VSiN’s NFL expert offers up his thoughts on two of the games on Sunday’s slate.
Seahawks (-8.5, 40.5) at Texans
This is about as ugly and nauseating as a play can get in the NFL, but the Seahawks are laying more than a touchdown to the Texans and that line is simply too high. This is a game with a low total of 41.5 that continues to trend down.
Seattle scored a really nice win over San Francisco last week, but that seemed to say more about the 49ers than the Seahawks. Seattle scored on a long fake punt and managed to take advantage of some major 49er mistakes, namely Jimmy Garoppolo interceptions and roughing the passer calls. The 49ers had first-and-goal at the 7 with a chance to tie or win, but got stopped on downs.
The Texans have not been competitive in many of their losses this season, but Seattle is closer to their level than a lot of the teams that they have faced. All things considered, Houston’s defense isn’t awful, ranked 10th in DVOA and sixth in Pass DVOA. The Texans can’t stop the run, but the Seahawks are not a great rushing team.
Seattle’s defense ranks in the bottom third of the NFL against the pass and just lost Jamal Adams for the season. Davis Mills doesn’t go vertical a lot, but there may be some opportunities to make plays on the scramble or with a few deep shots.
The Seahawks have no playoff hopes, but they might get up to play spoiler, like we saw last week against the 49ers and like we could see next week against the Rams. I’m not sure we get a fully invested effort in this one and we have two uncreative offenses that are likely to bog this game down. With a low total, in that kind of environment, the dog looks attractive, even if it is one of those ugly, hairless breeds.
Pick: Texans, -8.5.
Washington quarterback Taylor HeinickeAP
Cowboys (-4.5, 48) at Washington Football Team
The Football Team is on the move in the NFC East and an upset special this week against the Cowboys could make things very interesting.
The WFT struggled early in the season because of third-down issues and red-zone failures. In its four victories since the bye, it is 29-for-58 on third down and 9-for-16 in the red zone. While a 56-percent success rate in the red zone still isn’t quite good enough, Washington’s third-down defense has improved and the defense as a whole has gotten stingier.
The Football Team has held six straight opponents to 310 or fewer yards and each of the past five opponents to 21 or fewer points.
Dallas, meanwhile, is all over the place right now, as COVID-19 and injuries have derailed some of the team’s progress. The defense lives on takeaways, but has allowed 5.9 yards per play otherwise. Dallas can be beaten on the ground and through the air. The Cowboys rank second in third-down defense, which seems like an area ripe for regression, and a Washington team that is greatly improved on third down looks like a good spot for it to happen.
Maybe the Football Team won’t come away with the upset, but a 4.5-point spread is a little too high.
Pick: Washington, +4.5.
This is the week to finally bet on the Texans appeared first on maserietv.com.