Free NFL Picks For Sunday

Maddux is going with the Seattle Seahawks as one of his free nfl picks for Sunday
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a big road win at Arizona. They’ll look to keep their momentum going when they take on the Saints in New Orleans.

The Saints started as 12 ½ point favorites, but over the course of the week the NFL odds have tapered off a bit, coming down to 11 or 11 ½ points at most sites. The public has been backing New Orleans and currently likes them at about 60%. That means the sharps are siding with the Seahawks and, unfortunately, taking away some value. Regardless, Seattle has been good enough on the road in recent games to back them in the Big Easy. Consider fading the public favorite and grabbing a lot of points with a divisional leader.

The technical numbers don’t really support either side, but the stats are worth relating. Over the past three seasons, against the spread, Seattle is 7-14 on the road, 10-18 as an underdog, 4-7 in November, and 5-11 when playing against a team with a winning record. For New Orleans over the past three years, the Saints are 1-6 as a favorite of 10 points or more, 1-7 off a win against a division rival, 2-3 against the NFC West division, and 2-1 coming off a bye.

Seattle has traditionally been a poor road team, but they won by 22 at Arizona last week. Granted, the Cardinals aren’t a great football team. But Seattle was lined as a 3 point underdog against a division rival on the road and came out and kicked the Cardinals’ butt. Earlier in the season, the Seahawks had to travel to Chicago and beat the Bears straight up on Solider Field. So this year’s team isn’t a bad play on the road, and anything more than 10 points seems like too many.

Importantly for the Seahawks, Matt Hasselbeck is healthier and playing well. Hasselbeck was knocked out of the game against Oakland three weeks ago, which ended up being a blowout. They got killed the next week against the Giants at home, again demonstrating how valuable Hasselbeck is for this football team. Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer. The Seahawks’ performances against Oakland and New York is one reason why the line has a little extra value. But with Hasselbeck back, Seattle is a much better team.

New Orleans has been playing well recently, but they’ve been surprisingly inconsistent this season. They’ve already lost to Arizona out of the NFC West, and they also lost to Cleveland at home. Against the Browns, the Saints were lined as 12 ½ point favorites, right about where this line is sitting.

New Orleans also has some injuries worth noting. Pierre Thomas is listed as doubtful, though Reggie Bush is expected to return. Jeremy Shockey is listed as questionable. On defense, Darren Sharper and Malcolm Jenkins are listed as questionable, which could be problematic when facing an experienced quarterback like Hasselbeck.

The public has bought back into the Saints’ mystique, but consider fading this public favorite. New Orleans has been too inconsistent and they’re a little dinged up. Seattle has played better than most people expected, and they have a lot of confidence after smoking Arizona on the road last week. Grab the points and back the ‘Hawks.

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