Predicting Super Bowl Outcome: Will Patriots & Seahawks Go Over or Under NFL Odds Total?

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 29, 2015 7:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 7:20 PM UTC

The over-under for the Super Bowl has moved downward by a point to a half-point since it came out. Will that slight bit of movement matter? 

Why The Game Will Go Over
This is going to happen if a few things take place: First, both defenses will score touchdowns. This is very realistic. Seattle’s defense scored a touchdown in last year’s Super Bowl against another great offense in the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks got a defensive touchdown in the playoffs this season against the Carolina Panthers. If Seattle’s offense scores 17 and the defense scores seven, the Seahawks will get 24, and suddenly the 'over' would seem very realistic. The Seahawks could also contribute to the 'over' in this game by turning the ball over the way they did against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. The Packers got field goals off two separate Seattle turnovers, and the Packers got three more points after the Seahawks went three-and-out and then kicked a bad punt. Both offenses might score only 20 points each on their own, or something close to that, but if each side gets a defensive touchdown, that’s 14 points total, leaving the two offenses only 34 points to get the over. That’s pretty realistic.

You also have to realize that the Patriots’ offense is in a groove. With 35 points in the divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens and 52 in the AFC Championship Game against an Indianapolis Colts team that held Peyton Manning and Denver to only 13 points a week earlier, Tom Brady has the skills and the creativity to outmaneuver Seattle’s defense. Seattle, for its part, struggled against Green Bay but still scored 28 points. If playoff point totals continue to remain in the same neighborhood, this game will easily go over the number. (Seattle scored 31 against Carolina in the divisional round.)

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Why The Game Will Go Under
The game could very easily go 'under' if both defenses dominate. This is highly realistic as well. Seattle’s pass defense is first in the NFL in yards allowed, and its rushing defense is third in the NFL in yards allowed. The Seahawks have also allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season, something they’ve done three years running, an accomplishment not registered since the Minnesota Vikings did the same thing at the beginning of the 1970s. Seattle can shut down New England not because it necessarily can do certain things to stop the Patriots (though it can), but just because it’s a great defense. Great defenses will find a way to get the job done no matter what. Since Seattle is highly competent in stopping both the run and the pass, it is balanced on defense, and that’s what great defenses are able to display on a regular basis.

New England can shut down Seattle because the Seahawks don’t have a passing game – not much of one. Seattle was 27th in the league this past season in passing yards. The Russell Wilson threw four interceptions against Green Bay in the NFC title game. If Seattle can’t run the ball with Marshawn Lynch, New England can really apply a straitjacket to the Seahawks, who did not score a single point on offense until the 2:09 mark of the fourth quarter. Seattle’s first touchdown was a fake field goal, a special-teams touchdown instead of an offensive touchdown. This offense can get smothered.


The possibility of a defensive or special-teams touchdown always exists, and it could very possibly happen in this game. Seattle’s defense and special teams scored a total of 16 points alone in the Super Bowl a year ago (nine on defense, seven on special teams). However, if no spectacular plays occur, this is headed for an 'under.' Seattle’s defense is so good, and it’s offense is so limited, that this feels like a game played in the high teens or very low 20s. Take the 'under' with your NFL picks.

NFL Pick: UNDER at The Greek

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