NFL: Week Nine - Wait, what? A Super Bowl preview?
The Seahawks travel to Buffalo, two potential Super Bowl contenders meeting at the half-way point of the season. In a slight departure from the norm, we use the occasion to look at three prop markets from this one game - a possible preview of the title match.
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Week Nine action
Here we are - the second half of the season. So, we should have this all figured out, right?
Well, not quite, but we can say this: Buffalo and Seattle look like very plausible Super Bowl picks - and they face off against each other this week.
For that purpose, and as a chance to act as a preview of that (potential) eventuality, we’re going to attack a single game for each of this week’s three prop bets.
On your marks, get set - throw.
Super Bowl preview?: Seattle @ Buffalo
Cole Beasley - WR Buffalo Bills. Over 4.5 Receptions (1.99)
While Buffalo frequently looks to go to Diggs early on, they’re coming against a team that, while admitting they don’t have an elite defense anymore, understand how to limit exposure to the opposition’s biggest threats.
Diggs will be double-teamed as Seattle play off-coverage and variations of Cover 4 to protect from go routes and posts.
Buffalo does run 11 personnel quite a lot, and Cole Beasley is one of the best slot receivers in the game. This works in Buffalo’s favour for a few reasons. When in 11, you’ve got the opposition in nickel, meaning there’s an extra defensive back.
Seattle don’t have a ton of depth at the cornerback position, nor do they have a designated slot specialist. This should mean Beasley is the easy competition time and time again for Allen.
Allen also gets a lot of man coverage in 11, so he can take off when routes clear one area of the field.
And finally, it means you get single coverage underneath if Seattle want to maintain deep coverage and double Diggs.
Beasley is now the primary beneficiary, and completions underneath mean the clock runs, too - giving you more time in possession. It’s the perfect way to beat Seattle.
Russell Wilson - QB Seattle Seahawks. Over 0.5 Interceptions (2.04)
Russell Wilson is an incredible football player and he’s looking like the front-runner for MVP. However, allowing him to ‘cook’ per the movement also means that he can take risks and he’s given full control at the line of scrimmage.
He often checks out of runs that could easily net a few yards because he sees an open flat where he’ll throw a curl, or a sit route. But teams have caught onto this, and many are now luring Wilson into traps by rolling back in Cover 2 zone and picking off those flats.
Buffalo have the personnel to do the same.
Zack Moss - RB Buffalo Bills. Over 0.5 Rushing Touchdowns (2.61)
Moss is now the lead back in Buffalo and takes all their goal line carries, overtaking the one-dimensional Devin Singletary.
It seems the prices haven’t quite adjusted to this development yet, and so there’s opportunity there. As mentioned, it’s clear that Buffalo won’t be going deep because RW3 will outgun anyone if given the clock to do so.
Expect zone runs to make up a large part of the Buffalo game plan too, and running the red zone is a clear identity of this unit. They’ll continue this trend in Week Nine.
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