New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 47.5)
If the Seattle Seahawks can extend their franchise-record home winning streak Monday against the New Orleans Saints, they'll likely assure the road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle. The Seahawks have a one-game lead over the Saints for home-field advantage in the playoffs, and they can effectively build a three-game cushion with a head-to-head victory. The Saints need a fourth straight win not only to preserve their chances of staying home throughout the playoffs, but also to maintain a one-game lead over Carolina in the NFC South.
The Seahawks have won six straight since their lone defeat - a 34-28 loss at Indianapolis - and are off to the best start in franchise history at 10-1, yet each game seems to hold more importance even as they distance themselves in the NFC West. "Every game that we play is a championship game," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters. "You never know which one is going to be the one that you look back on and say, 'Boy, if we'd have got that one, we would've had this or that.' So we play every one of them like it's the biggest game in the world." Seattle can clinch a playoff spot with a victory if either Arizona or San Francisco lose Sunday. TV:
8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN.LINE:
The line opened at -4.5, then jumped to -6, before being bet back to -4.5. The total opened at 45.5 and has been bet up to 47.5.WEATHER:
There is a 54 percent chance of snow, with temperatures in the mid 30s. The will be a 12 mph wind blowing towards the South end zone.COVERS POWER RANKINGS:
New Orleans (-6) - Seattle (-7.5) + home field (-3) = Seattle -4.5ABOUT THE SAINTS (9-2, 6-5 ATS):
New Orleans has won three straight, but it's had to squeak out the last two by a combined seven points. After setting a franchise record with 625 total yards three weeks ago in a 49-17 win over Dallas, the offense has been less-than-stellar the past two weeks, but the Saints still rank third in the NFL in total yards per game and second in passing yards. The defense, often a weakness for New Orleans, has been rejuvenated under coordinator Rob Ryan and has allowed more than 400 total yards only once all season.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (10-1, 7-4 ATS):
Seattle's Russell Wilson is the less-notable quarterback in the matchup, but he is 13-0 at home with 26 touchdowns against six interceptions. The Seahawks also boast the league's No. 3 rushing game with Marshawn Lynch (925 yards, 9 TDs) leading the way. The Seahawks have the second-ranked pass defense, but they will be short-handed in the secondary - cornerback Walter Thurmond is suspended for the next four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy and cornerback Brandon Browner is still out with a groin injury - a potential disaster against Drew Brees and the Saints' pass-happy offense. TRENDS:
* Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last five Monday night games.
* Seahawks are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games versus a team with a winning record.
* Under is 6-1 in Saints last seven games versus the NFC.
* Over is 4-1 in Seahawks last five games following a ATS win.
1. Brees has won nine straight starts on Monday Night Football with a 123.6 passer rating in those games.
2. Seattle is tied for the NFL lead with 16 interceptions and boasts a plus-11 turnover margin.
3. Saints TE Jimmy Graham has six 100-yard games this season, tied for the most by a tight end in NFL history.