Seattle Seahawks -3½ at Buffalo is totally emblematic of NFL football in 2020

America’s myriad socio-/econo-/political oddities have certainly made for some high-quality dumpster-fire viewing. In the NFL, the result has been fan-less arenas, emergency cancellations of games (this week, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings is an endangered species, and Matthew Stafford is out regardless, as he’s sidelined as Covid positive) and the once-every-24-year schedule that has essentially nearly every Eastern and Pacific Time Zone-based team crisscrossing the country for away games several times this season.

But here’s what’s interesting: On the macro level, the 2020 effect has leavened the playing field for NFL bettors even while stuff like the Dallas Cowboys starting out 0-8 ATS happens. To cite some of the more interesting statistics…

•  The home team in all games is – get this – 60-59-1 SU and 55-65 ATS, a win rate of 45.8% and a difference of a little more than one extra visiting team winning ATS per week.

•  The six PT-based teams (Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, “Los Angeles”, Las Vegas and Arizona) are just 12-9 SU/11-10 ATS at home but are an impressive 16-8 ATS in away games.

•  Overs are 63-55-2, or 53.33%, or a difference of one extra game going over every other week. In addition, overs are 27-29-1 since week 5.

The point here – at least NFLbets hopes so – is that the considerations vis-à-vis extraneous factors aren’t nearly as relevant as in season past. That said, NFLbets has eyes on…

Seattle Seahawks -3½ at Buffalo Bills, over/under 55½ points

Once again, the Seahawks are the favorite – in every game since week 1 at Atlanta (???) they’ve been so and with good reason. Seattle’s now 6-1 SU/5-2 ATS and boast the league’s highest-scoring offense and the top defense in generating turnovers. Russell Wilson-to-D.K. Metcalf has emerged as the top battery in the league, and the offensive line is top 10 in run blocking per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

The 6-2 Bills have similarly been favored in all but one game in 2020 thus far but are a weak 3-5 ATS; only twice winning by more than 7 points – by 10 and 8, respectively, in two games against the crazily bad New York Jets. Buffalo brings an average offense and bottom-10 running defense. Statistically, the Bills look good against the pass, but they’ve not yet seen an offense like Seattle’s. Buffalo has allowed just over 350 yards per game, whereas Seattle has run up less than 350 total yards just once.

The way NFLbets sees it, the line in this game is only as low as 3½ because of the East-West travel, but the Seahawks have had four weeks since their game at Miami and the Carroll-and-Wilson ’Hawks are 24-9 SU/22-9-2 ATS on the East Coast since 2012. And again, the Seahawks are just the better team. So NFLbets says take the Seatlle Seahawks -3½ at Buffalo.

We’re also saying take the under on an O/U of 55½, and we’re playing this one solely by the numbers: The over in Seahawks games is 5-2; in Bills games, it’s 5-2-1. With Seattle’s defense getting evermore bend-don’t-break (Arizona game notwithstanding) and Buffalo’s offense colling off (fewer than 19 ppg over the last four games…? Ouch), if this game’s score goes over, it’ll be in a Seahawks blowout. Slightly reverse logic it might be, but NFLbets also advises to take the Seahawks by 14 or more at +340.

2020 is awesome, eh…?

–written by Os Davis

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