Can one key injury change the course of a team’s season? Well, if that injury is to Russell Wilson, the answer would be yes. The good news for the Seattle Seahawks is that the finger injury won’t end Wilson’s season. According to the team he could be back in a few weeks.
Unfortunately they have to play games in the meantime starting with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Seahawks move forward with Geno Smith as this week’s starter and they are catching 4.5-points on the NFL betting line.
The Week 6 NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers will take place at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA at 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 17 and will be televised on NBC.
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Seattle Seahawks +4.5 | Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5 [BET NOW]
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers Money Line
Seattle Seahawks +192 | Pittsburgh Steelers -230 [BET NOW]
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers Over/Under
Over/Under 42.5 [BET NOW]
When the early lines came out the Seahawks were a slight 2-point favorite. That all changed with what happened last week. The dropoff from Wilson to Smith is pretty significant and action on the Steelers proved it. The weekend line had Pittsburgh -4 and that’s been wagered to Pittsburgh -5.
Wilson is definitely worth points to Seattle, but I think the betting public is going more against the Seahawks than they are for Pittsburgh. Injuries have also affected the total. Early betting saw the number at 47.5 but oddsmakers adjusted to 43 on the weekend line. And we saw that number drop another half-point to 42.5.
Don’t stick a fork in the Seahawks just yet. They did have the benefit of a mini-bye following their Week 5 Thursday night loss to the Rams where they failed to cover as a 2.5-point home favorite falling to 2-3 SU and ATS. Of course they didn’t expect to lose Wilson in that game either. This is the first time in a long time Wilson won’t start. His streak of 149 consecutive starts – every game since the beginning of the 2012 season – will come to an end on SNF.
Backups are told they are one play away from becoming a starter. Well, here you go Mr. Smith. A second-round pick of the Jets in 2013, Smith started 29 games over his first two seasons. He’s played in just 12 games since making a total of two starts. His career numbers aren’t great with a completion percentage less than 58 and more interceptions than touchdown passes. He got his feet wet against the Rams and directed a 98-yard touchdown drive by going 5 of 5 for 72 yards with a scoring strike to D.K. Metcalf.
The offense won’t be as explosive without Wilson leaving the defense to pick up some slack. The group was gouged for 476 yards by the Rams and ranks last in the NFL allowing 450.8 yards per game. The defense needs to step it up a notch and Smith can’t turn the ball over. It’s a recipe that worked in San Francisco in Week 4 and the Steelers are a beatable opponent.
The Steelers snapped out of their funk with a 27-19 cover win over the Broncos last week ending a three-game SU and ATS slide. They didn’t look good in losses to Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Green Bay, and will have to navigate the remainder of the season without standout receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, who sustained a shoulder injury last week.
Still, it might have been a season-changing win for the Steelers, who got a balanced offensive effort. Ben Roethlisberger looked more comfortable in the pocket throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 15 of 25 passing and Najee Harris rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts as the Steelers amassed 391 yards against a good Broncos group. It seems like Big Ben is showing trust in an offensive line that was rebuilt during the offseason.
That could lead to a big game for Pittsburgh against a leaky group of Seattle defenders. Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are likely to get more targets in the passing game and Harris looks every bit the destructive runner he showed at Alabama. We haven’t seen the best of the Steelers defense, though they played a strong game against the Broncos. They concede 361 yards per game but allow just 22.4 points to rank 10th in the NFL.
Seahawks vs Steelers Prediction
If the Steelers can find consistency with their offense the OVER is in serious trouble; as that number continues to drop the value just increases. Pittsburgh cashed the OVER for the first time in last week’s game and we’ll see something similar on Sunday night. Despite injuries both clubs still have enough weapons to score points and I’m not giving up on Seattle just yet. I’ll back the visitors and the points since few people are.
Our Prediction: Seattle Seahawks +4.5 and OVER 42.5
View NFL Week 6 odds.