5 ATS against offenses who score on more than 40-percent of their drives and when the total for these games is in the mid-40’s, suggesting just the right blend of offense and defense, our road pup has a perfect track record since 2003 going 8-0 ATS (6-2 SU). Another note for the bigger dogs is that in Sunday games they are on an 11-1 ATS run.

Each of these teams tied for the best turnover margin per game this season (+0.8) and although the sample is limited, it looks like there is value on the road dog here. Note that when the road team fell short of its projected point total in the previous game, the inflated line this week has helped them to a 5-2 ATS record. Click SDQL Text: H and tA(turnovers) <= 1.3 and oA(turnovers) <= 1.3 and playoffs = 1 and op:dps < 0

The Seahawks have won seven-straight games SU/ATS following last week’s 31-17 victory over the Panthers. Playoff home faves on a streak of seven or more consecutive straight-up wins are 9-4 SU and 3-10 ATS on an avg line of -9 points. Round 3 faves are 4-0 SU but only 1-3 ATS and the lone cover was in the 2003 playoffs when NE -4 beat the Colts by 10. The three ATS losers from the Championship Round were laying -14.5, -7 and -10.5 points. Of the eight single-digit faves from all rounds, only one has covered (NE in `03). The other seven games each finished within a margin of seven points. When faced with same-season revenge the HF is 3-6 ATS and single-digit faves just 1-4 ATS. Defense wins championships and the teams who were on the hot streak usually didn’t get there on offense alone but of the seven who allowed an average of fewer than 21 points per game, only one covered the number (1-6 ATS). The Seahawks allowed 15.9 PPG this season. We could be witnessing greatness with this Seahawks team and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them win straight-up but this is a big number. It’s only a one-unit play because of Rodgers’ injury but my money is on the dog.

Pick: Take the Packers

Read Pick Sixty’s AFC Championship prediction: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots!

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