Why even bother studying these games? Just wager on the underdog and you're pretty much a winner in the NFL. Underdogs are 27-19-1 this season, including a 12-6 mark at home.
And that's what we have tonight: The Green Bay Packers are laying minus-3.5 in Seattle. (Hypocrite alert: I like Green Bay laying the points.)
When the season began, the Packers were given the worthless (unless you placed a bet) Super Bowl favorite award. Two games in, they have been summarily dismissed after a lackluster 1-1 start. The league-wide darling San Francisco 49ers fell Sunday, so expect that attention to go to the Houston Texans.
Exactly why are the Packers a 3.5-point favorite tonight against the Seattle Seahawks? Green Bay (4-4 ATS on the road in 2011) was a bigger favorite in every road game it played last season, which included trips to Atlanta, San Diego and New York (versus the Giants). The Packers haven't been sharp in 2012, but the biggest reason for the modest spread is the often-expressed theory that Seattle has the most significant home-field advantage in the league. The trip to Seattle is exhausting, the stadium holds noise better than typical state-of-the-art stadiums, the fans are relentless, etc. Add that typical excitement to the spectacle of "Monday Night Football" and the home-field advantage will be even greater.
The Seahawks have gone 5-3 ATS at home in each of Pete Carroll's first two years and had an impressive performance against Dallas last week. Also, Seattle's Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals doesn't seem quite as bad now that the Cardinals are threatening the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
No surprise, but according to the ESPN PickCenter, the Packers are getting serious love from the public, with 62.6 percent picking them to cover. Let's turn to some analysis from a professional handicapper:
Matchup: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Spread: Opened at Packers minus-3, now at Packers minus-3.5