NFL Free Pick: Seattle vs. Buffalo

This Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks will try and win their third game in a row when they face off against the Buffalo Bills, who find themselves riding out the string at 5-8. Sunday’s game is slated to get underway at 4:05 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast locally on CBS.

Seattle is riding high after demolishing Arizona 58-0 this past Sunday while setting a franchise record for most points scored. It improved to 9-4 against the spread this season and the total has now gone “over” in its last three games.

Buffalo’s chances at a winning season officially came to an end with last Sunday’s 15-12 loss to St. Louis as a 3.5-point favorite at home. It is now 6-7 ATS overall and 3-3 ATS at home this season. The total has stayed “under” in four of its last six games

Betting Storylines

The Seahawks have notoriously struggled on the road in the past, and this season has been no exception with a 2-5 SU record and 3-4 record ATS. Fortunately, this game will be played in the comfort of a dome, which is much better than playing outside in Buffalo in December. The added motivation of trailing San Francisco in the NFC West Division race by just a game and a half should have Seattle primed for another strong showing.

If they are going to get by the Bills this Sunday, the Seahawks will need another solid performance from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Overall, he has completed 63 percent of his throws for 2,492 yards and 20 touchdowns while adding another 310 yards with his legs. Seattle’s passing offense is still ranked near the bottom of the league in total yards per game, but it is ranked fourth in rushing the ball and 15th in scoring.

Buffalo has now lost four of its last six games SU to fall out of contention in the AFC. The same old problems have plagued this team down the stretch, especially with an offense that has been woefully inconsistent from one week to the next. The Bills scored 31 points in a loss to New England in Week 10 and 34 points against Jacksonville two weeks ago, but they managed a combined 53 points in their other four games since a Week 8 bye.

The Bills have done a good job at running the ball this season with an average of 141.2 yards a game, but the loss of Fred Jackson for most likely the remainder of the season could put a serious dent in this production. Look for CJ Spiller to get the bulk of the carries against Seattle after already rushing for 944 yards on 144 attempts this season. The pressure will also be dialed up on a Bills’ defense that is ranked 28th in the NFL in points allowed.

Odds and Trends
Pointspread: Seattle -4
Total Line: 42.5

The Seahawks are 6-2 ATS on turf this season and the total has gone over in five of its last six games. The Bills are now 6-16 SU in their last 22 games and the total has gone over in 10 of their last 16 games. These two last met in September of 2008 with Buffalo rolling to a 34-10 victory as a one-point home favorite. The total went over the 37.5-point line.

Free Pick

It is always hard to pick the Seahawks on the road, especially when they are giving points, but there are too many things riding in their favor in this game. It really is not a home game for Buffalo as it loses a major advantage playing this game indoors. It is also a must-win scenario for Seattle to keep their playoff hopes alive, which really tips the scales in their favor.

Take #321 Seattle (-4) over Buffalo (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. CBS)

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