Sunday Night Football Preview

Patriots at Seahawks

Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game. We’ll look at SNF betting odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the best sportsbook promotions for SNF.

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks meet at CenturyLink Field on Sunday Night Football in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. It’s one of five Week 2 games between two 1-0 teams. The two sides are meeting for just the second time since the Patriots’ famous 28-24 win in Super Bowl XLIX. Seattle won the last head-to-head contest 31-24 in Foxborough (Nov. 13, 2016).

Veteran head coaches Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll had their teams showing no ill-effects of the canceled preseason in Week 1. New England dispatched the Miami Dolphins 21-11 at Gillette Stadium. Seattle went on the road to hand the Atlanta Falcons a 38-25 loss.

The Seahawks come into their 2020 home opener as 4-point favorites. It’s their first of two primetime home games in a four-week stretch, as they’ll host the Minnesota Vikings on SNF in Week 5. The Patriots won’t make their next primetime appearance until they play the New York Jets on the road in the Week 9 Monday nighter.

There’ll be no 12th man for the Seahawks Sunday. They’ll be playing the first of at least three home games to start the season with no fans present at CenturyLink Field due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SNF betting odds and analysis


The Seahawks are laying 4 points on the spread as home favorites with both sides getting -110 odds to cover. Seattle has already been bet up from opening at 3.5 points last week.

Our top US sportsbooks are split on projecting the point total. DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet have it at an even 45 with -110 odds on either side. FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM have the line at 44.5 with vig ranging from -110 to -120 on the Over.

Patriots at Seahawks game matchup

It was a marquee offseason addition stealing the show for both the Patriots and Seahawks in Week 1. 

Patriots QB Cam Newton, signed to a 1-year, $1.75-million free-agent contract following his release from the Carolina Panthers, completed 15 of 19 passes for 155 yards while rushing 15 times for another 75 yards and two touchdowns. Seahawks S Jamal Adams, acquired via trade from the New York Jets, recorded a sack and eight solo tackles (12 combined), two tackles for loss, and two QB hits while playing 100% of the defensive snaps.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson picked up in midseason form in the opener. He completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns with another 29 yards on the ground. He finished as the team’s leading rusher with RBs Carlos Hyde and Chris Carson adding 23 and 21 yards on the ground, respectively.

Hyde found the end zone as a rusher, while Carson had 45 yards and two scores as a receiver. Free-agent addition TE Greg Olsen caught all four of his targets for 24 yards and his first touchdown with the Seahawks. The Seattle defense recorded just two sacks with one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Newton led the Pats in rushing in his debut following a 2019 season lost to injury. RB Sony Michel ran for 37 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts. Julian Edelman was the team’s leading receiver with 57 yards. The New England defense collected three interceptions off of Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Both teams won the time of possession battle in their season-opening win. The Seahawks were 3-for-9 on third downs and took six penalties for a total of 46 yards. The Patriots were 5-for-10 on third-down plays and took just three penalties but for 47 yards.

Seahawks WR Phillip Dorsett (foot) will be questionable to face his former team after sitting out Week 1. Fellow former Patriots receiver Josh Gordon remains suspended. Patriots WRs Edelman (knee) and N’Keal Harry (shoulder) were both limited in practice Wednesday but should be good to go by Sunday night.

Sunday Night Football betting breakdown

The Pats received 65% of the betting handle and 58% of the bet percentage on ATS tickets for their game against the Dolphins at DraftKings in Week 1. The Seahawks took 74% of the handle and 76% of bets against the Falcons. Both teams drew over 60% of the handle and at least 65% of bets on the moneyline.

Both teams covered the spread in Week 1. The Seahawks opened as favorites but closed as 1-point underdogs and won by 13; the Patriots covered by 2.5 points in a 10-point win. Seattle and Atlanta topped their projected point total by 13.5 points. New England and Miami fell 9.5 points shy of the projection.

Each of the last five head-to-head meetings dating back to Oct. 17, 2004, played to a total of at least 45 points. Only one of those games was decided by a margin greater than seven points. Both teams won once as a road team.

The offenses seemed to have a slight early advantage against defenses in Week 1 without preseason games. Nine of 16 opening games played to the Over on the projected point total. 

Home favorites went 6-4 against the spread; road underdogs went 4-6 straight up. Three of last week’s four primetime games played to the Under with the exception being the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans on opening night.

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How to watch Sunday Night Football

NBC will air all Sunday Night Football games.

The Week 17 TV spot on Jan. 3, 2021 will remain open until much later in the season, as potential playoff battles will factor into the league’s flexible scheduling decisions.

The games can also be streamed all season on NBC’s website and the NBCSports mobile apps. NBC is also included in most packages on streaming services such as fuboTV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV.

SNF drew an average of 20.5 million viewers in 2019. It was Sunday Night Football’s best ratings in four years.

SNF’s Week 1 TV ratings in 2020 were not great, however, as there was a 15% drop in viewership from the previous year. The game in 2020 featured Cowboys vs. Rams, while the 2019 opener was the Patriots vs. Steelers.

SNF betting tips

How to bet Sunday Night Football like a sharp

Casual bettors can get swept up by the hype and hoopla circulating Sunday Night Football. Analysts, reporters and local news crews have a full week to pump out every different angle to the game and dig for stories. Players can add to the mirage on social media whether by talking up their own team or taking too many shots at the opposition.

Learn to separate the hype from fact and don’t fall victim to live-betting out of boredom if the game ends up being a dud. Look at the lines early in the week to assess the odds before the public money starts pouring in and either bet on the numbers set by the books or sit and wait to see if the line shifts in your favor. Reassess later in the week and bet against the public if the line shifts too heavily based on nothing more than favoritism.

The standalone nature of the game also draws in more bets as the entire nation is focused on one single game, which, more often than not, is no bigger than the dozen or so games which preceded it that week. If you want to be a winning bettor, never bet just to add to the excitement (or create excitement around a lackluster matchup). Wait to see if the favorite falls behind early and then is given a high number as a sudden in-game underdog. Carefully browse through lines on prop bets, looking at different sportsbooks and pick the best value. Shop around and pick on a book that seems out of touch with the others. Don’t scoff at an easier play on the point spread in search of a big payday with a heavy underdog winning outright.

Home teams are often overvalued in primetime games. Do the research, keep up to date with injury news and look at the matchup in a vacuum and see if the odds check out. Be careful not to look too much at individual players returning to their hometown, being reported as having “extra motivation” or who may be close to statistical milestones. Few wide receivers, for example, can seriously impact a game on their own, especially when facing a top corner who’s fully aware of their motivation in the one-on-one matchup.

Look for teams and especially head coaches who thrive under the spotlight and more importantly the additional preparation time. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots are given more primetime slots than the average team. This experience can give them an edge in certain matchups against teams who may be overwhelmed from all the added media attention and interview requests.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does Sunday Night Football start?

Sunday Night Football kicks off every week from Sept. 13 through Jan. 3 at 8:20 p.m. Eastern. The ‘Football Night in America’ pregame show begins at 7 p.m. Eastern. NBC first started airing SNF for the 2006 season, taking over from ESPN.

How to stream Sunday Night Football?

Never miss a SNF game when you’re on the go with the NBCSports mobile apps. Cord-cutters can also use streaming services such as Hulu which includes NBC in most of its packages.

Who are the SNF announcers?

The SNF broadcasts are brought to us each week by booth announcers Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (color commentary), field reporter Michele Tayofa and rules expert Terry McAulay. Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio make up the pregame show.

Who was the original Sunday Night Football broadcast crew?

Cris Collinsworth replaced legendary former head coach John Madden as the color commentator beside Michaels in 2009.

Who sings the Sunday Night Football theme song?

Country music star Carrie Underwood has been singing the SNF theme since 2013, replacing fellow country star Faith Hill, who replaced pop star Pink after just one season in 2007. The current song is titled “Game On,” replacing “Oh, Sunday Night” which updated “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” in 2016.