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NFL Wild Card Picks – Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Jan/03/2019

The loss of some key players from the Legion of Boom defense that dominated the NFL for several seasons and led the Seattle Seahawks to a pair of Super Bowls was supposed to be the downfall of the team.


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And after having their run of five straight playoff appearances snapped last season, it looked like the team from the Pacific Northwest was going through a rebuild. But they still have Russell Wilson and the NFL’s best ground game for their return to the playoffs with a Wild Card Round matchup against the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys on Sunday from Jerry’s World.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

Date and Time: Saturday, January 5, 2019, 8:15 p.m. ET

Location: ATT Stadium, Arlington, TX

Opening NFL Odds: Cowboys -1.5 O/U 43

Seahawks at Cowboys TV Coverage: FOX

Live Betting Odds Analysis

Both teams finished the year strong to get back in the playoffs. Seattle won six of its last seven outings going 4-2-1 against the spread in those games. The back end of the Seahawks’ schedule was home heavy with only two road trips over the final seven weeks, and they took advantage by winning all five home contests. Their last trip was in Week 15 to Santa Clara where they were upset by the Niners. Overall the Seahawks were just 4-4 on the road.

A disturbing home loss to the Titans after their bye left the Cowboys at 3-5 and had many questioning the job status of Jason Garrett. Facing his critics again, Garrett and the Boys responded by winning seven of their last eight games. Dallas’ offense remains predictable with the NFL’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott doing the heavy lifting and the Boys won all seven games by scoring first. It’s a trend they’ll have to continue in order to advance.

Recent history favors the Seahawks with a victory in Week 3 giving them three straight in the series. Dak Prescott had his worst game of the season completing only 56 percent of his throws for 168 yards while getting picked twice and sacked five times. The Boys were limited to 13 points in that game and scored only 12 points in each of the two previous losses, both coming in Dallas.

Matchup to Watch

Both teams like to run the football and that will come into play on the live betting lines at BookMaker.eu. The Seahawks led the NFL in rushing yards per game with 160 and they like to impose their will up front. That won’t be easy against the underrated Cowboys defense, but it isn’t going to stop them from trying.

Led by Chris Carson, who dashed for 1,151 yards this season, Seattle has a trio of backs that can move. Mike Davis chipped in with 514 yards and Rashaad Penny added 419. Each of them averaged over 4.5 yards per carry and they combined for 15 touchdowns. Toss in Wilson and his 376 yards and the Seahawks are a good bet to go over their rushing yard total on a prop bet at BookMaker.eu.

Prescott went off in a couple of games, including the regular season finale when he tossed four scoring passes. That was because Elliott didn’t suit up. With Zeke back in the lineup expect him to get plenty of touches. And if the Cowboys get a lead, he’s a sure bet to exceed his yardage total. Elliott led the NFL with 1,434 rushing yards and had a team-best 77 catches.

Key Stat

They are no longer the Legion of Boom, but the Seahawks’ defense proved disruptive this season, leading the NFL in turnover margin at plus-15. The biggest advantage is that Seattle doesn’t turn the ball over. The Hawks had a league-low 11 giveaways during the regular with five of those coming in the first two weeks. Over the final 14 games the Seahawks committed just six turnovers and never had more than one in a game. Seattle picked off Prescott twice and recovered an Elliott fumble in the earlier meeting to thwart drives, leading to a 24-13 win.

Betting Seattle at Dallas at BookMaker.eu

Both teams are sound defensively and their strength on offense is running the football. Carson and Elliott each topped the 100-yard mark back in Week 3 and the teams combined for 279 rushing yards, and you can expect much of the same on the live betting lines. The difference then was the Cowboys got behind and Prescott had to throw to try and catch up. It didn’t work.

However, Prescott and the Cowboys are a different team at home and I expect they’ll be a bit more opportunistic when they have the football. They didn’t have Amari Cooper in the first meeting and Prescott had two of his best passing days in the final three games of the regular season. The key for Dallas is to get an early lead and keep pressing, and I like them to do that at home for a cover win on the NFL betting line.

NFL Wild Card ATS Betting Pick: Cowboys -1.5 at BookMaker.eu

College Football Score Prediction: Cowboys 20, Seahawks 17

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