Seattle Seahawks (0-0) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0), Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
NFL Week 1: Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4:25 ET.
The NFL season gets underway as a rematch of the 2014 Super Bowl will take place when the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos. Denver holds the edge in the series, posting a 34-21-0 record all time, but Seattle has won the last two contests between these two teams, both occurring in 2014. The Seahawks won a September 21 contest at home 26-20, seven months after defeating Denver in the Super Bowl 43-8. The last contest that the Broncos posted between these two teams was 2010, a 31-14 Denver victory.
Is Seattle Sliding Down
As long as the Seattle Seahawks have Russell Wilson as their quarterback there are going to be Super Bowl aspirations. However, this is a team coming off a 9-7 season where their defense was not the dominant force fans had become accustomed to. In addition, the team lost all four of their preseason games and the NFC West is a lot more challenging now that the Los Angeles Rams have really come into their own. Seattle was 5-3 on the road last season and they were 2-2 against AFC teams.
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
Wilson continues to be the heart and soul of this team, throwing for 3983 yards and 34 touchdowns last season. He also led the team in rushing in 2017, gaining 586 yards and three scores. Seattle looked to bolster their offense of attack by drafting Rashaad Penny from San Diego State, who has good size and speed and gained over 2000 yards for the Aztecs last season. The wide receiver corps is not spectacular, and the loss of Jimmy Graham should be tough, but Wilson is very much like Tom Brady in that he can make mediocre receivers look better than average.
The big loss on defense was cornerback Richard Sherman defecting to San Francisco. This was a defense that was already on the downslide, finishing 11th in yards against average (323.2) and 13th in points allowed (20.8). Seattle was 11th in points scored (22.9) and 15th in yards gained (330.4) and we will probably have to see a lot more of that for Seattle to compete in this tough NFC West.
Can Case Keenum Bring Magic to Denver?
The Denver Broncos saw their vaunted defense struggled to keep opposing offenses out of the end zone last season, dropping to 22nd in points allowed. It was still a stout group, allowing only 290.0 yards per game, third in the NFL, but the lack of offense behind erratic quarterback play stymied this team from having any kind of success. That led to a 5-11 record where the Broncos were uncharacteristically mediocre at home, finishing 4-4. They were also 1-3 against NFC teams.
To solve this problem, the Broncos turn to Minnesota Viking castaway Case Keenum. Keenum was the third-string quarterback in Minnesota last season, but took over in Week 2, leading the team to a 13-3 record and a trip to the NFC Championship game. Keenum had a solid 67.6 completion percentage, threw for 3547 yards and 22 touchdowns while only being intercepted seven times. He will be a huge upgrade for the Denver offense, helping to keep this team from wearing down.
The defense should be borderline spectacular, especially with the addition of Bradley Chubb from North Carolina State. Paired with linebacker Von Miller, the two could be the most dynamic set of linebackers in the NFL, and this should be a group that gets after the quarterback this year. Denver was 12th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed at 115.8, and 20th in passing yards allowed at 208.3. Expect both those numbers to improve.
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games on the road.
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in the first week of the season.
- 1-5 ATS in their last six September games.
- 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine September games.
- 4-1-1 ATS in the last six years in Week 1 of the season.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
- 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
The Winner Prediction
This is not going to be as strong of a Seattle Seahawks team as we have seen in the past, but they still have the right kind of weapons to be a threat Denver. Denver may still win this game but considering that Seattle is 5-2 ATS in the last seven contests between these two teams in Denver, the Seahawks are the smart pick.
The Pick: Seattle Seahawks (+3.0) (-110)
There seems to be one thing that is always true when these two teams meet and Denver, and that is that the total will go over. It has gone over in six of the last seven meetings between the two in the Mile High City and there is enough offense on both teams to replicate that trend.
The Pick: Over 42.0 (-110)