Good picks don’t always win, bad picks always lose.
The trick is, to get on the other side of a bad pick. It takes courage, it most often requires backing the one team no one wants. Yet, if that team nobody wants is up against an overrated opponent based not on their own merit, but more on the perceived ineptness of their home underdog opponent, then we have a squad at rock bottom ready to bounce.
When a team at rock bottom meets a road favorite that is only giving points on the spread because of the current dismal assessment of the home team, rock bottom is about to have a good day.
The Seattle Seahawks opened their season at home with a one-point victory over the still winless Cincinnati Bengals. In second week action, they beat Pittsburgh at Heinz Field after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was forced out of action with a season-ending elbow injury. Seattle lost at home to the New Orleans Saints next, and then ran off three straight wins over the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. Those results preceded last week’s home loss to John Harbaugh’s Ravens, 30-16.
The Seahawks 5-2 won/loss record is well ahead of expected results for a team that has only outscored their opponents this season by five points. A Seattle blowout in Atlanta is much more unlikely than either a straight up Falcons win, or final score that has the point spread determine the result.
This is an Atlanta team that has lost all but one game this season, that a second week of action triumph over the team that ended and opened their prior two seasons with losses, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons have been favored twice this year and never got more than four points on the spread. But today, the Falcons get a bloated line while nearly 90% of the wagers on this game back the visiting Seahawks.
The spread was held back most of the week while it was determined if Matt Ryan, the Falcons veteran quarterback, would be available. He is not. So a game that was set to open with the Falcons getting the same number of points they got last week when the Los Angeles Rams visited Mercedes-Benz Stadium, three, now opened with Atlanta getting 6½ points.
Bettors in the sportsbooks found the news that Ryan was out like uncovered inside info, as opposed to a factor already considered in releasing the game with Seattle favored by 6½ points. Crowds jammed sportsbooks to get down on the Seahawks. They were going against the team that lost 37-10 last week and now is without their longtime starting quarterback. By Sunday morning, the point spread has grown to Atlanta giving nine points in some outlets, it may go higher before kickoff.
While the success of Kyle Allen, who replaced Cam Newton after he was injured and has guided Carolina to four straight wins, might not be realized by Atlanta backup Matt Schaub, the 38-year old 16-year NFL veteran is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. While those honors in 2009 and 2012 were both achieved while Schaub was a member of the Houston Texans, he began and likely will complete his career in Atlanta.
While most view the drop from Ryan to Schaub dramatic, it is also just the remedy for a Falcons team that has been underachieving all season.
You don’t want the Falcons today?
You don’t need them, you only need to be on the other side of a back pick, which the Seahawks are.
Qoxhi Picks: Atlanta Falcons (+8½) over Seattle Seahawks