Super Bowl Betting Recap

Nila Amerova

Monday, February 3, 2014 7:22 PM GMT

The Seattle Seahawks disembowel Denver Broncos to win their first ever Lombardi. Join us as we breakdown the Super Bowl odds and betting aftermath. 

Why not us?

When the top seeds of both the NFC and AFC booked their spots in Super Bowl XLVIII, effectively delivering a clash of the best against the best – what is the ideal byword for any top competition – it was all anybody could talk about, almost to the point of exhaustion. Of particular interest was how they would stack up against each other, the Broncos’ number-one ranked offense and Seahawks’ number-one ranked defense. When their top credentials were gained through contrasting styles (forces), which would be left standing to soak up the plaudits was the most intriguing question of all. Tale told the latter won. The shocking bit, though, it was in convincing fashion, by disembowelling the Denver Broncos 43-8.

When sportsbooks went to press on the highly anticipated clash they opted for a conservative outlook, with the betting landscape rather close on the money line odds and ever so tight on the spread. Clearly, in the trial of offense vs. defense, both were considered highly.

But the Broncos did emerge as the slight favourites at -130 NFL odds, a conspicuous leaning towards the brute offense that bulldozed through the regular season and postseason to book its place in the championships. Seahawks meanwhile were listed at the marginal disadvantage across the board, at +110 NFL odds or thereabouts. Granted, hardly a ringing endorsement but a compliment of sorts nonetheless. Finally, the spread was nestled lovingly on a tight line, tipping its hat to both styles around the 2-point mark.

Still, overall the market stance went against the well-known maxim of defense wins games, which many took as a sign of changing times in the way the game is played today as well as in NFL betting markets.

Colour the world shocked

Experts, fans and neutrals alike were all curious about this clash, the quintessential battle between opposing schools of thought. But for all the disparity and differences inherent in both camps and the division in sports betting circles about the “who the winner will be,” there was one unanimous expectation: a close battle to the end.

It was not the fact that Seattle Seahawks won that has all and sundry gobsmacked in the aftermath. It’s the way they did it: stifling the Broncos juggernaut and disembowelling the Broncos defense, reducing them all in one to a jittery shamble, not to mention casting Peyton Manning’s legacy in some doubt. That absolutely nobody expected at all.

In mere seconds, it was 2-0, then 5-0. Blink and it was 8-0...double blink and it was a staggering 22-0 going into the halftime. So furious was the Hawks’ pace throughout. Not until the scoreboard read 36-0 did Manning and Co., finally get past the Hawks’ defense into the end zone – the lone scoring attempt by the ‘greatest offense of all time’ in order to prevent the inexplicable humiliation of a complete bagel.

If anybody were going to win in a big way, by all accounts, the Broncos would have been the likely choice. But from the first play of the game, it was an uphill battle for the Broncos – incidentally, that proved to be one of the most profitable NFL bets on the night: first score of the game to come by any other method (other than a TD or FG) at +3300 at Bet365.  In hindsight, that bizarre throw/fumble/missed catch to start the game – whatever it was – proved to be a bad omen. Yet another Manning choke job in the biggest game of all.

NFL betting Verdict

When the top-ranked offense takes on the top-ranked defense, it goes without saying: something has to give. By and large, most expected the latter to do so, highlighted by a relatively inexperienced troop at this level and quarterbacked by a rookie. Tale told they did not just rise to the occasion. They surpassed expectations and proved to be the savvy NFL pick.

Inasmuch as the night was about Seattle Seahawks and their incredible victory, the night was also about the complete and utter breakdown of the Broncos, inexplicably crumbling faster than an Oreo cookie on the biggest stage in NFL betting. Ramifications that will surely be felt in the upcoming season.