NFL Week 15 Betting Preview: Seattle Seahawks vs Buffalo Bills in Toronto

Seattle Seahawks vs Buffalo Bills
Sunday, December 16, 2012, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Rogers Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening Line: Seattle -5 1/2
Current Line: Seattle  -5
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 43 1/2
Opening Money Line: Seahawks -250 / Bills +210
Current Money Line: Seahawks -240 / Bills +200

The Seattle Seahawks travel to Toronto to take on the Buffalo Bills. The 8-5 Seahawks control their own destiny to make the playoffs.

The 8-5 Seattle Seahawks are currently tied with the Chicago Bears for the two wild card spots in the NFC. The Seahawks hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their win over Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Seattle can still win the NFC West if they run the table and San Francisco loses two of their last three games. The Seahawks host the 49ers next week.

But first things first. The Seahawks must travel to Toronto to face the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have had one home game a season in Toronto for the past several seasons. Buffalo is 5-8 this season, and has a very slim chance of making the playoffs.

Seattle is coached by Pete Carroll. The Seahawks have won 4 of their last 5 games, including a 58-0 destruction of the Arizona Cardinals at home last week. Seattle is 9-4 ATS and the total is 6-7 this season. Buffalo is coached by Chan Gailey. The Bills lost at home 15-12 to the St. Louis Rams last week. Buffalo is 6-7 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season. Buffalo has beaten Seattle handily the last two times they have played 34-10 in Buffalo in 2008 and 38-9 in Seattle in 2004.

Seattle is averaging 341.2 yards per game on offense, including 188.9 passing and 152.3 rushing yards. The Seahawks are #29 in passing and #4 in rushing. Seattle is outscoring teams 23-16 this season. The Seahawks are +8 in turnovers this season. The Seahawks have forced 32 sacks and allowed 24 this season. Seattle is 69/180 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Seahawks are allowing 301.7 yards per game, including 105.4 rushing and 196.3 passing yards. Seattle is in the top 5 in total defense, against the pass, and points allowed, and #11 in rushing defense. The Seahawks have 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has completed 63% of his passes for 2,492 yards with 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 69 carries for 310 yards. He has been sacked 24 times this season.  Running back Marshawn Lynch has 261 carries, 1,266 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 149 yards. He is probable with a back injury. Lynch was drafted by the Bills and traded to the Seahawks in the 2010 season.   Robert Turbin and Leon Washington will also get some carries. Washington has a rushing touchdown and a  kickoff return for a touchdown. Receiver Sydney Rice has 45 catches, 658 yards and 7 touchdowns. Rice is probable with a foot injury. Golden Tate has 37 catches, 492 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tight end Zach Miller has 30 catches, 337 yards and 2 touchdowns. Doug Baldwin, Robert Turbin, and Anthony McCoy will also get some catches. McCoy has 2 touchdowns. Seven Seahawks are out Sunday including 5 defensive backs.

Buffalo is averaging 341.4 yards per game on offense, including 200.2 passing yards and 141.2 rushing yards. The Bills are #6 in rushing and #25 in passing. Buffalo is being outscored 27-22 this season. The Bills are -7 in turnovers. Buffalo has forced 31 sacks and allowed 25 this season. The Bills are 62/161 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 362.1 yards per game, including 227.6 passing and 134.5 rushing yards. Buffalo has 3 special teams touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has completed 62.3% of his passes for 2,718 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with 41 carries, 171 yards, and a touchdown. He has been sacked 25 times this season. Back-up quarterback Brad Smith has 95 rushing yards, a touchdown catch, and a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Running back C.J. Spiller has 144carries, 944 yards and 5 touchdowns along with 34 catches, 354 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Fred Jackson has 115 yards, 437 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 34 catches, 217 yards, and a touchdown. He is out for the season with a knee injury Tashard Choice will get more carries without Jackson.

Receiver Steve Johnson has 61 catches, 776 yards, and 5 touchdowns.  Tight end Scott Chandler has 37 catches, 488 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a groin injury. Donald Jones has 41 catches, 443 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a calf injury. T.J. Graham has 24 catches, 236 yards, and a touchdown. Other than the running backs, no other Bill has more than 7 catches. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin has 2 punt return touchdowns. He is questionable with a groin injury. Sixteen Buffalo defensive players and seven offensive linemen are listed as questionable, doubtful, or out Sunday. Buffalo is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 against Seattle. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Seattle is 5-1 ATS in December, 4-1 after a straight up win, after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, after rushing for over 150 yards, and overall, 5-2 after gaining more than 350 yards, 20-8 on fieldturf, 10-22-1 in road games, 15-33-1 after a straight up win of 14 points or more, 8-21 after allowing less than 15 points, 4-11 after allowing less than 150 passing yards, 7-21-1 after scoring more than 30 points, 2-6 in Week 15, and 5-20-1 after allowing less than 250 yards. The last 7 games in this series have gone over the total.

Seattle is clearly the better team here, but sometimes they struggle on the road. It isn’t a true road game as it is technically a neutral site game. However, there will be a ton of Bills fans flooding across the border to nearby Toronto. The Seahawks must avoid the temptation to look ahead to their showdown with San Francisco next week. I think Seattle wins, but I would take the points with the Bills. This feels like a field goal game to me.

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