The Patriots need to find ways to crack the Seahawks’ defense in Super Bowl XLIX. This handicapper focuses on key players Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Julian Edelman & Brandon LaFell.
Tom Brady’s First Pass Completion Will Be Over 7 Yards: -125
Under 7 Yards: +105
The Patriots generally like to throw the ball short. They like to throw quick passes as extended handoffs, especially if their running game isn’t working or their offensive line is getting outplayed. This is what New England did in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots threw the ball over 50 times and just did not run the ball in the second half until they attempted to run out the clock in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. New England will throw the ball relentlessly against Seattle’s defense if it can’t run between the tackles, which is quite possible. The added benefit of short passes is that they neutralize the Seahawks’ pass rush. Expect Brady’s first throw to be a short one.
Brady’s Number Of Pass Completions Over 23: -135
Under 23: +115
If one is going to say that New England is going to throw a lot of short passes and use the passing game more than the running game, it only stands to reason that Brady should complete well over 23 passes. He’s not going to throw low-percentage passes unless his team falls way behind, and in a game this evenly matched, that’s probably not going to occur. Expect Tom Brady to complete near 30 passes, maybe 35.
Yardage Of Brady’s Longest Pass Completion:
Over 37.5: +110
Under 37.5: -130
If you think this offense is going to emphasize the short pass, you should probably lean toward a play which says Brady’s longest completion will be shorter than 37.5 yards. Seattle’s Richard Sherman is going to take away half of the field, so if New England gets a huge pass, it’s going to go to the other side of the field and Seattle’s Byron Maxwell. Still, don’t bet on the Patriots getting a pass that long in this game.
Number Of Brady Touchdown Passes:
Over 1.5: -165
Under 1.5: +135
The Super Bowl figures to be a low-scoring game. Seattle’s defense is so good that the Patriots are probably not going to waltz down the field all the time. The Seahawks probably won’t allow more than two or three touchdowns, so if the Patriots get two rushing touchdowns, that will leave them with only one touchdown pass from Brady. If they score only two touchdowns, one of them could easily be on the ground. Unless you think New England’s offense will roll in this game, you should probably go with the under when looking over the NFL odds.
Julian Edelman First Reception Over 9 Yards: +125
Under 9 Yards: -145
The Patriots like to throw short, and Edelman is an excellent possession receiver who is very much at home getting short gains. Take the under as your NFL pick.
Rob Gronkowski’s Longest Reception Over 22 Yards: -140
Under 22 Yards: +120
A member of the Seahawks’ secondary, Jeremy Lane, said Gronkowski just wasn’t very good. Expect Gronkowski to laugh in the Seahawks’ faces and have a good game. He’ll get at least one ball of more than 22 yards.
Brandon LaFell Scores A TD: +175
No TD: -210
The central roles played by Gronkowski and Edelman will probably crowd LaFell out of the end zone. A “no touchdown” bet would make sense for him.