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Seahawks at Steelers Betting Preview

Published on 10/16/2021
By Scott Gramling
Seattle backup Geno Smith
Seattle backup Geno Smith must keep the team afloat with Russell Wilson out.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
Sunday 10/17, 8:20 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Seahawks-Steelers:

1. There’s no denying the fact that Seattle’s defense has been abysmal this season, as the Seahawks enter Week 6 as the only NFL team that’s allowing an average of more than 450 total yards per game. After an encouraging start in which Seattle held the Colts to 336 total yards in a 28-16 season-opening victory as a 3-point favorite at Indianapolis, the Seahawks’ defense has surrendered more than 450 yards in four consecutive games. The team’s tendency, however, has been to right the ship after poor defensive performances: Prior to last Thursday’s 26-17 loss as a 2.5-point home underdog to the Rams, Seattle had been 6-0 both straight-up and against the spread under current head coach Pete Carroll when coming off back-to-back games of allowing at least 450 total yards, and the Seahawks had outscored opponents by an average margin of 11.8 points over those six games.

2. The Steelers haven’t won as a home favorite since a 19-14 victory while laying 11 to Baltimore in a game that was played on a Wednesday afternoon after being postponed three times from having originally been scheduled for last Thanksgiving. Current ESPN commentator Robert Griffin III started at quarterback for the Ravens, as reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson was one of more than a dozen Baltimore players who had been placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list. Since then, Pittsburgh has lost outright in each of its past four games as a home favorite, falling by an average margin of 10 points despite having been favored by more than 5 points in three of the four games.

3. In NFL games between teams with losing records that have a win percentage of at least .400 on the season, road underdogs are 17-9 straight-up and 22-4 against the spread since the start of the 2012 season, which includes a 9-1 against-the-spread record since the start of 2017. Such teams have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 3.4 points over those 26 games despite the fact that they’ve been an underdog by an average line of 4.4 points.

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