Is Denver a Justifiable Favorite for the Super Bowl?
In the eyes of the wagering public and one can only presume a fair amount of sharp bettors who pounded the Broncos right away Sunday night right after the number was released, the answer was yes.
Denver has been maintaining a 75 percent of slightly higher edge in wagers placed right from the start and those numbers are unlikely to change if at all until the final days before the game.
What is truly unusual about the Denver being flipped to a favorite is the public’s reaction on the money line. It is commonplace the money line to be opposite of the spread, with most football bettors willing to wager on the long shot underdog in order to hit the big payday. However, with the shorter number and the payoff not nearly as lucrative, the Broncos have attracted almost 55 percent of the money line action. This is likely to change later, yet interesting nevertheless.
Reasons to Support Denver
In the new pass-happy NFL where Commissioner Roger wants “every play to be exciting”, Denver would seem to be the NFL Headquarters choice. The Broncos offense was the best this season in almost every important category.
Peyton Manning had a year for the ages, leading his team to be the leader in total offense (457.3 yards per game), passing yards (340.3), points (37.9) and yards per passing attempt (8.1).
Manning also set a new standard for touchdown passes with 55 during the regular season and the Broncos had the most first downs, the highest four down conversion rate (8 of 9) and were merely second in the NFL in third down conversions at 46.3 percent.
One can certainly make a case on offense alone with their NFL picks Denver is the right choice to make.
Is Seattle the Better Value Play?
Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, there has been four previous Super Bowls matching the league’s best offense against the best defense in the NFL. This will be the fifth such encounter and if history is accurate, even with a very small sampling, Seattle is worth consideration for one of your sports picks.
Thus far, the defense is 3-1 with the New York Giants over Buffalo (1991), San Francisco over Miami (1985), and Pittsburgh over Dallas (1979). The only top offense team win was the 1990 49ers, who blowout the Broncos 55-10. Football and sports in particular has long held on to the belief that “offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.”
This is also a common belief among most NFL football handicappers. The Seahawks were tops in total defense (273.6), allowing the fewest passing yards (172) and points at 14.4 per contest. With this strong and super athletic group, they also surrendered the fewest yards per pass attempt, yards per play and were 0.2 yards behind Carolina in yards per points allowed for first in that category.
Seattle financial makeup is also different, with the defensive line being the most invested position for payroll, having pass rushers to keep the heat on opposing quarterbacks. The secondary is without equal and they have the depth to cover Denver’s outstanding array of receivers. It would seem the value is with the Seahawks.
Gauging the Total for Value
Online sportsbooks have taken into consideration the potential weather in New Jersey the first Sunday of February, Denver not scoring as many points against better competition and being more conservative overall, along with how Seattle plays and it defense and offered a number of 47.5, which seems right on. Hard to figure much value in this area.