NFL Playoffs 2011: Saints/Seahawks Betting Odds and Pick

Considering that the Seattle Seahawks are the first ever team to make the NFL playoffs with a losing record, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Vegas has them as a hefty underdog in Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Online betting group doesn’t envision a close contest as the betting line is currently Seattle +10.5 points.

The bettors agree with the odds-makers, as 80 percent of the Saints-Seahawks point spread money is on the defending Super Bowl champion Saints.

It’s really hard to blame the early football betting crowd for piling it on the Saints since the Seahawks will somewhat limp into Wild Card weekend with a 7-9 record. Moreover, only three of those victories came within the last ten weeks, and during that 10-game stretch, Seattle was held to under 20 points six times.

The Saints, on the other hand, have the talent to score with ease. Although offensive numbers are down from a season ago, they still averaged 24 points per game this season.

Seattle is a tough place to play, though. During the past two seasons, the Seahawks have been 10-6 against the spread (ATS) in front of the home crowd.

The Saints had an impressive road record of 6-2 this season, but were just 3-5 ATS. Additionally, they had many close road games versus inferior opponents such as San Francisco, Dallas and Cincinnati.  All those games were decided by four points or fewer.  

The Saints will go into Saturday's game with a very banged-up running attack. Leading rusher Chris Ivory will be a no-go after being placed on injured reserve with a left foot injury. Pierre Thomas will also miss the playoffs on injured reserve.

The Seahawks' biggest concern will be who is under center for them Saturday. Charlie Whitehurst filled in admirably for Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle’s victory over the St. Louis Rams Sunday night, but there is little doubt the Seahawks will need Hasselbeck in the lineup if they expect to pull the upset. Saints vs. Seahawks Prediction and Pick

Throw away what happened during the regular season, this is the playoffs. Remember the Cardinals' run in 2009? Fact is that 10.5 points is a lot of points for a home team to get. When you factor in the Saints backfield woes and the Seahawks' propensity for upping their game at Qwest Field, Seattle will cover the double-digit point spread.


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