The Week 9 NFL schedule includes an NFC clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The action gets started at 4:05 EST on Sunday, November 3 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Fans throughout most of Florida, the Pacific Northwester, Nashville, and Charlotte will be able to watch the game on Fox.
After the Seahawks opened the week as 6-point favorites, Seattle is only favored by 4.5 points. The over/under for the game is set at 53 points. Click here to check out all of the Week 9 NFL betting odds.
The Seahawks head into Week 9 with a 6-2 record. After a home loss to the Ravens a couple of weeks ago that snapped a three-game winning streak, Seattle bounced back with a win over the Falcons last week. Despite nearly blowing a 24-0 halftime lead, the Seahawks managed a 27-20 win on the road.
Of courses, being 6-2 still puts them two games back of the 49ers in the NFC West. The good news for Seattle is they’ll get two head-to-head meetings with the 49ers during the second half of the season, including one next week. However, they can’t afford to lose any more ground on San Francisco if they hope to win the division. Seattle’s remaining schedule includes five teams that have a winning record, so they can’t afford to slip-up against the lowly Bucs, especially after already losing twice at home this year.
Speaking of the Bucs, they’re hoping to snap out of a three-game losing streak. Tampa has had a chance to win all three games, but they’ve hurt themselves with turnovers. They’ve turned it over 11 times over their last two games, which is probably the biggest reason the Bucs are just 2-5 on the season.
If Tampa Bay has a late run in them, it has to start now. The Bucs will play the Cardinals and Falcons before the end of the month, so there’s a chance for Tampa to start stringing wins together. But they have to find a way to win in Seattle this week. Of course, with road wins over the Panthers and Rams earlier this season, nothing is impossible for one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL.
The Bucs are getting most of the betting action in this game, pushing the spread down a little. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that I’m going along with the trend and putting some faith in Tampa. But the Bucs have won a couple of tough road games this year while the Seahawks have proven that they are no longer unbeatable at home. I don’t know if Tampa will get the win, but I have enough doubts about Seattle to take the Bucs and the points.
Admittedly, taking the Bucs is risky after they’ve turned it over 11 times in their last two games. Quarterback Jameis Winston has been responsible for 10 of those 11 turnovers, although Bruce Arians has come to his defense by claiming that Tampa’s receivers deserve some of the blame. In any event, the Bucs turned it over seven times against Carolina and only lost by 11. The had four more turnovers against the Titans last week and only lost by four points.
In other words, the Tampa offense is putting points on the board when they’re not handing the ball to the other team. We know that Winston can sling it, averaging over 300 yards per game. He even has more touchdown passes than interceptions. Now that Mike Evans is coming on strong after a sluggish start to the season, the Buccaneers have one of the best receiver tandems in football with Chris Godwin emerging as a bonafide star.
Meanwhile, we have to get used to the Seahawks no longer being one of the elite defensive teams in the NFL. A week ago, they gave up over 300 yards of offense in the second half alone. That was against a team with no running game, a weak offensive line, and Matt Schaub at quarterback. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team that the Seahawks have held to under 20 points this season. Even if the Seattle defense gets a few takeaways, they’re not going to stop the Buccaneers from scoring points.
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks rely on their running game to set up their offense. Russell Wilson can be lethal running play-action, especially with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf at wide receiver. The caveat is that the Tampa Bay defense is one of the best in the league against the run. They’ve shut down Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey on two separate occasions this year. I expect them to get a good handle on Chris Carson and the Seattle running game, which could hinder Wilson and the rest of the offense.
In the end, I don’t think the Seahawks can score enough points to win by a comfortable margin and cover the spread. Also, they don’t have the defense to stop Winston and the Bucs from finding the end zone. Keep in mind that only one of Seattle’s wins this year has come by more than a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, I think this will be a game that can go either way, which makes me want to lean toward the Bucs as 4.5-point underdogs.