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Seahawks

vs.

Panthers

Divisional Playoff Pick

1/17/16

The 1st Divisional playoff game on Sunday kicks off at 1:05 pm est. as the Carolina Panthers host the Seattle Seahawks. The current line at 5 dimes sportsbook has the Panthers favored by -1.5 with a total of 44. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as questionable for the game. He did not play last week against the Vikings.

Once again we have a game between a couple of teams who had very different seasons. The Seahawks were a mediocre 5-5 thru 10 games before finishing strong going 6-1 down the stretch. Meanwhile the Panthers simply won week in and week out getting off to a 14-0 start on their way to a 15-1 season.

Sure, everyone is high on the Seahawks because of the way they finished the season but it wasn't exactly a tough stretch of games. They include among their wins down the stretch Baltimore, the Browns and the 49ers and they lost to the Rams. Then with everything on the line last week, they managed just 10 points and are damn lucky to be here as a result of the Vikings missed chip shot field goal.

The Panthers were 8-0 at home this year and beat this Seattle team on the road back in October. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders averaging 35 points per game over the last 7 contests and the Panthers were the #1 team in turnover margin this year at +20 (Seahawks +6).

To be clear, we could fill this page with reasons to support backing the Seahawks in this game. In fact, our own model predicts the Seahawks to win straight up and if we use only the last 7 games worth of data for both teams the model says it's not even close, 33-17 Seahawks.

There are plenty of other juicy stats we could quote here as well, favoring the Seahawks, but we'll save the space. This selection comes more as a result of observing the NFL this year, specifically these two teams. We simply don't see the Panthers being denied here. They have been the best team in the NFL all season long,  The Seahawks had to travel to Minnesota and back and now trek cross country to take on the Panthers. The Panthers had the extra week to get healthy and prepare.

Bottom line - we're going to go against our own numbers here and take the #1 seed to advance to the NFC Championship game next week. Panthers -1.5

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