This game is a preview of coming attractions. The Seahawks and Vikings are slated to meet in Seattle on Dec. 10 in Week 14 of the 2018 NFL regular season, their first regular-season clash since 2015. In between, the Seahawks won a playoff game at Minnesota and the Seahawks and Vikings split two preseason games at Seattle, but in all three of those games, only once did either team score as many as 20 points. In three of its last four preseason games against Minnesota, Seattle has never scored more than 13 points.
The Seahawks averged 12.75 points per game in their last four exhibition tilts against the Vikings. Not that the Vikings have been lighting up the scoreboard, mind you. Minnesota has averaged 18.75 points per game during those last four preseason encounters. At home against Seattle in the preseason, the Vikings are a bit more potent, averaging 22.2 points per game. But in the playoffs, these two teams really squeezed the life out of each other's offense. The Seahawks won their 2015-16 NFC wildcard game from the Vikings 10-9.
Going Big - When the games count in the standings, the offenses of the Seahawks and Vikings can be counted on to stand up and be counted. Well, at least the winning team's offence can be counted on to produce. In their nine regular-season wins over the Vikings, the Seahawks have scored an average of 34.7 points per game. In their five regular-season victories over the Seahawks, the Vikings have also been known to put up some big numbers, averaging 30.2 points per game.
Large Margins - Not only do the Vikings and Seahawks score big when they win, they also tend to win big. In the last six preseason games between the Vikings and Seahawks, the average margin of victory was 12 points. In the last four Seahawks-Vikings preseason games at Minnesota, the average winning margin was 14.5 points per game. The last nine regular-season games between the Vikings and Seahawks have seen the winner take out the loser by an average of 20.11 points per game. At Minnesota, the average is 17.2 points.
But Baby It's Cold Outside - That 2015 playoff game at Minnesota in which Seattle won 10-9 was played in temperatures of -6 fahrenheit, making it the third-coldest game in NFL playoff history, and the coldest game in Seahawks franchise history. Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal to win it all. Weather won't be a factor in this game. It's August, for one thing, and the Vikings moved back indoors in 2016 to U.S Bank Stadium, where Super Bowl LII was played last season.
What About Now? - Losing 38-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles in last season's NFC Championship Game, the Vikings came up a win short of going to the Super Bowl and being the first NFL team to play a Super Bowl game in their home stadium. The Super Bowl has proven to be a tough go for the Vikings, who lost four of the first 11 Super Bowl games. Getting back is proving to be even harder, though. Minnesota has lost six straight NFC Championship Games.
The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII, and then lost the next Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. They've been trying to get back ever since, but look to be further away than they have been in years after going 9-7 last season and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Seahawks are undergoing a significant roster overhaul and the the Vikings are breaking in a new quarterback in free agent Kirk Cousins. Is it wise to wager on either of them as contenders to win Super Bowl LIII?
In the case of the Vikings, yes it most certainly would be a sound bet. They were ever so close to getting there last season and in Cousins, landed the prize of the 2018 free-agent pool. Bovada agrees, slotting the Vikings in as their sixth betting choice to win the Super Bowl at +1400. Not so long ago the Seahawks would have been right there as well, but their status as a team entering a transition phase is evident by their Super Bowl line. You can get +5000 odds on the Seahawks.
Bovada has the Seahawks at +240 to make the playoffs and -300 to miss out on postseason play. The Vikings are given odds of -250 to be playoff participants and are set at +195 if you want to play them to be postseason outcasts. The Vikings are listed at +650 to win the NFC, while the Seahawks are given odds of +2200 as to their chances of being NFC champs. The Seahawks are the third betting choice at +400 to win the NFC West. The Vikings are the +120 chalk to repeat as NFC North champions.
Kicking It Old School - The Seahawks settled on Walsh as their kicker last season after letting Steven Hauschka go following six seasons with them, but they've already implemented a change in that plan. During the offseason, the Seahawks signed 40-year-old veteran Sebastian Janikowski, who'd been the kicker for the Oakland Raiders since 2000, playing in a record 268 games for the team. Betway isn't sold on Janikowski's ancient left instep, listing him as their co-24th choice to lead the NFL in kicking points at odds of +10000.
Evergreen Everson - Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was tied for fourth in the NFL with 13 sacks last season, the third time in four seasons he'd dropped the quarterback in the backfield in double-digit numbers. Betway tagged Griffen as their co-fourth betting choice as to who will be the NFL leader in quarterback sacks in 2018 at odds of +1100. Griffen isn't given much chance at capturing the NFL's defensive player of the year award, however. Betway slots him at +6600.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (+3300) and Seattle safety Earl Thomas (+4000) are both listed at lower odds to win the award, as is Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (+5000).