Monday Night Football Week 9: Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks – Free Preview and Betting Prediction
ESPN has an excellent matchup to look forward to as we end Week 9 on Monday Night Football. The Bills head to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seahawks and the “12th man.” Seattle is first in their division, and the Bills are still very much in the playoff race in the AFC.
The odds opened with Seattle at -6.5. After taking about 60 percent of wagers throughout the week, the odds moved to Seahawks -7 at many sportsbooks, but the odds seem to be back at -6.5 for now. At BetOnline.ag, the current odds as of this writing are Seahawks -6.5 (-115) and Bills +6.5 -105.
The total opened at 44 points and hadn’t changed much since opening. About 65 percent of wagers have come in on the under 44. The odds have not moved off the number at most sportsbooks. At BetOnline, the odds stand at Over 44 (-105) and Under 44 (-115).
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The Bills – Chasing a Playoff Berth
Buffalo seemingly never seems to have a second half of the season where they’re not chasing a playoff berth, and most of the time, the odds are against them. This season is no different. The Bills rebounded from starting the season with two losses by winning four straight. However, they have now lost their last two games.
Last week, their record fell to 4-4 after they were beaten soundly 41-25 by the Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. They’re currently tied with the Miami Dolphins (however, Miami has them on tiebreaker) for third place in the AFC East. Both teams should look for a Wildcard spot if they wish to make the playoffs, as New England has a commanding lead in the division with a 7-1 record.
Running back LeSean McCoy sat out last week with a hamstring injury, but head coach Rex Ryan has expressed confidence that the running back will suit up Monday. The Bills will likely give Shady a large workload, due to a depleted receiving corps and a tough matchup against the Seattle secondary.
The Seahawks – Trying to Keep Pace in the Wild West
Seattle started off the season with a 4-1 record and looked almost certain to beat their 10-6 finish from last season. At the halfway point of this season, that still may happen, but their recent run of play makes it a bit less likely. The Seahawks have a 4-2-1 record after tying San Francisco two weeks ago and losing 25-20 at New Orleans last week.
It’s been a major struggle for the them offensively. The offense has generated just 19 points in the past two weeks. However, they are still first in the division with their current record. The rest of the division hasn’t been anything special, but they are still within several games of Seattle.
The loss of strong safety Kam Chancellor has put a huge dent on their rush defense. Chancellor went down in Week 4 and has not been able to practice since. He’s been ruled out this week but may return next week. Chancellor is above-average in coverage but may be the best running stopping safety in the NFL. In the past two weeks, the Seahawks have allowed back-to-back 100 yard rushers.
In most cases, I would be betting the Seahawks in this game. It seems like an ideal bounce-back spot for the Hawks after they were defeated in last week’s contest. The issue is that the Bills aren’t a bad team and they’re almost certainly going to focus on the Seattle’s weakness, stopping the run.
Even if LeSean McCoy doesn’t suit up, I expect them to have success in this area, even if it’s with backup Mike Gillislee. Seattle is still one of the best defensive teams in the league, but as I mentioned above, they’re simply not scoring.
The Bills, defensively, and as a team play much better at home, but this is a matchup they can win against Wilson and the Seattle offense. This game feels like one that could be decided by a field goal rather than a touchdown, and for that reason, I’m a lot more interested in the Buffalo side.
Pick: Bills +6.5