It’s the Super Bowl XLVIII matchup that the online sportsbooks expected the most: the Denver Broncos taking on the Seattle Seahawks, and the Seahawks have opened as very small favorites on the NFL odds boards.
Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013-14, up to January 20 inclusive:
1-1 ML (+0.71 units)
See? Betting on the NFL is a piece of cake. All you had to do in the Conference Round was stick with the game plan, even while the marketplace was going nuts all around you. The New England Patriots (+5 away) were 0-7 ATS in their last seven Final Four games; now they’re 0-8 ATS after losing 26-16 to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. And the San Francisco 49ers (+4) were 0-5 ATS in their last five games against the Seattle Seahawks; now they’re 0-6 ATS after losing 23-17. No sweat.
Just kidding. Of course there was a sweat: Tom Brady almost led another one of his late comebacks for the Patriots, and Colin Kaepernick had the Niners deep in Seattle territory in the dying seconds. Anything could have happened in either game. That’s the way the prolate spheroid bounces. Like the song says, if and when you get into the end zone, act like you’ve been there 1,000 times before. By the way, did I mention I got both totals right?
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Seriously, though, we’ve got more important matters on our hands. The Broncos will meet the Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, Feb. 2 (6:25 p.m. ET, FOX). MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is the venue, which means we could be in for a chilly one. It’s way too early for even a long-range forecast, but the average daytime high for this particular time and place is 38 degrees. The average evening low is 24 degrees. Someone remind Roger Goodell to wear his mukluks.
It took about three nanoseconds for the opening Super Bowl lines to go up on the NFL odds board, and there was a range across the online sportsbooks from Seattle PK to Seattle –2. But none of those lines lasted very long. Within the first hour after the final gun sounded in the NFC Championship Game, the Broncos had moved to as high as –2.5 (–114). Our NFL betting consensus reports show 63 percent of bettors lining up behind Denver. The total has also dropped from 48 points to 47.5 under slight pressure from UNDER bettors.
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It makes perfect sense that the Broncos (15-3 SU, 11-6-1 ATS) are getting the bulk of the action. Just like after the Divisional Round games, there was plenty of time once the Conference Round ended for the NFL betting public to get busy. And they’re naturally going to get busy for the team with Peyton Manning on it. He’s the one everyone knows about, the one whose familiar face is on television all the time, usually selling something to you.
The Seahawks (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS), on the other hand, have just about everything you could ask for in a sharp NFL bet. They’re the small-market team with the 5-foot-11 African-American quarterback who was drafted in the third round… what’s his name again? Oh yeah, Russell Wilson. Seattle is also the team with the superior defense and the superior special teams. And while the Broncos have the best overall offense (one of the best ever, in fact), when you break things down into their component parts, the Seahawks have the superior running game.
I’ll delve into the data for you when I return later in the week to look more closely at betting the Super Bowl spread. But for now, just like it’s been for most of the past decade, we’ve got a fairly easy pick on the underdogs. I’ll tack on the UNDER as the standard parlay and hope for an assist from Old Man Winter. Enjoy the bye week, folks.
Take the Seahawks +2 (+100) at BetOnlineTake UNDER 48 at Heritage