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Seattle Now An Underdog At Pittsburgh Sans Wilson

The Seattle Seahawks (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, 2-3) will both try to get to the .500 mark in the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup despite key injuries. The Seahawks opened as 2.5-point road favorites on the look-ahead line, but they are now listed as 4.5-point underdogs against the Steelers with starting quarterback Russell Wilson (finger) expected to miss at least four weeks of action.

Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Date/Time: October 17, 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Heinz Field
  • TV Coverage: NBC
  • Opening Odds: Seahawks -2.5 | O/U 48 (Line History)
  • Seahawks vs Steelers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The drop-off from Wilson to Geno Smith at quarterback is obviously a big one for Seattle, and the betting line proves it. To say Wilson is worth six points is spot on, especially with the Seahawks falling to the Los Angeles Rams 26-17 as 2.5-point home underdogs last Thursday night after he left the game. The total has taken a serious hit too, dropping from 48 points to 42.5 in early betting, with one of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s top targets in JuJu Smith-Schuster (dislocated shoulder) also out for the rest of the season.

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Seattle News & Notes

Seattle is undoubtedly a much different offensive team with Smith under center, just like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be without Tom Brady or the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers. But just because the team’s identity has changed offensively does not mean the Seahawks cannot win games.

Sure, the defense will be counted on more heavily to make plays, and Smith cannot afford to turn the ball over. However, the Steelers remain a very beatable opponent no matter how they performed last week in beating the Denver Broncos. Prior to that, they had lost three straight by nine points or more.

Pittsburgh News & Notes

Pittsburgh definitely has something to build on now that the team got back on track vs Denver and ended its skid. The problem for the Steelers is that they are still flawed and are without one of their top receivers in Smith-Schuster. The good news is that they have been here before and still have a couple of talented players on the roster in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, who leads them with 341 receiving yards.

In addition, rookie running back Najee Harris continues to get better every game following a career-high 122 rushing yards on 23 carries and one touchdown against the Broncos. The advantage Pittsburgh has is head coach Mike Tomlin, who has a history of helping players overcome poor starts.

How Seattle Will Cover

Seattle can cover the spread by forcing Roethlisberger into turnovers and avoiding mistakes on the offensive side of the ball as well. That is how the Seahawks upset the San Francisco 49ers the previous week and how they will need to play moving forward until Wilson returns if they are going to stay competitive and win games without him.

How Pittsburgh Will Cover

Much like their opponent, the Steelers need to play mistake-free football and remember how they won games. Fortunately for them, that happened much more recently, and they still have their leader at quarterback and enough weapons around him to make plays. The growth of Harris could be the key, as he can help continue to take pressure off Big Ben.

Computer Pick: Seahawks +4.5

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Shark Bites
  • Seattle is 34-10-1 SU in its last 45 prime-time games.
  • Pittsburgh is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 SNF games.
  • Seattle is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games as an underdog.