Can the defending champions Seattle Seahawks win a second straight Super Bowl? We revisit the Super Bowl XLIX Betting landscape and the NFL odds as we weigh in on their chances.
Winning Conference Odds: AFC +130 vs. NFC -150
Seattle Seahawks backers have loads of room for optimism; not only do the odds makers favour the Seattle Seahawks to repeat as champions in Super Bowl XLIX betting with +115 NFL odds , but also they favor the NFC Conference to win it all at -150 NFL odds. If that's not a ringing endorsement of the NFL betting faves, what is?
Past Super Bowl Champions
Since 2000-2001 season, the AFC and NFC have split the titles evenly 8-6 respectively. During this 14 Super Bowl stretch, the New England Patriots have won three titles on the back of the tandem of Brady and Belichick; while the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have won once each. The Colts win however was down to Peyton Manning. The Colts have yet to win a Super Bowl with heir apparent Andrew Luck.
Divisional Round Betting Recap and Odds
Ahead of the Divisional Round of the playoffs, we looked at the Super Bowl betting landscape and previewed the various scenarios. True to form, the Seahawks underscored their favourable NFL odds to advance into the NFC Championship game. According to the rankings, they were amongst the top four faves expected to advance; only the Colts crashed the party with their upset over the Denver Broncos. (See Table 1 that gives an overview of various relevant rankings used by NFL bettors towards their NFL picks).
On the back of Seattle's win in the Divisional Round, their Super Bowl odds have been slashed from +200 to a marginal +115. They continue to lead the race on the NFL odds board, even though the Panthers held them to a close score for the better part of the game and not until a late push saw the seams bust open and the Seahawks ran away with the score.
Table 1: SBR ADJUSTED POWER RANKINGS AT A GLANCE
Predictably, the most popular scenario for Super Bowl XLIX is a clash between the New England Patriots and the defending Super Bowl Champions. That notion is underscored by the advantageous odds trading on the NFL odds boards for both teams and underscored by the various rankings schemes listed in Table 1. Football Outsiders have also worked out a 44.8% probability for that matchup to occur with the other three possible scenarios splitting a stake in the remaining 56.2%.
NFC Championship Game Preview and Odds
The Seattle Seahawks overcame an early push by the Carolina Panthers in a 31-17 victory on Saturday. On paper, they are the best NFL pick to win it all with the best NFL odds at +115 in futures betting markets as well as being firmly installed as the -320 NFL betting favourites to win at home.
Not only has their defense been the story behind their seven-game winning streak ahead of the NFC Championship game, but third-year quarterback Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch have elevated their level. Indeed, after the divisional round, Wilson emerged with a staggering 149.2 QBR rating, the highest of all his peers. (See Table 2). In a quarterback driven sport, such big game presence is going to be key to Seattle's bid to repeat as champions, which would mark the first time a franchise repeats since the Patriots did it in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
Table 2: Offensive Stats/Performance for Quarterbacks
NFL NFC Championship Betting Analysis:* Includes stats for both wildcard and divisional round where applicable.
Given the odds makers have rolled out a hefty 7-to-7.5-point spread on the clash with the Packers, it's clear confidence is high on the Seahawks at the expense of the Packers, who are no wilting flowers or lacking in experience at this level. They are the NFC second seeds and former champions (2010-2011). They are after back-to-back gutsy wins over the Lions (week 17) and Cowboys (divisional round) and Aaron Rodgers is the frontrunner in the MVP discussion.
Aside from the Seattle Seahawks' formidable form, the other side of the coin has had a hand in this market outlook as well. The reasoning is mostly down to Rodgers' calf injury. He was clearly hindered in mobility and effectiveness against the Cowboys and the impression across sportsbooks is that it'll be an even bigger factor against the league's top defense (see Table 1) in the NFL Championship game. That a healthy Aaron Rodgers and Company couldn't defeat the Seahawks in week 1 (they lost 36-16), doesn't bode well for those NFL bettors that might be entertaining the notion Rodgers would limp to victory at CenturyLink Field.
Does Seattle Have The Super Bowl In The Bag?
The way Super Bowl XLIX is trading, the title is definitely Seattle's to win or lose. The stars have aligned just so, to serve up what bookies consider a winnable game in the NFC Championship Game, only furthers the notion. They are saying, in no uncertain terms: the Packers without Rodgers at 100% will be hard pressed to deny Seahawks what would appear to be their destiny. A Super Bowl date. Do the bookies have it right?
Table 3: Consensus Bets Midweek
Early NFL betting reports from various sportsbook platforms (put together in Table 3) show the public is divided almost equally on their NFL picks. A lot of Packers money is coming down the wire, particularly when bettors have the heroic effort against the Cowboys to go on. The most interesting trend to emerge is the 62% stake in the Packers to win SU as indicated in the above chart. Whether that is just a case of the NFL odds being simply too good to miss or an actual assessment of their chances to win, is anybody's guess. We can't possibly know what is in the mind of each individual NFL bettor. What we can say: by the numbers the public is not about to concede the Super Bowl is in the bag for Seattle. That is telling.