2002 Season NFL Football Past Picks
November 17, 2002
Denver at Seattle
Sunday 11/17 04:15 PM Eastern
4 units on Seattle +5 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: LOSS
On the surface this looks like a game that Denver should win easily and win big. One of the league’s elite offenses steps on to the field against one of the league’s worst defenses. A top 5 team gets to pound a poor team with a backup QB. It’s a no-brainer, right? Well, let’s look deeper.
No one can seem to explain why Denver got spanked by Oakland on Monday night. Do they just choke in big games? Did Oakland just figure out how to win again? Were the Broncos just off for a night? No one, including Denver players and coaches, seems to know and that isn’t good for the Ponies. Meanwhile, Seattle cruised to a surprise win over Arizona last week and is riding a wave of newfound confidence.
Denver spent a lot of emotion last week, leaving little left over for this week against a disappointing Seattle team. This isn’t even a divisional matchup for Denver anymore. They are still thinking more about last week’s loss to the hated Raiders (again under the national spotlight) than about this week’s opponent.
Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck found his rhythm last week. He isn’t going to kill you deep but if he watched the Denver/Oakland game, he noticed how the Broncos struggled big-time against the short passes.
Seattle’s defense (13th in the league) is better than Denver’s (21st in the league) and the Hawks’ passing D is 7th in the league.
Seattle has several strong situational trends supporting a cover this week including two that favor home teams that are 32-7 and 23-4, respectively, against the spread.
My statistical analysis and power ratings tell me that Denver should only be favored by a point or two. Although Denver is the better team, Seattle should keep this close enough to cover and could surprise everyone with a win.