Written by Rohit Ghosh
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It’s week 17 of the NFL season and our award winning computer has picks against the spread, on totals, and on the money line for every week 17 contest on the NFL Expert Picks page.
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Week 17: Seattle Seahawks & St. Louis Rams
The Seattle Seahawks look to extend their winning streak to five games this week as the St. Louis Rams come to town. The Seahawks are arguably the best team in the NFL right now, and are riding a promising wave of momentum. Over the last three games they have outscored their opponents 150-30. Seattle has to win this Sunday to have any chance of winning the NFC West.
AccuScore projections heavily favor Seattle, giving them a 81.3 percent chance at getting the win. The average score in simulations is 28-15. Seattle has a 56.1 percent chance at covering the -10.5 spread with a 51.2 percent chance the total score goes over 41. The safest bet to take here would be to take Seattle and the money line; keep in mind, Seattle has a 60.1 percent chance at a big win (10 points or more).
The Seahawks are coming off an impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers (42-13) when rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a season-high four TDs. Wilson has been getting better and better each week, improving his accuracy and limiting his turnovers. The most impressive part of his game, at least for someone with such little experience in the league, has been his ability to extend plays. He has been aided all year by a steady offensive line. The line is well-coached and cohesive, and their consistency will be even more important come the playoffs. Wilson has to get his team the win, and hope Arizona defeats San Francisco in order for Seattle to get the NFC West title.
The Seattle offense will face a St. Louis defense that has limited its last five opponents to 17 points or fewer. The Rams defense has been surprisingly successful against mobile quarterbacks this season getting wins over RGIII, Colin Kaepernick, and Wilson too earlier in the season. St. Louis applies pressure well, and force turnovers once the QB scrambles. The defense has a very high probability of forcing either a fumble or an interception. When these two teams last met, Wilson had three interceptions and got sacked twice. He was also limited to just 14 yards rushing.
AccuScore projects 189 yards, 1 TD, and a passer rating of 99.5 for Wilson. He’s also projected to carry it 6 times for 34 yards. Running back Marshawn Lynch is projected to get 22 carries for 119 yards. He had 118 yards and a touchdown the last time these two teams met. Wide receiver Sidney Rice, who caught four passes for 41 yards in week four vs the Rams, is projected to get 48-49 yards on 3 receptions.
The Rams will most likely run the ball with Steven Jackson early and often. He’s just 10 yards shy of the 1,000 yard mark for the season. He is projected to run for 58 yards on 15 carries. Seattle is 11th in the league in rush defense, allowing 104.7 yards/game.
Quarterback Sam Bradford, who went 16 of 30 for 221 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT against the Seahawks last time out, is projected to throw for 225 yards with a passer rating of 75.9. He has approximately the same chance at throwing an interception as a touchdown.
I think this game will be decided fairly early on; some quick three-and-outs by St. Louis are going to make the Seattle crowd that much louder, and things could get out of hand.
Seattle Seahawks by 10.