The New Orleans Saints return to Century Link Field Saturday for a rematch with the Seattle Seahawks team who picked them apart for 34 points in Week 13
Last week the Saints got the playoff road monkey off their backs with a win in Philadelphia but when travelling for the second consecutive week, New Orleans is just 1-7 ATS the past three seasons. That was the case in Week 13 when Drew Brees and the Saints trekked up to the Pacific Northwest off a divisional road win over Atlanta 11 days before. Seattle took advantage of some miscues and jumped to a 17-0 lead through 15 minutes.
[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Since 2011, when the Saints were playing in the second of back-to-back road games they’ve only held one of eight opponents off the scoreboard in the first quarter[/quote_text]
In the first-half of those eight games in this trend set the Saints allowed an average of 16.8 points per game (PPG) and the second quarter was actually their worst, defensively (10.2 PPGA). New Orleans would contribute 7 to 14 points in the first-half (11.4 avg) but against this rested Seattle defense there is not going to be a lot of room to move. The weather is also expected to play part in this game with rain and high winds expected.
The Saints have struggled against mobile quarterbacks, going 1-6-1 ATS the past two seasons and Russell Wilson can make Rob Ryan’s defense pay with both his arms and legs. Even if Seattle chooses not to open up its passing game early they have the horses to pound away, looking for holes. Even if this game stays close in the early going the Hawks and their 12th man have the weapons to exploit weaknesses.
Seattle has a big edge in special teams, notably kicking, punting (Jon Ryan led league with 30 fair catches) and the punt return unit. In bad weather, special teams could end up playing a big part in this game. We also ran some numbers at SportsDatabase.com for playoff teams who allowed 21 points in their previous contest but still managed to win. The recent trend shows average half-time scores of 17.7-10.5 for the home favorite and the past two years at home the Hawks have scored an average of 15.2 PPG in the first-half at home while allowing 7.2. They were only trailing after the first quarter once in 16 home games the past two years (Week 6, 2013 vs. Tennessee).
We booked this game three ways but lines from three different sportsbooks online:
1. Seahawks -4.5 (-105) in the first-half (5 Dimes)
2. Seahawks -7 (-123) for the full game (Sports Interaction)
3. Prop: Will there be a defensive or special teams TD? Yes (+161), risking enough to win a half-unit at Pinnacle Sports