January 1, 2012. That’s the last time the Seattle Seahawks played a game without Russell Wilson serving as their starting quarterback.
But that will change Sunday night when Seattle travels across the country to take on a hungry Pittsburgh Steelers squad without their seven-time Pro Bowler available. Wilson suffered a significant finger injury in Week 5, leaving Geno Smith as the man under center for the Seahawks in Week 6.
As a result, a Steelers squad that was once getting 2.5 points from Seattle is now a five-point favorite, with the vast majority of public money spilling in on Pittsburgh.
Let’s break it down from both perspectives.
WHY THE SEAHAWKS WILL COVER
Not only did Smith look better than many would have imagined in relief of Wilson last Thursday against a strong Los Angeles Rams defense, but it’s entirely possible the line movement here represents an overreaction from oddsmakers and/or the public. Is Wilson worth a touchdown or so more than Smith? On the surface, sure. But this is a veteran Seahawks team that could be inspired to pick up the slack while their superstar quarterback is down.
Besides, it’s not as though the Steelers are tearing it up. We’re talking about a team with a losing record and a negative points differential after a horrendous offseason. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the league’s lowest-rated qualified non-rookie passer, and he just lost talented wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster to a season-ending shoulder injury.
Plus, the Steelers have lost five of their last six as the favorite, per Trend Dummy.
WHY THE STEELERS WILL COVER
Pittsburgh’s defense is still pretty jacked, and that unit performed well while Big Ben and Co. also showed some signs of life as the Steelers took down the equally desperate Washington Football Team in Week 5. It’s entirely possible they’re turning a corner, and they really need this one.
Plus, we’re still looking at Geno Smith. The 31-year-old former bust may have completed six of his first seven passes against the Rams (five of which came on a quick and impressive touchdown drive), but he was just 1-for-6 with an interception to close that outing. The Rams figured him out, and this Pittsburgh D has had plenty of time to prepare for him this time.
STEELERS SEAHAWKS BETTING PICK
While I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Pete Carroll had his guys ready to push a vulnerable and flawed opponent, this is a tough road trip under the circumstances and it’s very difficult to have faith in Smith with just a handful of points in your back pocket against that defense. That’s especially the case after the Steelers made progress in Week 5. This is a team that always finds a way to contend, and they can’t mess around in this spot.
Since they’re still laying a single score, I’m rolling with Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Seattle Sunday Night Props
Props courtesy of Brenden Deeg, check out his other Anytime TD Scorer prop picks for Week 6.
Chase Claypool +145 (FanDuel)
I will play it safe with my first pick of the night, considering I have two long shots with my next two choices. Claypool at +145 is excellent value.
Claypool is the big-bodied wide receiver Ben Roethlisberger will look for in the end zone. The Seahawks have allowed six receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this year.
Pat Freiermuth +380 (FanDuel)
It looks like the Steelers have finally found a talented young tight end. Freiermuth is ready to break out in this offense.
He has played 50% of the snaps in four of the five games this season. He also is third on the team in red zone targets behind Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson.
DK Metcalf 2+ +1000 (Draft Kings)
I am taking a massive swing with my last pick. Look, this Seahawks team is tough to find value on. Metcalf and Lockett dominate the red zone. If you are looking for a safer long shot, you can go with Geno Smith.
However, I think this is the way to go. Metcalf had two touchdowns last week and had three two-touchdown games last year. He is the Seahawks’ best offensive player, and with Geno in the lineup, they will be looking to get him the ball.
Seahawks Steelers Betting Trends
Steelers are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games played in October.
UNDER is 9-2 Pittsburgh’s last 11 games played in Week 6, 14-6 ATS in past 20
UNDER is 11-3 Seattle’s last 14 games.
Seahawks are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games played in October.
Seahawks are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 games played in Week 6.
Seahawks are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games when playing as the underdog.
Steelers are 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 games played in October.
Seahawks Steelers Betting Pick
Steelers 1-5 SU, 0-6 ATS as chalk