DALLAS (-9.5) 23 Seattle 19
Dallas is one of the top 3 offensive teams in the NFL, along with New Orleans and Indianapolis, but their is evidence to suggest that the Seahawks are better defensively than their mediocre numbers show. Seattle's run defense has allowed 4.4 ypr this season, but they allowed 256 yards at 8.8 ypr in week 2 against San Francisco when run stuffing DT Brandon Mebane was out.
In the other 5 games with Mebane the Seahawks have given up just 3.2 ypr and have not allowed more than 86 rushing yards in any of those games. Seattle's pass defense is 0.2 yards per pass play better than average for the season (6.0 yppp allowed to teams that would average 6.2 yppp against an average defense), but top CB Josh Wilson missed week's 3 and 4 and the Seahawks were beaten for 586 yards at 8.3 yppp by Chicago and Indy with Wilson out.
In 4 games with Wilson the Seahawks rate at 0.7 yppp better than average. Seahawks' Pro Bowl LB Lofa Tatupu is out for the season of the season but I think he's overrated and new starter David Hawthorne had 16 tackles and an interception subbing for Tatupu in week 3 against Chicago. As good as Seattle might be defensively they still aren't nearly as good as a Dallas offense that has averaged 7.0 yards per play against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team.
Seattle's offense hasn't been as good with Matt Hasselback at quarterback as it is with backup Seneca Wallace, as Hasselbeck has averaged just 5.6 yards per pass play despite facing teams that would allow 6.6 yppp to an average quarterback. Seattle also hasn't been able to run the ball since LT Sean Locklear was sidelined in week 2 with a badly sprained ankle. I rate Seattle's offense at 0.9 yppl worse than average with their current lineup, so an improving Dallas defense (although still 0.4 yppl worse than average for the season) has an advantage in that match-up.
My math model favors Dallas by 10 1/2 points in this game, but Dallas applies to a very negative 69-142-3 ATS big home favorite letdown situation and I'll certainly lean with Seattle plus the points based on that angle. I'll consider Seattle a Strong Opinion if the line goes up to +10 or more.
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