As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
Geno Smith was everything Seahawks fans hoped Russell Wilson would be. After finishing 7th in success rate and leading his team to 9 wins (3.5 more than expected), Smith looks to run it back with one of the best WR corps in the NFL featuring DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and 1st-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The vaunted Seattle defense of yesteryear they were not, but there are certainly reasons for optimism as Seattle brought in 4 new players via free agency and the draft that should lock in as starters. That doesn’t even include Jamal Adams, who is scheduled to come back from injury. Pete Carroll in his Seattle Seahawks coaching history has never won less than 7 games and has gone 8-4-1 to the over, including 6 years going over by 2+ wins.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: CAUSE FOR CONCERN
The journeyman turned star(ter), Geno Smith started off hot last season but certainly faded as the season progressed and posted a below-zero EPA in his last four games. Seattle started the year off 6-3, but finished 3-5 in their last 8. The Seahawks offense may have finished 13th in EPA and 19th in rushing, but they were dead last in rushing success rate. On defense, the Seahawks were predictably brutal, allowing the highest YAC and finishing 26th in EPA in the entire league. The additions made to their defense are a start, but likely won’t solve all of their problems. On offense, drafting a slot receiver will likely fall short of overcoming the coming Geno Smith regression. They are also unlikely to finish top-10 in injury health on both sides of the ball as they did last year.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES
I expect some regression from Geno Smith, which seems in line with the market. They do have great skill position players on offense that should make him look better than he is, but finding the same success he had last year seems out of reach. Looking at an individual game basis, I don’t find a ton of value in the marketplace. Fading Seattle in both games vs division rival SF was under consideration, but I didn’t want to back the 49ers on a short week or after playing the Eagles on the east coast and flying back to SEA for the 2nd matchup in 3 weeks. I pivoted to the PHI game in Week 15. If there is anything to Geno fading the 2nd half of the season, we may get extra value.
Best Bet: Week 15 PHI -2 (Play to -2.5)