Super Bowl Picks: Trends from the Past

Jordan Sharp

Monday, January 20, 2014 8:12 PM GMT

The Super Bowl in northern New Jersey is finally set, as the Seahawks and Broncos will both travel eastward for the big game. The NFL Odds have been out for a little more than 12 hours, and they have already moved two or three points to favor the Broncos at -2, with a total of 48 ½. Now that we know the two teams participating, let’s take a look at some of the trends for both of these teams, and some of the key stats that may play a role in this game.

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ATS and other trends

These two teams were two of the best ATS wagers in the NFL this season, and including the playoffs, the Broncos are 11-6-1 ATS, while the Seahawks are 12-6 ATS. Both teams only lost one home game this season, but playing at home is obviously more valuable to the Hawks. Despite going 9-1 SU including the postseason at home, the Hawks ended their home games at only 6-4 ATS.

Since Peyton Manning came to the Broncos, he has gone 1-2 ATS in the playoffs, while Russell Wilson has led his team to a 3-1 ATS record in the playoffs in his short career. Even though Manning hasn’t exactly been great in his entire career in the playoffs, he went 11-5-1 ATS as a favorite this season, and if you hold by that trend, the Broncos are the play.

Seattle busted up the rumor that they couldn’t cover on the road this season by finishing the regular season 6-2 ATS. However their road schedule was far from taxing this season. The toughest win they got was against Carolina in the first game of the season, which was far from the Panthers team that eventually got the #2 seed in the conference. Seattle lost to Indianapolis and San Francisco on the road this season, and the Broncos on a neutral site aren’t going to be easier than those two games.

One thing Seattle has going for them is the recent ATS trends for underdogs in the Super Bowl. Even though favorites dominate the Super Bowl ATS over it’s entire history, the underdog has gone 5-1 ATS and SU in the last six Super Bowls.

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Coaches and QBs

John Fox is returning to the Super Bowl 11 years after leading the Panthers there in 2003. Of course Fox and the Panthers were edged out by the Patriots and Tom Brady in that game, but the Panthers only lost the game by three points, which was enough to cover ATS. His quarterback is 1-1 SU and ATS in Super Bowls, and even though Manning’s playoff record SU is only 11-11, he has proven almost all of his doubters wrong this season and in the playoffs.

Manning threw four touchdowns to only one interception this postseason, and even though his record may not be great over his career, if he wins next Sunday’s game, there is no one alive who can question his legacy as a postseason QB. Among QBs with 20 or more postseason starts, Manning ranks fourth all time in completion percentage, first in yards per game and third in yards per attempt. Manning also has thrown off the cold weather label after his performances over the last two weeks, including 400 yards passing in the AFC Title game.

The Hawks have obviously never been to the big game under this group and neither has their coach, and even without experience, they are quite deadly. However an alarming trend from Sunday’s game is that Russell Wilson was sacked a ton, and now has been put down behind the line of scrimmage 19 times in the last five games.