This cross-conference showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts is among the intriguing early-kickoff games on the first Sunday of the new NFL season. Both teams and their fanbases are optimistic about their respective title chances entering the season. Thanks to several moving parts and preseason injuries, the betting line for this game has undergone one of the biggest moves of the week.
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Opening Lines: Colts -3; O/U 52
Current Lines: Seahawks -3; O/U 50
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium — Indianapolis, IN
Start Time: 1 p.m. EDT
Last Meeting: October 1, 2017 — The Seahawks defeated the Colts 46-18 in Seattle
The Seahawks have garnered a reputation for their ability to continually live on the edge — and get away with it. Last season saw Seattle post an 8-3 SU record in games decided by eight or fewer points. While quarterback Russell Wilson cooled off dramatically as the season wore on following a blistering start, the Seahawks’ defense continuously improved. This Week 1 matchup presents a similar scenario to last year’s season-opener for Seattle, in which they traveled east and took down the Atlanta Falcons on the road.
Pretty much all of the key players are back offensively for the Seahawks this season, led, of course, by Wilson. Wideouts D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett form one of the best receiver duos in the NFL. They will be joined this year by free-agent tight end Gerald Everett. Chris Carson will again lead Seattle’s rushing attack. While the Seahawks boast a talented secondary that includes star safety Jamal Adams, the team will need to be better at generating a consistent pass rush than they were a year ago.
With Philip Rivers announcing his retirement, the Colts were forced to make a change at the quarterback position this offseason. Insert former No. 2 overall draft pick Carson Wentz, acquired via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles. The move reunites Wentz with coach Frank Reich, his former offensive coordinator in the Eagles’ Super Bowl-winning season. Unfortunately, a training camp foot injury and ensuing operation limited Wentz in terms of preseason reps. After initially being given a wide-ranging timetable to return, Wentz has officially been ruled active for this Week 1 tilt.
The injury to Wentz, coupled with numerous injuries to the Colts’ star-studded offensive line, led to the drastic move on the point spread for this game. After opening as three-point home favorites, the Colts now find themselves catching that same number even after the positive news regarding their quarterback. Wentz will also be without wideout T.Y. Hilton due to injury. A talented defense figures to keep Indianapolis competitive, but overcoming so many injuries will not be easy.
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- Seahawks went 8-9 against the spread (ATS) last season.
- The Over was 8-9 for the Seahawks last season.
- Colts went 9-8 ATS last season.
- The Over was 10-7 for the Colts last season.
- Home teams are 4-0, both SU and ATS in the last four head-to-head meetings between the teams.
If one goes based on the numbers, the Seahawks are again a prime regression candidate this season. However, there are far too many injuries and health concerns on the Colts’ side ahead of this Week 1 matchup to throw caution to the wind on the home underdog. While the lean in this spot has to be towards the home team catching points, bettors’ best bet is to go under the total. The best of the number is gone, but the Under is still in play at the current line of 50. The Colts’ offensive line injuries will aid Seattle defensively. At the same time, Indianapolis’ D will have the home field crowd noise to boost them. A sneaky under, but an intriguing one, nonetheless.
Pick: Under 50
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Henry John is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Henry, check out his archive.