After a one-year hiatus, the Cowboys (10-6) and Seahawks (10-6) are both back in the playoffs and face each other on Saturday night in Dallas in a marquee showdown for Wild Card weekend betting fans.
This will be a rematch of the team's Week 3 matchup, one in which the Seahawks won in Seattle, 24-13. In that matchup, Seattle forced three turnovers and held the Cowboys to just 137 passing yards. However, these are two dramatically different teams than we saw in September as each have gone on impressive runs in the second half of the season.
The Cowboys enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the NFC as they have won seven of their last eight games. While their offense is far from elite, it is significantly better than what Seattle faced earlier in the season. Here’s how NFL betting fans should approach the game.
While the Cowboys have caught fire in the second half of the season, the same can be said for the Seahawks. Seattle has won six of their last seven games with their only loss coming in overtime to the 49ers in San Francisco.
Quarterback Dak Prescott has played much better over the last 11 games of the season, despite Dallas' oft-injured offensive line. However, Dallas should be at full-strength on the offensive line for the first time in several weeks. Prescott's improvement has been due to the presence of wide receiver Amari Cooper. Since his arrival, the Cowboys' third-down offense has dramatically improved.
In the team's first meeting, Seattle held the Cowboys to just 3-13 on third down and just 1-7 in the first half. With Cooper, expect Dallas to be much better in this area on Saturday.
One thing to monitor this week is the status of top Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin. He injured his ankle in the team's Week 17 game and missed practice this week. If he can't go or is limited, expect Dallas to target Cooper heavily, especially on third down.
Top NFL bookmakers have the Cowboys s 1.5-point favorites, but that line has fluctuated all week.
For the Cowboys, playing this game at home should make a big difference. Dallas has been a stellar home team this season, winning seven of eight games and going 5-2-1 against the spread. Seattle, on the other hand, won just four of eight games on the road with one of those "road" victories coming in London against the Raiders.
While Seattle isn't a special team on the road, they are fantastic in prime-time games. Since 2009, the Seahawks are 29-6-1 in prime-time games. This is a veteran Seahawks team that isn't going to be blinded by the bright lights in Dallas.
The Cowboys are one of the youngest teams in the NFL and it wouldn't be a surprise if this is a little too big of a stage for this team right now. Bet the Seahawks (+1.5) with 888Sport to pull the upset.
The story of the season for the Seahawks has been their run game, as they finished the season with the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL (160 yards per game). Their much-improved offensive line has allowed Wilson to feel comfortable in the pocket and their offense has taken off.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Seahawks finished the season as a top-10 offense, scoring 26.8 points per game. This is no longer a team that only relies on their defense to win games.
That said, this matchup features two of the best defenses in the NFL with the Cowboys allowing just 20.2 points per game and Seattle at 21.7. While both offenses do have the potential to put up points, this game feels like a slugfest.
Both the Cowboys and the Seahawks want to establish the run, and that will likely lead to a pretty low-scoring game. Bet under 42.5 for the game with Karamba as well as first half under 20.5 at +110 with Betfair.
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