When the Seahawks host the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) in the penultimate game of NFL Week 2 in 2020, there will a familiar NFC feel. Russell Wilson, the starting quarterback for Seattle since 2012, will face his old conference counterpart, Cam Newton.
Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, came to New England as a free agent this offseason after emerging as MVP for Carolina five seasons ago. While Newton is trying to find that same form and health, there’s no doubt that Wilson continues to be most valuable as a truly elite, future Hall of Fame QB.
The Patriots and Seahawks both like to run often and pick their spots in the passing game. Wilson has proved he doesn’t need to throw much to produce a high volume of big pass plays downfield. Newton ran all over the Dolphins last week but the pressure will be on to pass better here.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Patriots vs. Seahawks in Week 2, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
Patriots vs. Seahawks odds for “Sunday Night Football”
The Seahawks have been less than a touchdown favorite since the initial line was released. They are getting the slight field-goal bump for home-field advantage after they had an impressive cross-country road victory in Atlanta last week.
Compete Week 2 NFL picks: Against the spread | Straight up
Patriots vs. Seahawks all-time series
The series is tied 9-9, so the winner will hold the lead for either four years, assuming the teams don’t meet in another Super Bowl before then.
The Seahawks won the last matchup in November 2016, 31-24 in New England. That was small consolation and vengeance for losing Super Bowl 49 after the 2014 season, 28-24, after Wilson was intercepted by Malcolm Butler at the goal line instead of throwing the game-winning pass.
The Patriots have won three of the past five matchups but that fact is moot now, because those were all with Tom Brady or Matt Cassel at quarterback.
Three trends to know
— 58 percent of spread bettors like the Seahawks to cover their modest number at home in prime time.
— 55 percent of over/under bettors like the total to go over, despite the fact both teams will try to slow down the game with their running games.
— Both the Patriots and Seahawks won and covered easly in Week 1. The Patriots were 8-8-1 against the spread last season. The Seahawks were 9-7-2 ATS in 2019.
Three things to watch
Wilson’s wideouts vs. the Patriots secondary
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are the big downfield playmakers for the Seahawks. Stephon Gilmore, the reigning defensive player of the year, and Jason McCourty are the solid cornerbacks for the Patriots with Darrelle Revis and Butler long gone. The visitors are also deep at safety and subpackages. Wilson ripped a bad Falcons secondary last week so he will need to rely more on pinpoint accuracy deep despite a higher degree of difficulty.
Hello Jamal Adams
Adams, who used to face the Patriots twice a season as the Jets’ hard-hitting safety, now gets his one crack at them this season. You can bet, after a big first game, he’ll want to stomp their running game and look to smack Newton. The middle of the field won’t be as inviting this week with Adams looming.
Who will stop the run?
The Seahawks will pound away with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde behind their beefy line. The Patriots will do it with Sony Michel and a host of others. Wilson can have success if the run is shut down, but the jury is still out on whether Newton is still capable of that.
Stats that matter
1-5 and 77.8. That is Newton’s record and passer rating against the Seahawks over his career. His last game, a losing effort in 2018, was his best performance. But other than one impressive road victory during his MVP and Super Bowl season of 2015, Seattle has had Newton’s number, with a lot of help from having Wilson.
Patriots vs. Seahawks prediction
The Patriots will definitely look to grind this game out to keep Wilson off the field and protect Newton at the same time. The Seahawks also will be happy with their ground and pound approach to limit opportunities for Newton and increase them off play-action for Wilson. The Seahawks are better equipped to do that with their backfield and quarterback. Newton and a piecemeal running game won’t hide the fact the Patriots have much fewer playmakers, with Julian Edelman and not much else in the passing game.
Seahawks 23, Patriots 20
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