MINNESOTA (-10.5) 26 Seattle 21
Seattle 21 MINNESOTA 30 if Seattle CB Wilson is out
Minnesota's offense is tough to stop right now with Brett Favre throwing the ball so well as teams concentrate on stopping running back Adrian Peterson. However, the Vikings are a bit vulnerable on defense, allowing 5.2 yards per play to a schedule of teams that would combine to average 5.0 yppl against an average team.
Seattle's offense played well last week, as having Sean Locklear back at left tackle makes a huge difference in the rushing attack and Justin Forsett looks like a very capable back after running for 123 yards on 17 carries last week against a very good Arizona Cardinals' run defense. Seattle has run for 4.9 ypr in the 3 games with Locklear playing (against teams that would allow just 4.2 ypr to an average team), so Seattle should be able to have some success running the ball and Matt Hasselbeck is certainly capable of throwing the ball with success against a sub-par Vikings' pass defense that has allowed 5.9 yards per pass play to quarterbacks that would combine to average 5.7 yppp against an average team.
Minnesota should score a good number of points too, especially if Seattle's top cornerback Josh Wilson has to sit out with a concussion he suffered last week. The Seahawks were destroyed through the air by Chicago and Indianapolis in the two games that Wilson missed earlier in the season, so his questionable status is my biggest concern. With Wilson the Seahawks have a better than average pass defense to go along with a very good run defense that's allowed just 3.8 ypr if you exclude their week 2 game against San Francisco in which run stuffing DL Brandon Mebane was out and Frank Gore ran for touchdowns of 80 yards and 79 yards.
With Wilson starting I would favor Minnesota by 9 points and I'd make it 13 point of Wilson and other starting CB Marcus Trufant are both out (Trufant is also questionable with a concussion). I'll still lean with Seattle on the basis of a very negative 49-107-1 ATS big home favorite letdown situation that applies to the Vikings.
A Vikings' letdown certainly seems like a good possibility after consecutive wins over division rivals, as teams with winning records are just 24-65 ATS as favorites of 3 points or more against losing teams after winning and covering the spread in consecutive games against a divisional foes. I'll consider Seattle a Strong Opinion at +10 points or more if Josh Wilson is upgraded to probable.
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