Thursday September 4th, 2014

Defending Super Bowl champions have lost their season opener just twice in the past 20 years.

Neither oddsmakers nor the OddsShark.com prediction computer believe it will happen this year either as the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers kick off the 2014 NFL season on Thursday Night Football.

Sportsbooks opened with the Seahawks as 4.5-point favorites but have since seen the betting public back the defending champs all the way up to -6.

The total has also seen typical public money on the over, especially with a prime time game like this, opening at 44.5 and rising two points so far to 46.5.

NFL
Against the odds: Can Seahawks buck history, repeat as champions?

The computer has generated a 33-21 prediction for the opener.

Defense is the major difference in this particular matchup, as Seattle enjoys a big edge in the secondary, led by All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Both teams have strong running games, so the team that is able to throw the football more effectively against the other’s defense should prevail.

NFL futures also see these two teams among the favorites to not only win the NFC this year but also the Super Bowl. Seattle ranges between 5-1 and 6-1 to repeat as the Super Bowl champ, while Green Bay is anywhere from 9-1 to 13-1 depending on which book monitored by OddsShark.com you are checking.

As for the betting trends for Thursday night, the Seahawks are 4-0 SU (straight up) and ATS (against the spread) in their past four Week 1 home contests, and the home team is 7-1 SU in the last eight games between the Packers and Seahawks.

Seattle is also sitting at 15-1 SU in its past 16 outings as the home favorite.

BANKS: Bold predictions for the 2014 season

The game is a rematch of the controversial Fail Mary game from two years ago.

The previous meeting took place in Week 3 of the 2012 season on Monday Night Football and saw the Seahawks literally steal a 14-12 victory away from the Packers as 3-point home underdogs.

Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate ripped the ball away from Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings on what was called the game-winning 24-yard touchdown catch as time expired.

Bettors who wagered on the Packers had a legitimate gripe with replacement officials working the game who erroneously called the interception a touchdown, turning what appeared to be a 12-7 win into a costly loss.

The teams have moved in opposite directions since that game, with the Seahawks gradually improving to the point they are now and the Packers still trying to reclaim past glory.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.