In a new weekly feature, beat writer Bob Condotta embraces the gambling side of football and gives his take on the Seahawks' win total, how many time Pete Carroll will toss his gum and more.
Gambling has always been a big part of football, even if for decades the NFL tried to stay hush-hush about it.
No more, though, as the league has relaxed many of its long-held stances on betting, including letting teams make sponsorship deals with casinos — and letting another team move to Las Vegas.
So what the heck? We’re going to embrace it this season too, with a weekly feature called Seahawks Over/Under.
Each week we’ll take a look at some Seahawks numbers and statistical trends and guess, in over/under fashion, how they might turn out for the season or on the upcoming Sunday (or Monday or Thursday). Most we’ll just make up, and some will be more meaningful than others.
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But hey, this is all supposed to be fun and games, right?
So here we go with a look at six over/unders for the 2018 season.
Seahawks wins in 2018 — 8. This is the actual number at most casinos, and a big drop from the past few seasons when Seattle usually was in the 11-12-win range. The skepticism makes sense. Many casual observers may be able to name more players who were Seahawks than players who remain with the team. But the Seahawks still have a few things going for them, notably a premier quarterback in the prime of his career in Russell Wilson and a coach who has shown an ability to build a winning defense everywhere he has been. For those reasons alone, we’re taking the OVER.
Russell Wilson TD passes — 27. That’s Wilson’s average over the last four years though he has gotten there in roundabout fashion — 20, 34, 21 and 34. Last year, he was forced into that number as the Seahawks were unable to run it into the end zone. That makes 27 seem a more reasonable number to expect this year if Seattle can get its running game going better. So for that reason, we’re taking the UNDER.
Seahawks rushing touchdowns — 12. That was the median number in the NFL last season (four teams tied for 15th with that total). Seattle, you don’t need reminding, tied for last in the NFL in rushing TDs last year with four, tied with the 1982 strike season and the 1992 lost season (they went 2-14) for the fewest in team history. But with a more experienced and cohesive offensive line, a better stable of running backs and a new offensive coaching staff making it a priority to run better, 12 seems doable (Seattle had 13 in 2016 when its leading rushers were Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls). So we’ll take the OVER.
Doug Baldwin touchdown receptions — 7.5. Baldwin had 15 the last two seasons, which is a more reasonable expectation than the out-of-this-world 14 he had in 2015 to finish in a tie for the NFL lead. A knee issue he may be dealing with all season, the hope to run better and the presence of a revived Tyler Lockett, red zone thread Brandon Marshall and free agent signee Jaron Brown means the Seahawks may be able to spread the ball around quite a bit. So we’ll take the UNDER.
Seahawks interceptions — 12.5. That’s the average the Seahawks have had the last four seasons following the mammoth 28 in 2013, a total that was a key to winning the Super Bowl. And that was with most of the Legion of Boom still employed. Now with a mostly remade secondary, the challenge to meet that total looms greater than ever. And if you’re looking for one of the down notes of the preseason, the Seahawks were the only team in the NFL to not get one interception. As coaches always say, they tend to come in bunches, so maybe the Seahawks were just waiting for the right time. Still, this looks like a good place to take the UNDER.
Pete Carroll gum tosses — 7. OK, so you often need a really keen eye — or a TV replay — to really see these, one reason the over-under here may seem lower than you’d expect. But this figures to be a season with a lot of unforeseen twists and turns. So we’ll take the OVER.