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Week 12 Monday Night Football pick, prediction against the spread

In our Week 12 Monday Night Football prediction, we look at the NFL odds and provide a pick for tonight's Seahawks vs. Football Team game.

Tonight’s Monday Night Football prediction features two teams worthy of the pick for the most disappointing season. The no-longer-relevant Seattle Seahawks face the defenseless Washington Football Team to close out Week 12. Let’s dive into this Seahawks vs. Football Team prime-time matchup and determine the best pick for this NFL betting prediction.

Monday Night Football Picks: Seahawks vs. Football Team prediction

We close Week 12 with two teams that received plenty of preseason hype yet failed to live up to expectations. It looked like Seattle’s offensive line struggles might improve this season, but their front five is still one of the worst in the league. Having one of the best players in the NFL injured for a portion of the season hasn’t helped their outlook either.

Washington entered this year with a fearsome defense and added quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to bolster the offense. However, the defense has failed significantly and must go on without Chase Young and Montez Sweat on the line. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick was lost for the season after only 6 passes.

Which one of these preseason disappointments will make for the correct pick in tonight’s Monday Night Football prediction? 

Let Russ cook

When quarterback Russell Wilson joined the Seahawks in 2012, he joined a stout, defensive-minded team that needed an elite signal-caller to push them over the edge. For a few years, Seattle was among the NFL’s elite teams. They had a top-three defense, and Wilson managed the game while they depended on their rushing attack to control the clock.

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The blueprint was a successful one that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has used time and time again. Yet, over the last nine seasons, the vaunted Seattle defense has become a laughingstock (primarily in the secondary), and Wilson has dealt with offensive line woes year in and year out.

Advanced metrics

In Wilson’s first five games this year, Seattle’s offense was in the top 10 of offensive EPA/play (expected points added). Since his return in Week 10, however, the Seahawks are 29th. That lack of success is mostly due to their dropback EPA ranking 29th, compared to their rush EPA coming in at 10th.

Only the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons have a worse pass EPA over the last two weeks. It is worth noting that the Seahawks have faced the fourth-most challenging schedule for offenses thus far. The offensive line play can shed another informative spotlight because Seattle has allowed the third-most sacks this year.

The Seattle defense does nothing to help the cause, either. The Seahawks do a decent job stopping the run (16th in EPA, ninth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA), yet their secondary is atrocious. They have a bottom-10 ranking in both EPA and DVOA against the pass this season.

Seattle is allowing the highest success rate (52.6%) to opposing quarterbacks. Once again, it is worth noting they have played the most challenging schedule for defenses this season. With the likes of Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, and Jimmy Garoppolo all ranking in the top eight in EPA + CPOE (completion percentage over expected) composite, this defense could use a reprieve facing Washington’s 18th-ranked quarterback.

The nation’s capital

What a difference a year makes. Last season, Washington owned arguably the best defensive unit in the league and just needed some offensive retooling to catapult them to the NFC East forefront. Now, with the expectation that FitzMagic will miss the remainder of the season, the Football Team’s hopes and dreams are all but finished. Antonio Gibson’s and Terry McLaurin’s breakout seasons will have to wait another year.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke hasn’t been terrible, but he also hasn’t been great. Washington’s offense ranks slightly below league average, mainly due to their inability to run the ball. The Football Team’s rushing attack is a measly 22nd in EPA and 28th in DVOA, while the passing attack ranks 18th in EPA and 13th in DVOA. Seattle can stop the run, but Washington can’t run the ball. Meanwhile, WFT is better in the passing game, which is where the Seahawks’ defense fails to execute.

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Defensively, Washington cannot stop the pass yet are decent at stopping the run. The Football Team comes in with the No. 31 ranked defense in both EPA and DVOA. The secondary is the glaring hole, as they rank 30th across the board. The front seven ranks 11th in run DVOA and 15th in run EPA.

With Seattle adamant on running the ball early and often, will the Seahawks let Russ cook and attack one of the worst secondaries in the league? Can Pete Carroll get out of his head and let his elite quarterback handle this atrocious Washington secondary? If so, Seattle is the only side to pick for this Monday Night Football prediction.

Seahawks vs. Football Team prediction and pick

This line is a pick ’em, so the favorite vs. underdog prime-time trends get thrown out the window in this one. Wilson has been subpar since his return from injury, but is that a sign of his declining skill set? Or is it just him needing to get back up to game speed? With Washington’s top two defensive ends out for the season and a secondary that can’t stop a nosebleed, will Russ cook this WFT secondary and revert to his MVP-caliber status?

Seattle’s defense is terrible, but Washington’s is worse. Wilson has been below-average as of late, but do you trust Heinicke to outperform Russ in this game? Both teams can stop the run, but Seattle can pound the rock.

I’ll take the veteran quarterback in a bounce-back game on a pick ’em line. This line is solely due to the Hawks’ recent poor performance and the Football Team’s domination over the last few weeks. Tonight’s official pick is the Seahawks moneyline for this Monday Night Football prediction.

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