First in the NFC on the Line
The marquee matchup on the NFL week 13 schedule will have to wait until Monday this week when the New Orleans Saints travel to CenturyLink to take on the Seattle Seahawks. A win will go a long way in determining the first seed in the NFC and will likely give the victor home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
New Orleans (9-2) at Seattle (10-1)
When: 8:40 PM ET, Monday, December 2, 2013
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Saints vs. Seahawks Betting Lines from Bovada
New Orleans Saints +4½ -110 +195 Ov 47 -110
Seattle Seahawks -4½ -110 -225 Un 47 -110
There is a ton on the line – each of the two combatants in the Monday night affair are virtually unbeatable at home.
The New Orleans Saints have experienced quite a turnaround this year. The Saints have the No. 3 offense in the league, and Drew Brees is second in the NFL with 3,647 passing yards, 28 TDs and just 8 interceptions. The New Orleans defense that was historically brutal last year has been stellar all season long.
New Orleans will enter the game with 37 sacks, tied for most in the NFL – something that was largely missing all of last year.
New Orleans is a tremendously well-rounded team all of a sudden – the offense will surely do their part and now opposing offenses have to worry about a Saints 10th-ranked defense that has transformed under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
The strength of New Orleans’ defense has been the pass rush, but the Seattle Seahawks, off their bye will have all of their banged up offensive linemen available. Pro Bowlers LT Russell Okung and RT Breno Giacomini will be back on the field to protect Russell Wilson as will Pro Bowl center Max Unger.
Marshawn Lynch (925 yards and 9 TDs) has been terrific at home and will certainly be heavily featured Monday to eat up chunks of yards and to keep Drew Brees off the field.
The return of Percy Harvin is also an intriguing storyline ahead of Monday’s contest. Seattle’s weakness on offense – the 29th ranked passing game becomes a whole lot more dangerous with Harvin in the fold.
Russell Wilson has arguably been the most impressive second year QB in the game – better than Andrew Luck, better than RG III and better than Colin Kaepernick. He presents a challenge to a Saints D that held a similar guy in Colin Kaepernick in check a couple of weeks ago.
A few trends to consider:
• NO are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in December.
• Over is 8-3 in NO last 11 Mon. games.
• NO are 20-9 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• Over is 12-2 in SEA last 14 games in December.
• SEA are 10-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• Over is 7-2 in SEA last 9 games in Week 13.
Seattle is coming off a bye – Coach Carroll has had an extra week to prepare for the Saints – that could be the difference in this game.
The 12th man will definitely have a say in the outcome as well. The importance of this game is not lost on the Seattle players – a win would give them a two-game lead in the NFC and they will own tiebreakers over the Saints and the Panthers with the win.
Seattle rises to the occasion and creates a little distance between them and their pursuers.