NFL Week 7 Game Picks: Seahawks at Browns

So where back for the second installment of  Inside The Knox Score, where we breakdown each game on the NFL docket. For all of these games we cover key matchups on both sides of the ball as well as predict fantasy numbers, pick straight up winners , over/under predictions and the winner when taking the spread into consideration. Last week I crushed the predictions here at The Daily Beans going a whopping 10-1 picking straight-up winners, an astounding 9-2 against the numbers as well as an impressive 7-4 on the over/unders. In a nutshell, if you had put $100 beans on each game and the totals you would have gone a total of 16-6 and won $940 beans total. 

We are starting things off this week with the Seattle Seahawks coming off a big come from behind victory over the N.Y. Giants two weeks ago and a well deserved bye week. They travel to Cleveland to face the Browns (23rd) and their struggling club. The Browns have looked awful over the their last two games getting thrashed by both the Titans and the Raiders. Cleveland hasn’t exactly beaten anybody real in there only wins of the season as they have come against the win-less Colts and Dolphins. The Seahawks on the other hand have a history of struggling on the road and look for their first back-to-back road wins since 2002. Let’s see how the trends look in this game. The line has opened at -3 in favor of the Browns and has moved on some books to -2.5, while the total has also seen very little movement and posted at 40.5-41 points.

Trends

The Seattle Seahawks (22nd) have covered against the spread in three straight games and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 October games. They are also a terrible 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as road underdogs of +0.5-3.0 points. The over/under trends are 13-3 in the Seahawks last 16 games and 20-8-1 in their last 29. The Browns are an awful 1-7-1 in their last 29 games and 3-7 in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record and 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. The Over is also 6-2 in their last 8 home games.

Seahawks Offense vs. Browns Defense

It’s looking like Charlie Whitehurst will get the nod as the starting quarterback for Seattle. The Browns do have the league’s 4th best passing defense giving up only 192 yds/gm, but let’s not give them too much credit. Cleveland has faced Andy Dalton in his first NFL game to start the season, Kerry Collins, Chad Henne, then got lit up for 3 TDs against the Titans Matt Hasselbeck on just 20 pass attempts and followed that up last week against a run-first offense of the Oakland Raiders and a half-time injury to Jason Campbell. Compunding the problem is the fact that Strong-Side LB, Scott Fujita is injured with a concussion. Whitehurst and his strong arm will have his blind-side covered with Russell Okung facing a backup SLB. The rushing defense of the Browns has been exposed with gaping holes all season making matters worse. Marshawn Lynch is coming in off of his best game of the season vs. the Giants. He gained 98 yards, scored a TD and had a big 47 yard run in that game. I should also mention that Whitehurst in just a half of a game against the most-feared pass-rushing team in the league had a TD on 149 yards and a passer rating of 100.5. Not too shabby while facing a barrage of pressure. Pressure I don’t believe he will be seeing this week. Not when Lynch should post big numbers against the 27th ranked run defense of the Browns. I see a lot of balanced offense from Seattle this week with Lynch pounding the ball to the left-side of the line. This will open up some space for rookie Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice to snatch some play-action balls for some decent yardage.

Browns Offense vs Seahawks Defense

Peyton Hillis is doubtful for the Browns this week with a thigh injury. Montario Hardesty will start and try to provide a spark with his 3.6 yards per carry. The Browns seem to have switched up their game plans this year by moving from more of a run-first attack to a team that has had Colt McCoy rolling out and throwing the ball an average of 43 times per game. This is not a smart tactic for the Browns. McCoy has only completed 57.5 % of his passes has 3TDs and a terrible passer rating of 77.8%. Couple this with the fact that the slow and aging Benjamin Watson is their second leading receiver and I say we have a recipe for disaster. I don’t expect Hardesty to have a very successful game against a Seahawks defense that has yet to allow a 100 yard rusher. They have held the likes of Frank Gore (59yds), Rashard Mendenhall(66yds), Michael Turner (70yds) and Ahmad Bradshaw (58yds) to some pretty low numbers.  This will have the young McCoy throwing the ball a lot and the Cleveland’s offense to become fairly one-dimensional.

Fantasy &Game Predictions:

The Seahawks offense isn’t as bad as people think. Their numbers are slightly skewed in my opinion, due to the fact that they opened on the road at the powerful SF 49ers and followed that up in Pittsburgh. They are playing an over-rated Browns pass-defense and this should help the gun-slinging Whitehurst to creep past the 220 yard marker. Lynch will rush for 115 yards and two TDs and Sidney Rice will be the beneficiary of a beat down Browns defense late in the game for a Red-Zone TD. Expect Seattle to stack a TE next to rookie RT J. Carpenter to help with the pass rush and give Charlie Whitehurst time to throw.

Cleveland;s offense will try to balance things out, but their lack of a rushing attack against the Hawks great rushing D will make them one-dimensional and force McCoy to throw the ball up at least 45 times. His passer rating and completion percentage will suffer, but his yards in the game may clip the 290 marker. He will throw another TD late in this game to Massaquoi, but it will be similar to last week, coming in garbage time.

Pick: Seahawks pull the upset and win on the road 24-16. They cover the +2.5 points and this game barely stays under the total, although if I were you I would avoid the total on this game altogether.

You can follow JB Knox on twitter @theknoxscore

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Comments
5 Responses to “NFL Week 7 Game Picks: Seahawks at Browns”
  1. IanBlanchard says:

    I think this may be a lower scoring game. If the Browns D plays to their capability or Whitehurst stumbles out of the gate, Seahawks could stutter.

  2. JW says:

    So, what is the deal with Peyton Hillis?

  3. Hillis missed practice on Thurs. & Fri. although we’re not sure that will make a difference with the ‘Hawks’ premier run defense. (Cleve. has not completely ruled him out).

    We picked the Seahawks as one of our top five best bets this week as well so hopefully we’ll both be right. *One note: We don’t think that Lynch runs for 98 yds. if Justin Tuck had played 2 weeks ago.

    Nice Post!
    http://fantasyfurnace.com

    • J.B. Knox says:

      Good Points on the Tuck injury.

      In regards to Hillis, the thigh injury plus contact squabbles seem to be taking their toll, but no word whether he is out of the lineup yet or not. Either way Id sit him.

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