Seahawks Try to Win Back-to-Back Super Bowls But NFL Odds Makers Still Favor Patriots

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:26 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 8:26 PM UTC

Before placing your bet against the spread for Super Bowl Sunday, keep in mind that now that we are past 'Deflate-Gate' hype, both teams can hunker down and mentally prepare.

Super Bowl XLIX Betting Line: New England -1
The Super Bowl must include a look at injuries. Both teams are very healthy, though it’s an open question as to how effective the Seahawks’ best defenders will be. Earl Thomas, an elite safety, dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game. Richard Sherman injured his elbow and was playing much of the NFC title game with one arm in terms of his ability to tackle. He will be limited in run support, but he should still be able to provide great pass coverage, since all he needs to do for that is to run. He could have some problems jamming receivers – that’s the one thing to look at in terms of measuring his effectiveness. If both players are reasonably effective, Seattle should be very confident about what its defensive line can do.

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Continuing the matchup when New England has the ball, Patriot receiver Julian Edelman grabbed nine passes for 98 yards versus Indianapolis in the AFC title game. He will be useful on short passes on third and four or third and five. Rob Gronkowski will be the key playmaker and perhaps the most important offensive player in the whole game. He will probably be matched up against Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright. Gronkowski is a tight end who plays like a wide receiver in terms of being able to run downfield routes and stretch a defense. If he makes three or four really big plays, Seattle’s in huge trouble. Tom Brady has been to the Super Bowl five times before. He’ll be able to make the right reads and get the ball to his receivers if they’re open. Getting open will be the hard part.

The Seattle Seahawks made one mistake in the past week and a half: Jeremy Lane, a member of their secondary, said that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t very good. Other than that, there hasn’t been any real trash talk. One distraction for the Seahawks has been the constant media attention paid to running back Marshawn Lynch, whose short same-answer responses to questions have upset a lot of columnists and reporters.

When looking at Seattle’s offense versus New England’s defense, the reality is very simple: Seattle’s top-ranked rushing offense has to do well. The Seahawks have to establish Marshawn Lynch and get a great game from their offensive line. If they don’t, New England should be able to cover Seattle’s receivers on third down. New England doesn’t have the strong defense Seattle has, but when compared to the Seahawks’ limited offense, the Patriots’ offense looks a million times better. This balance on offense and more big-game experience should carry New England to a win over a struggling Seattle offense.

NFL Pick: Patriots -1 at Bodog

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