Seahawks 2021 win total preview: Fade the tough schedule

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The Seahawks won the NFC West last year at +225, with their 12 regular-season wins marking the most since the 2014 season.

Seattle's expected to flirt with double-digit wins in the NFL's toughest division this fall. Will the franchise get there or trickle back in 2021?

Here's our third NFC West preview of the offseason.

2021 Seahawks win total

Over: 10 (+115)
Under: 10 (-135)

A look back

Head coach Pete Carroll has been a solid bet in the regular-season win totals market, going 7-3-1 to the over since taking the reins in 2010.

Year SEA Win Total Record Over/Under
2010 7 7-9 Push
2011 6.5 7-9 Over
2012 7 11-5 Over
2013 10.5 13-3 Over
2014 11 12-4 Over
2015 11 10-6 Under
2016 10.5 10-6 Under
2017 10.5 9-7 Under
2018 7.5 10-6 Over
2019 8.5 11-5 Over
2020 9.5 12-4 Over

There was the three-year losing streak from 2015-17, but Carroll probably deserved better.

In 2015, the Seahawks were the No. 1 DVOA team in the NFL, and Pythagorean Wins projected them for 11.8 victories.

The following year, Seattle missed the mark by one half-win.

Then, in 2017, Carroll and Co. suffered five of their seven losses by six points or fewer. We could very well be talking about a 10-year win total streak if everything had gone right.

Last season's run was a breeze for the Seahawks. They started the year 5-0, cashed their number with two weeks left to spare, and punched their ticket to the playoffs before getting bounced in the first round by the Rams.

Seattle's offense was one of the league's biggest surprises out the gates in 2020. The unit averaged north of 34 points per game through the first eight contests.

The defense allowed 30.4 points in the first half of the season but cut that number nearly in half to just 16.0 over the second half. The improvements were obvious, but the public hardly noticed Seattle's struggles on the other side of the ball; the offense racked up more than 29 points just once in the second half after doing so seven times in the first.

Breakdown

If the Seahawks can somehow mash the offense's first-half performance with the defense's second-half effort, it'll be smooth sailing. However, a quick start is crucial if Seattle's to register another 'over.'

The franchise will play five of its first seven games against playoff teams from a season ago; all seven squads have win totals of at least 8.5 or higher for the 2021 campaign.

Russell Wilson's a top-five quarterback, with a skill corps that PFF grades just outside the top 10 entering the year. The offensive line ranked No. 16 in pass-blocking grade last year - the highest of the Wilson era - but the unit's expected to regress.

The defense, meanwhile, was middle of the road in 2020, ranking No. 11 in yards per play allowed, No. 16 in DVOA, and No. 30 in passing yards surrendered per game.

Best bet - Under 10 (-135)

Seattle will be tested this year after drawing a favorable schedule in 2020.

The Seahawks played four games against postseason teams last fall and recorded just two(!) victories against winning clubs. Their 2021 schedule's the 11th toughest when using current Super Bowl odds and the 12th toughest when factoring in last season's combined opponents' win total.

Seattle had a prime opportunity last year, but the NFC West will be loads better this season. Betting against Carroll isn't for the faint of heart, but if anyone in the division is going to slide back, my money's on the Seahawks.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. Find him on Twitter @AjKolodziej.

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Seahawks 2021 win total preview: Fade the tough schedule
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