NFL Picks: Situational Factors That Will Play Into the Super Bowl Outcome

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, January 30, 2015 8:12 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 8:12 PM UTC

The information in this NFL handicapping article will be combined with the technical & betting trends data, as well as statistical analysis, which will lead us to our Super Bowl pick ATS & on the total.

In a previous article I examined how the teams reached their Super Bowl berth through this year’s playoff run. That article also included a dissection of each team from a technical perspective, with a variety of point spread trends to consider when making NFL picks.

As part of the handicapper’s conundrum, I'm asked to determine whether each team in each game is going to continue their positive or negative momentum, or whether each team will have a letdown or bounce back. With each team coming off a victory in their previous game, that analysis is simplified a bit. A big part of this situational analysis deals with the psychological nature of each team, and how they approach the current game based on the results of the previous game, as well as any factors that have evolved in the interim.

From the Seattle perspective, the Seahawks could well be highly motivated. In the previous game (28-22) comeback victory against Green Bay, they were forced to overcome 5 turnovers. Were it not for the adrenaline rush supplied by the raucous home field crowd, and their kamikaze-like defensive intensity, that victory would not have occurred. It would be highly unlikely that Seattle would enter this Super Bowl in letdown mode. In addition, it cannot be dismissed that Seattle has intimate familiarity with this site. For, they have faced Arizona here in 5 previous seasons, emerging with a 3-2 SU record, winning by an average of 10 PPG. This year’s game at Arizona came in week 16 of the NFL season. As 8 point road chalk on the NFL odds, Seattle dominated Arizona 35-6 on this field. Surely there will be good vibes when they enter this stadium. I believe there is a much lower probability that Seattle will be overconfident based on their belief they can “win any game” based on their comeback last week. Nor is it likely that the Seahawks will shy away from the label of “team of destiny” as they vie for consecutive Super Bowl crowns.

The situation for New England is a bit more tenuous. There is the danger that this team may be a bit overconfident following the ease with which they defeated Indy by a dominant score of 45-7, in which they held massive edges in the running game and total yards. Of greater concern, are the negative psychological effects of “Deflate Gate.” When you have spent two weeks listening to the media pound the airwaves that the only way you won was to cheat by deflating the football, it can clearly have a negative effect on your self-worth. It will be up to HC Belichick to dispel any of those negative rumblings going on in the collective heads of this team. From the positive perspective, though New England has been a consistent Super Bowl participant with 6 Super Bowls in 14 years, it has been a decade since the Patriots last lifted the trophy. With time running out on the Belichick/Brady tandem, this New England team could come with huge passion and intensity.

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