Here’s a very early look at the betting information:
Note: Odds courtesy of Pinnacle Sports.
Spread: Carolina (-2.5)
Moneyline: Seattle (+127), Carolina (-140)
These two teams have quietly established quite the rivalry. They have played five times in the last four years, including last season in the divisional round of the playoffs. And while the Seahawks have won four of those matchups, four of them have been decided by five points or less and last year’s postseason battle was just as tight until the ‘Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter in the 34-17 victory.
Adding to the intrigue, they have similar makeups. Offenses that were initially run-heavy but have expanded because of athletic quarterbacks who can make plays with their legs. Elite defenses. All-Pro cornerback. All-Pro linebacker. Defensive linemen capable of wreaking havoc in the backfield.
In Football Outsiders’ DVOA efficiency rankings, the Seahawks finished the year first overall, and the Panthers were fourth. But the Seahawks didn’t look great in Minnesota (although the elements had plenty to do with that), while the Panthers had a bye week and will be at home, giving them an early advantage with oddsmakers.
We’re only in the divisional round, but this might just be the most compelling matchup we see all postseason.