=== Line on the Game ===
The Seahawks are 4:1, 5:1 underdogs on Sunday.
These are the longest odds of the weekend, the Seahawks being on the road without Hasselbeck against a superior team.
But it's also a reminder that it's not like the chances are 2% or 5%. The odds aren't 20:1. The better team does not always win.
There are many games with odds almost as long. Detroit at Chicago, the Chiefs home against Eli Manning, the Rams at San Francisco are comparable.
I know that it's popular to believe, "Hey, the Colts are only 9:2 favorites because the casinos want to split the crowd. The real odds actually are more like 20:1."
Bear in mind, that this is exactly what the casinos want the suckers to be thinking -- the odds are for the dummies and the savvy bettor has free money waiting for him. :- )
If there actually were such situations available in sports oddsmaking -- actual odds of 20:1 but posted lines of 9:1 -- then every top poker player in the world would retire from poker. Capt. Tom Franklin would only need twenty or thirty such situations to retire in Saudi Arabia.
So, no, the cheerful news for Seahawk fans is that we do have a 15%, 20% chance of seeing a win this Sunday. The Colts are a better team, but the better team doesn't always win.
=== Contrarian Dept. ===
A few things I like about this Sunday:
The Seahawks aren't exactly Little Debbie Snack Cakes out there. They outgained the Bears in total yardage, that without Hasselbeck and five other stars. They had the Bears down 13-0 and there isn't that big a difference between Chicago and Indianapolis.
In particular, it's not clear to me that Indy's defense is better than Chicago's -- and the Hawks gained 350 yards Sunday. If I told you the Seahawks would get 350 more this weekend, would you give up hopelessness? :- )
In three games, the Seahawks have played two extremely physical teams, and have outgained their opponents 1,075 to 942. I'm not saying the Seahawks are great, but they're not HoHo's, either.
The Hawks are on the road, of course, but home-and-road is 3 points. Not 30.
The Bears, last week, illustrated our earlier article about home advantage mattering most early. They hung around, and the home field didn't matter in the second half.
If the Seahawks don't get blitzed by 14 points in the first quarter-and-a-half, they have a shot.
Seattle is -3 in turnover differential. In the NFL there is always that wild card -- say the Seahawks are +2 in turnover differential this week? See, that's why the "real" odds are 5:1, not 20:1.
The Hawks have a hard-hitting defense, are getting pressure, and have Mebane and Kearney playing better, along with the merry-go-round that Mora has put in there.
Manning is great -- the Colts win 12 every single year -- but not automatic. One cheering example: in 2008, against the Bears :- ) Manning threw 30-49 for only 247 yards as the Bears smoked the Colts 29-13 in the Colts' house.
I've never been a big fan of Julius Jones, but he's frankly surprised the stuffing out of me early on. If he goes off for another 80-100 yards then the game looks a lot different.
Seneca Wallace isn't the long-term answer, but he does have a career 23:13 TD-intercept ratio, and if you can get him a few ticks on the clock, he can hit that receiving crew. HOUSH! mandzadeh HOUSH! mandzadeh HOUSH! mandzadehhhhhhhh ......
They'll probably lose, but they have a shot.