NFL

Monday Night Football Betting: Can Seattle or Washington Start a Playoff Push?

Is this the game that Russell Wilson is able to cook, or does the Football Team cook Seattle's season?

Tonight’s matchup features two teams whose seasons aren’t going quite as planned.

The Seattle Seahawks ship on over to FedEx field to take on the Washington Football Team. Each team had division title (or at least playoff) aspirations to start the season, but as of now, our models give the Seahawks and Football Team just 2.5% and 3.4% chances to make the playoffs, respectively.

Here is how numberFire ranks each team heading into tonight’s game using our nERD metric and Net Expected Points (NEP):

Team nERD nERD Rank Off NEP Rank Def NEP Rank
Seattle Seahawks -1.51 19 20 13
Washington Football Team -5.55 25 13 31

Inside the Standard Bets

Our model is giving the slightest edge to Washington. It believes they win outright 53.6% of the time despite the fact they are currently underdogs at FanDuel Sportsbook (+1 | -110). So we obviously don’t like taking the Seahawks to cover the one-point spread (-110) nor their moneyline (-116)

Our model does find a bit of value in Washington's moneyline (-102), and, obviously, the Football Team to cover the one-point spread. Each is rated as a one-star bet -- though taking them to win outright provides better odds at a minimal cost.

We have a two-star wager rating on under 47.5 points (-115). Recent history also points to this outcome as well. Each of the last eight (yes, eight) Seahawks games have fallen short of the total, and four of the last five contests for Washington have stayed under the game total as well.

Player and Team Prop Value Bets

Seahawks running back Alex Collins has at least 10 rushing attempts in each of Seattle’s last seven games. While his production on the ground has been modest over that span (median 44 yards), our model numberFire’s player projection model puts him at 56.9 rushing yards tonight. Travis Homer and Rashaad Penny are out as well, so take the over on his 44.5-yard prop (-110).

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke has had a steady increase in his rushing yardage over the last three weeks, and he tallied 29 yards in last week’s win over Carolina Panthers. Our model also forecasts his rushing output at 23.1 yards, so there’s value in taking the over (-110) on his 18.5 rushing yardage line.

Heineke has gone over this line in 6 of his 10 career starts, and this includes a 95-yard rushing game in Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers. Seattle's last matchup with a quarterback that was top-10 in rushing yards at the position was against Ryan Tannehill in Week 2, so they're relatively untested as a defense in this department.

I already mentioned taking the under the points total, but if we dig a little deeper, we find a couple more value bets that correlate with the under, too.

Washington is 27th in the league when it comes to putting up points in the game’s first quarter, averaging 2.5 points. Seattle isn’t much better; they rank 18th averaging just 3.4 first quarter points. With the first-quarter line of 9.5 total points, these two slow starting offenses point at taking the under here (-114).

Not only do these teams not score many first-quarter points, but if they do, it’s not often by crossing the goal line. Each team has played ten games so far this season, and Seattle has hit paydirt just four times in the first quarter. Washington has done so only once.

Neither team scoring a touchdown in the first quarter is currently set at +240 odds, and if it hits, it likely parlays into good news for the aforementioned entire game total.

Washington's pass defense is 31st in numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, but Washington's red-zone percentage (60%) is an average 16th in the league. Passing yardage props for Tyler Lockett (67.5) and D.K. Metcalf (65.5) are still viable options even with the under in tow. Metcalf's median projection at numberFire is 67.30 yards despite a 65.5 prop at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Final Notes

-- Seattle has lost their last two games outright, while Washington won their last two games outright.

-- The Football Team is 3-7 Against-the-Spread (ATS) this season, and Seattle is 5-5 ATS in 2021. The Seahawks are just 3-4 ATS with Russell Wilson starting, though.

-- Seattle's current streak of eight straight games under the total is part of a larger streak where just 2 of Seattle's last 18 contests have gone over the total.