It should come as no surprise that the Detroit Lions head into Week 17 as underdogs. They’re 2-12-1 on the year for a reason. But it may surprise you that they’re 7.5-point underdogs to the 5-10 Seattle Seahawks this week, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Seahawks are in the midst of their worst season under head coach Pete Carroll. The last time the Seahawks finished with a losing record was 2011—Carroll’s second year—and the last time they finished with double-digit losses was 2009—the year before the Seahawks hired Carroll. They will finish last in the NFC West for the first time since the division moved to just four teams in 2002.
So why are they more than a touchdown favorite over the Lions—especially after losing to a Chicago Bears team on their third-string quarterback? Well, home field advantage likely has to do with about half of it. Even though the Seahawks are just 2-5 at home, Seattle has proven to be a tough place to win at, historically. The Lions have done it just twice, and haven’t done it since 1999. They’ve lost four straight in Seattle and are just 2-7 all-time there.
Additionally, while the Seahawks are absolutely terrible on defense (25th in DVOA), they’re somewhat respectable on offense (13th). And despite losing five more games than they’ve won, Seattle is just -1 in point differential.
Still, it seems like an unusually high line for the game, especially if Lions starting quarterback Jared Goff finds his way off the reserve/COVID-19 list. But, hey, Vegas has been underrating the Lions every single week, as evidenced by Detroit’s 10-5 record against the spread this year.