The NFL playoffs open with Wild Card Weekend games this Saturday and Sunday. TheLines will provide betting breakdowns and analysis for every game throughout the playoffs. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the best sportsbook promotions.
The Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles will face off at Lincoln Financial Field for an NFC Wild Card game on Sunday afternoon. The game will mark the 18th meeting in a series the Seahawks lead, 10-7. This marks the first postseason meeting between Seattle and Philadelphia. The most recent game between the teams unfolded Nov. 24 of this season, a game the Seahawks won by a 17-9 margin.
Odds and Analysis
Depending where you look, this line is all over the place Sunday morning, swinging between Eagles -1 and Seahawks -1. The line on DK Sportsbook was markedly different when it first opened last Sunday, with the Eagles actually installed as three-point favorites initially. FanDuel opened the spread at Eagles -1.5, while PointsBet offered the most accurate opening number at Seahawks -1.5.
Although they recently lost running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise to season-ending hip and arm injuries, respectively, the Seahawks are still a healthier team than the depleted Eagles, which goes a long way toward explaining the line. Additionally, Seattle was a stellar road team throughout the regular season, posting a 7-1 record straight up outside CenturyLink Field. One of those victories was the aforementioned 17-9 win in Philadelphia in Week 12.
The projected total of 46 points at most sportsbooks seems to represent a compromise between both team’s defensive weaknesses and their injury-hampered offenses. As pointed out earlier, the Eagles are much more compromised and stand to be even more so if Miles Sanders (ankle) and Zach Ertz (ribs) are forced to sit out this game. However, it’s worth noting the Seahawks managed just 174 net passing yards in their prior encounter with Philadelphia this season, and their biggest offensive weapon in that game, running back Rashaad Penny (14-129-1 on the ground), is now on injured reserve.
Eagles vs. Seahawks game matchup
Two teams that were heading in opposite directions at the end of the regular season always make for interesting postseason dance partners. That’s the case in this matchup. The Eagles parlayed a season-ending 4-0 sweep of NFC East opponents to vault into the playoffs as division champs. In turn, the Seahawks went 1-3 over the final quarter of their 2019 campaign, losing to all three of their NFC West mates in the process.
The Seahawks will be looking to revive an offense that essentially was the root cause of that skid. Seattle scored just 36 combined points over their three December defeats to the Rams, Cardinals and 49ers. They did capitalize on a disinterested and overmatched Panthers squad for 30 points in their one win during that span.
However, there are no Panthers-defense-caliber matchups awaiting them in the postseason. Even an Eagles squad that allowed 241.6 passing yards per game overall presents a much stiffer challenge than the numbers indicate. That’s because the majority of Philly’s issues in the secondary came when traveling – they allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per home contest (196.4). There’s no relief on the ground for Seattle, either; in fact, the matchup there is arguably worse for a backfield consisting of rookie Travis Homer and just-off-the-couch Marshawn Lynch. The Eagles finished the regular season tied with the Patriots for fewest rushing yards allowed per home game (77.2)
The Eagles are presented with the frustrating scenario of a tantalizing matchup they’re currently ill-equipped to fully exploit. The Seahawks’ secondary has been the weak link of the defense and allowed 261.4 passing yards per road game. That figure equated to the sixth-most passing yards allowed to quarterbacks (4,407) and a 64.3 completion rate surrendered. Carson Wentz has the talent to capitalize, but he’ll be working with an injury-hampered group of receivers good enough to squeak by the likes of the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins at the end of the season. Whether they can hold up against postseason-level intensity is another matter. Then, the aforementioned potential absence of Ertz, who is an invaluable piece to have when you’re short on the wideout front like Philadelphia, dampens their prospects further.
The ground game could also be down its most explosive member in rookie Miles Sanders. The Penn State product averaged 18 carries for 82 yards in the three full games he played during the Eagles’ season-ending four-game run, while adding an average of five receptions for 50.3 yards in that span as well. Boston Scott compiled 128 total yards and three rushing touchdowns after Sanders went down in the second quarter Week 17. But, the matchup against Seattle’s front seven is appreciably more difficult: the Seahawks allow a relatively stingy 115.2 rushing yards per road contest and yielded the 10th-fewest rushing yards to running backs this season (1,318).
KEY MATCHUP: Seahawks passing game vs. Eagles secondary. As previously illustrated, the matchup on the ground against Philadelphia couldn’t be any worse for Seattle, especially with their patchwork backfield. If Russell Wilson can’t crack the code of Philly’s extremely stingy home secondary, it figures to be a long day for the Seahawks’ offense and significantly lessens their chances of escaping with a road win.
Betting breakdown: by the numbers
The Seahawks lead the all-time series with the Eagles by a 10-7 margin. Seattle has won five consecutive games in the series, with Philadelphia’s recent victory having come Nov. 2 of the 2008 season by a 26-7 score.
The Seahawks were 7-8-1 (46.7 percent) against the spread during the regular season, including 5-2-1 (71.4 percent) as an away team. Then, the Over was 8-7-1 (53.3 percent) in the Seahawks’ games this season, including 4-4 in their away games.
The Eagles were 7-9 (43.8 percent) against the spread during the regular season, including 3-5 (37.5 percent) as a home team. Then, the Over was 8-8 in the Eagles’ games this season, including 2-6 (25.0 percent) in their home games.
Eagles vs. Seahawks predictions
Check out this article at PlayPicks for betting picks and predictions for Eagles and Seahawks, including our thoughts on the spread, moneyline, total, and props for the game.