Pete Carroll has been a godsend for our preseason NFL picks. But can his Seattle Seahawks put away Mike Zimmer and the visiting Minnesota Vikings this Friday night.
The Seattle Seahawks don’t cover every single exhibition game they play, but they sure cover a lot of them. That’s because Pete Carroll is their head coach. Since taking over as head coach in 2010, Carroll has gotten the most out of his players in every game – even preseason games, where Seattle is 19-10 SU and 19-9-1 ATS under his tenure. That’ll buy you all the artisanal coffee you can drink.
We covered our Thursday night pick on the Ravens-Dolphins by a mile!
We’ve already seen what the Seahawks can do for your bankroll. They hammered the Los Angeles Chargers 48-17 in the preseason opener, cashing in as 1-point road faves. No mercy! Next on the docket: the Minnesota Vikings, who visit the Emerald City this Friday night (10:00 p.m. ET, NFLN). Seattle opened as a 3-point favorite on the NFL odds board, and at press time, some books have moved the ‘Hawks to -3.5. But don’t expect the Vikings to take this one lying down. That’s not how they roll.
Service With a Smile
There’s a lot to love about the Seahawks when you’re making your NFL picks, but their success in the preseason is tied very closely to Carroll. Even before he landed in the Pacific Northwest, Carroll was giving August football the gears; he went 12-5 ATS in his previous stints with the New York Jets (1994) and the New England Patriots (1997-99). Delicious.
What can we say – Carroll loves football, and football players love playing for him. He has an infectious personality, and he was a pretty good free safety back in college in the early ‘70s. That, plus strong ownership and some savvy draft work by GM John Schneider, is how the Legion of Boom became a Super Bowl powerhouse.
It also leaves Seattle somewhat injury prone. After enjoying good health in the early years of the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson Era, the ‘Hawks have been taken down a peg. WR Paul Richardson is the latest casualty; he sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder in Sunday’s win over the Chargers. Carroll thinks Richardson will be ready for the regular season, but he’ll be one of the several players who’ll be sitting out Friday’s game. Good thing there are still plenty of young and hungry players looking to impress Carroll and grab one of those precious few available roster spots.
Seattle’s preseason performance may be impressive under Carroll, but check out the guy on the other side of the field. Mike Zimmer is some kind of savant when it comes to exhibition games, leading the Vikings to a 13-1 SU and 12-2 ATS record since donning the headset three years ago. Holy doodle.
Zimmer has many of the earmarks that make Carroll such a quality coach. Both have decades of experience; in Zimmer’s case, he played both quarterback and linebacker in college before having to give it up, and he coached on the defensive side for over 30 years before finally getting a crack at the top job in Minneapolis. Zimmer scores points for positivity, as well. His players love him. So do people who bet on the Vikings, who have shredded the NFL odds since Zimmer’s arrival.
Which leaves us with a tough decision to make. However, if we look at how each coach has fared during Week 2 of the preseason, Zimmer’s Vikings are 3-0 SU, while Carroll’s Seahawks went 3-4 SU before bouncing back to profitability in Weeks 3 and 4. It could be small sample size, or it could be the ‘Hawks taking a breather after leaving it on the field in Week 1. If we’re going to recommend anybody ATS for Friday’s game, it’ll be Minnesota for a small wager at the best price on the board at top betting sites.
Free NFL Pick: Vikings +3.5
Best Line Offered at BetOnline