As I scan the NFL betting odds I notice that virtually all the offshore books are dealing a total ranging from 47 to 48. I am trying to think of a scenario that will talk me off betting the Under and perhaps convince me that the Over would be a mighty fine value bet in this Super Bowl soiree. Of course you can concoct a scenario where Peyton Manning plays unconscious and his receivers shake off the Seattle secondary like a dog shakes his fur after a quick dunk in the pool. I guess that could happen and this highly trumpeted Seattle defense bows under the mighty arm of Peyton the Great. Yeah, it's possible - but not probable.
So if we're not going to allow that premise to take hold then what are we left with? How about something along the lines of the NFC Championship Game? San Francisco, a team known for a bruising defense and a serviceable offense (re: Seattle's twin) was able to score 17 points but more importantly surrendered 23 to an offense that is supposedly pedestrian at best. That's 40 freakin' points right there and the Niners ain't no Denver on offense while the Broncos ain't no San Fran on defense. I realize the Broncos defensive unit gave the Patriots fits in the AFC Championship but let's face it, Tom Terrific hardly lived up to his moniker and the Broncos didn't have to do much of anything except try not shoot themselves in the foot.
The Broncos defense has to worry about two things; Marhsawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Not so much Wilson's arm as he's passed for over 300 yards only twice this season. That's kind of hard to believe, right? Well believe, like Shakira's hips, the stats don't lie. However, if you torture the numbers long enough they will confess to almost anything. Russell Wilson has a very capable arm but his speed allows him to roll out and make things happen on the ground. Outside of Percy Harvin, who has been injured virtually the entire season, Wilson doesn't have a bevy of high-grade receivers. And that brings us to the Denver defense.
The Broncos may not strike fear into the hearts of opposing offenses but let's not overlook the fact that Denver is very good at stopping the run. They were ranked 8th in the NFL in that category this season and stonewalled the talented triumvirate in New England consisting of Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen. Not exactly chopped liver but granted they're not Marshawn Lynch either. If you're looking for a betting angle on this total just ask yourself if you see either team blowing up the scoreboard? Can you see Denver marching up and down a cold and blustery field on one of the best defenses ever assembled? Or can you see a team that relies almost exclusively on the turbo-charged legs of one man to carry the rock and move the chains, scoring at will against a defense that is more than adept at stopping the run?
While I am presently leaning towards the Broncos as the small neutral site chalk in NFL odds, I am still not thoroughly convinced they are indeed the right side. However, what I am growing increasingly confident about is a total that seems a bit too high. If you're looking for a betting angle or edge in the big game you could do worse than taking the plunge on Under 47 ½ at Bet365.com.