Former AFC West rivals are set to collide in Super Bowl XLVIII that will pit the #1 seeded Seattle Seahawks out of the NFC against the AFC’s top seeded Denver Broncos. The Seahawks were aided by a number of terrible late game calls, but ultimately came up big when it mattered most to topple the division rival 49ers in the NFC championship game. Denver controlled its AFC title game from the opening kick and calmly went about its business to win and cover against the Patriots.
BRONCOS vs. SEAHAWKS 2014 SUPER BOWL SPREAD:
OPEN: SEAHAWKS -1.5 | CURRENT: BRONCOS -2 | O/U: 48
1. Why the BRONCOS will cover the spread: If not for running up against the division rival San Diego Chargers who are well versed in what the Broncos like to do offensively, Coach Fox’s squad would find itself in the midst of a five-game win streak both SU & ATS heading into the postseason. In other words, Denver has handled its business against everyone else that stepped in its path of late. The Broncos were major moneymakers for their wagering supporters all season long, and got the job done on the back of an offense that went at its opposition in a myriad of ways.
Whether it was the RB tandem of Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball punishing the opposition or the receiving corps spearheaded by Demaryius Thomas, Peyton Manning was nearly unstoppable as he went about his record breaking campaign.
2. Why the SEAHAWKS will cover the spread: In this day and age of the NFL, it’s been proven that a great offense trumps a solid defense. However, the Seahawks just might possess one of the best stop units the league has ever witnessed when you consider the amount of new rules that have been implemented over the years that grossly benefit the offense. The unit just limited San Francisco and New Orleans to an average of just 16 PPG, and only five times through 18 played games did Richard Sherman and his defensive mates allow 20+ points.
Adding to the value on the Seahawks is the fact that every Tom, Dick, and Harry is lined up around the corner to back #18 in hopes that the future Hall of Fame QB adds another Super Bowl ring to his list of achievements. Per the opening line, Denver is now the public favorite.
3. Total Talk Broncos/Seahawks: These teams couldn’t have been any more different from one another in this department. But when you take into account that Seattle is cut from a defensive cloth while Denver an offensive, it really comes as no surprise.
The Seahawks played to the “under” in 10 of their 16 regular season games as well as in both postseason match-ups; it’s a perfect 7-0 in their L/7 games played and a perfect 6-0 the L/6 times they battled a +.500 opponent. With Denver possessing one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, it’s hardly shocking that it played to “overs” in 11 of its 16 regular season games. That said, the ‘under’ has cashed in each of their L/5 games which includes both playoff tussles.
4. Betting Trends for Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl: If you poll 10 people right before kick-off and ask them who originally opened up as the favorite in this game, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least to get 10 Denver replies. Not so fast my friend! The NFC was favored by 1.5 to 2 points before championship weekend even kicked off, and Seattle opened as 1-point favorites for this game. Even with that the case, better than 80% of the betting public is riding the AFC entrants as false favorites. Making the situation all the more worse for the Broncos is the location of this game with it being played in the wind tunnel otherwise known as MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Remember #18’s performance in Foxboro that cold wintry night against the Patriots. Sure, Denver put 31 points on the board and lost in overtime, but it wasn’t Manning that made much of an impact in throwing for just 150 yards and a 2:1 TD/INT ratio. He’ll need to be exponentially better than that for the Broncos to have any shot of coming through against the unforgiving defense of the Seahawks. Seattle is simply more battle tested for this one with it regularly playing on field-turf (26-10 ATS L/36), and more adept at braving the elements with its power running game; Denver’s just 4-9 ATS its L/13 on field-turf. Let “Joe Public” continue to throw their money on the “feel-good story” side, the smart money resides with the NFC.
Seattle 26 – Denver 20