The NFC has covered five of the last six Super Bowls, while underdogs are also on a 5-1 against-the-spread run in those games and have won four of them outright. All those scenarios point to a Seattle win if those trends repeat themselves on Feb. 2.
Defense wins championships, and nobody does defense better than Seattle, though nobody does offense better than Peyton Manning.
Broncos vs. Seahawks point spread: Broncos opened as one-point favorites; the total was 47.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 34.8-33.6 Broncos
Why the Seahawks can cover the Super Bowl spread
Seattle's lockdown cornerback Richard Sherman and the team's power running back Marshawn Lynch are the keys to a win. While Lynch will help the Seahawks control the clock and keep the ball out of Denver's hands, Sherman will be tabbed with making things tough on the Broncos' explosive passing game.
This game is the 16th time in 48 Super Bowls that the top defense (fewest points allowed) has earned a spot in the championship game. In 12 of the past 15 games, that top defensive team won.
When the best offensive team meets the best defensive team in the Super Bowl (this will be the sixth time it has happened), the defensive studs have won three of four.
Why the Broncos can cover the Super Bowl spread
Peyton Manning's postseason experience is the key for Denver's progression. He's the sole reason this team has emerged as the AFC’s top team and is now representing it in the Super Bowl. He is 1-1 in Super Bowls, and this could be his last chance at an NFL championship.
Denver is 12-3 straight-up against Seattle since 1995, according to the NFL database, but most of that one-sided record was built up many years ago. The team's record is 1-1 in recent years. Still, the Broncos have been getting the job done at the payout window when favored, as they are 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS lately.
If you consider the two-week layoff before the Super Bowl an extended bye week, Denver is on an 11-2 ATS run in that situation while the Seahawks inexplicably stumbled to a 3-9-1 ATS streak over the same time frame.
Although both teams will have ample time to practice in cold weather conditions, the atmosphere favors Denver. The Seahawks were a slight favorite early, but Denver has been the popular choice.
It makes sense, and in the end, the frigid conditions could be the X-factor that helps Denver win Super Bowl XLVIII. With Manning’s experience and motivation, it’s hard to bet against Denver laying just a single point.
The prediction computer at Odds Shark has projected a 34.8-33.6 final, which would be a Bronco cover by the slightest of margins (0.2 of a point).
Super Bowl trends
- NFC is 5-1 ATS past six Super Bowls; 49ers lost last year as 4.5-point favorites against Baltimore
- Underdogs are 5-1 ATS over the past six Super Bowls, and they have won four of six SU
- Seahawks are 6-3 ATS past nine playoff games
- Seahawks are 17-3-1 ATS as underdogs since 2011
- Broncos are 9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS past 11 games as favorites
- Seahawks are 3-12 SU vs. Broncos since 1995
- Broncos are 11-2 ATS past 13 seasons after a bye week
- Seahawks are 3-10-1 ATS past 14 seasons after a bye week