Playing outside in the cold didn’t stop Super Bowl XLVIII from going OVER the posted total. Now that they’re moving back indoors, the NFL odds for Super Bowl XLIX have the total set even higher.
Jason’s 2014-15 postseason record: 3-3 ATS, 3-2-1 Totals
Can we keep going back and playing the Divisional Round over and over? Those were easy football picks compared to Sunday’s Conference games; we honked both of them ATS, although we did manage a split on the totals here at the home office. The New England Patriots had just enough mercy on the Indianapolis Colts to keep the score UNDER 52.5 points in a 45-7 laugher. Both teams pretty much let the last few minutes of the clock melt away.
The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, deprived us of a payday by scoring two touchdowns in the dying minutes, and failing to stop the Green Bay Packers from sending the game to overtime in a 28-22 final (OVER 45). Otherwise, the Seahawks defense did a spectacular job holding Green Bay to one lone touchdown while the offense and the special teams were coughing up the ball. Will that be enough reason for us to give the UNDER another spin on the Super Bowl odds board?
It didn’t quite work out last year. We had UNDER 48 in Super Bowl XLVII when the Seahawks met the Denver Broncos, and while the Seahawks defense certainly showed up, Denver failed to co-operate in a 43-8 blowout. Now the NFL odds have raised the bar a little higher for Super Bowl XLIX; as we go to press, the total for the Big Game (Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBC) has been set at 49 points, although several of our online sportsbooks have already dropped to 48.5. This is despite 55 percent of the early consensus falling on the OVER.
Our initial impression is on the OVER, as well. Super Bowl XLIX will take place indoors at the home of the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, where conditions will be much better than they were at the New Meadowlands. And although the 2013 Broncos and the 2014 Patriots have to be considered offensively gifted by any standard, we imagine the Patriots will be more likely to cash in on that promise, given the superior coaching of Bill Belichick.
Then there are the injuries suffered by Seattle CB Richard Sherman (elbow) and safety Earl Thomas (shoulder). We don’t want to get all Chicken Little here – both men say they’ll be fine for the Super Bowl – but we’d like to see how Monday’s MRIs come out and how Sherman and Thomas look in practice. Especially Sherman; his elbow injury looked relatively serious.
The Pride of Saskatchewan
After that ludicrous Conference Round comeback, we have a little less faith in Seattle’s offense. The tools are there to get the job done, but for whatever reason, Seattle tends to come out flat in the first half. Kudos if you were fading the Seahawks on the first-half lines in Sunday’s game, and following them for the second half.
If the ‘Hawks had come out any flatter against Green Bay, they would have been invisible. They didn’t get a first down until the middle of the second quarter, and on that drive, Russell Wilson thrDO You Want to Beew his third interception of the game. He threw another in the second half; Jermaine Kearse was the target all four times. This was against a Packers defense that was not restaurant-quality this year.
Then again, when you’ve got punter/holder Jon Ryan throwing touchdown passes on fake field-goal attempts, and defenders like Kam Chancellor capable of scoring pick-sixes, that definitely makes the OVER a more palatable football pick. Marshawn Lynch also toasted Green Bay for 157 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. The Patriots defense is only No. 14 in the league this year against the run – better than Green Bay at No. 24, but maybe not enough to stop Lynch. If you plan on adding the OVER to your Super Bowl picks, grab it now before the public gets frisky.