Super Bowl Picks: Seahawks vs. Broncos Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Thursday, January 30, 2014 1:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 1:42 PM UTC

What happens when the irresistible Denver Broncos offense meets the unmoveable Seattle Seahawks defense? You get a Super Bowl total that sits right in the middle.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013-14, up to January 30 inclusive:

48-41-2 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

16-19-1 Totals

Let’s see… Super Bowl point spread? Check. Super Bowl props? Check. Only one thing left to do now before it’s time to close up shop on the 2013-14 campaign: you guessed it, the Super Bowl total. We’ve got an over/under of 47 points on the NFL odds board for Sunday’s matchup between the Denver Broncos (OVER 10-7-1) and the Seattle Seahawks (UNDER 12-6). That’s down from 48 points at the open.

I’ve already made the UNDER my advance NFL pick for Super Bowl XLVIII, but it was with the standard caveat that we should wait until closer to game time (6:25 p.m. ET, FOX) to get a better read on what the weather’s going to be. As we go to press, the forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain over the New Meadowlands at kick-off, dropping to 10 percent shortly thereafter, with temperatures staying above the freezing mark well into the evening. Not quite the Snowpocalypse that many feared/hoped for.

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Making the Wind and Rain

It’ll still going to be somewhat chilly out there, mind you. And there will be at least some wind – the forecast says 5-10mph coming in from the northwest, although the stadium itself will alter that. New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford went on Olbermann Tuesday and said that the wind tends to be at your back anytime you’re working from inside your own 30-yard line at either end of the New Meadowlands. Weatherford also described the wind as much less “swirly” at the new venue than it was at old Giants Stadium.

This is all grist for the mill when considering the total for Sunday’s game. Especially at this time of year, weather plays a role in both the football itself and the way people bet on football. Looking back to Richard Borghesi’s academic studies, he found that the OVER was more likely to get paid in cold weather, as long as there wasn’t too much snow. The UNDER was a better bet in the wind and rain. Our latest weather forecast seems to point toward the OVER.

A Cold Day in Hell

It’ll be interesting to see if casual bettors start warming up to the OVER now that the weather isn’t looking so bad for Super Bowl Sunday. Our consensus reports show 55 percent of bettors taking the UNDER, which has remained fairly stable since the open despite the total dipping from 48 to 47. In normal circumstances, you’d expect people to favor the OVER, and even more so with Peyton Manning (55 TDs, 115.1 passer rating) and the Broncos getting pounded at a 2:1 ratio on the point spread. But when things get cold, the NFL betting public takes it too far with the UNDER.

The weather patterns and the football betting patterns are important, but in this case, I’m more likely to bet the UNDER based on the exes and ohs. The Broncos haven’t been dialing it up the way they did earlier this season; each of their last five games went UNDER, and given Seattle’s incredibly strong secondary, the game plan for Sunday will likely feature plenty of RB Knowshon Moreno and RB Montee Ball.

Meanwhile, each of Seattle’s last seven games has gone UNDER, and that included a pair of games against the high-octane New Orleans Saints, who were held to seven points in Week 13 (UNDER 48.5) and 15 points during the Divisional round (UNDER 44). Throw in a 10-20 percent chance of things getting a little slippery out there, and I’ll stick with the UNDER as my final Super Bowl total pick. But you should still wait until Sunday. Old Man Winter is a capricious bastard.

NFL Pick: Take UNDER 48 at SBR 

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