The Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks does not need any help to be exciting. Still, gamblers around the world will add a little extra interest in the game by betting on the contest.
Bettors can place money on almost anything in this highly anticipated game. At Bovada, you can already wager on who will win, which player will get MVP and even who will win the coin toss. By the time the game starts, you will probably get a chance to gamble on even more ridiculous things like commercials and post-game speeches.
Still, the two most classic wagers remain picking a team against the spread and choosing an over-under. According to Vegas Insider, the Broncos sit as 2.5-point favorites with the over-under line at 48.
These popular bets will be made millions of times before Super Bowl Sunday, so here is some advice on what to do with each wager.
Spread: Broncos -2.5
If the spread remains at this point or shrinks even lower, the first thing bettors should do is forget that it even exists. You cannot expect your team to cover, you have to know that it will win.
While there have been plenty of close Super Bowls over the years, a field goal difference is usually as tight as they get. In fact, only once has a game been decided by less than three points: the New York Giants' 20-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills following the 1990 season.
Therefore, you basically would be better off taking a slight moneyline (if available) instead of taking points. Otherwise, simply assume they do not exist when making a decision.
As far as the game itself, the question is which will succeed between a great offense and a great defense, as noted by Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:
This is the 1st Super Bowl matchup with top offense in yards + points facing top defense in yards + points allowed.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) January 20, 2014
The problem for the Seahawks was outlined by Richard Sherman on Monday Morning Quarterback:
The Broncos stand in our way, and it’s a large obstacle. They’ve got the smartest quarterback in football and receivers who are large (mostly), explosive with the football and run great routes. Wes Welker is quick and elusive, Eric Decker is a great receiver with hands and speed, and Demaryius Thomas is as strong as they come. And Peyton knows how to get each of them in spots.
As good as Sherman is (and he will make sure you know he is really good), he cannot cover the entire field at all times. Assuming the Seahawks utilize his size to take out Demaryius Thomas, that will leave Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas and others free.
Who will win?
Even with Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas also in the secondary, no one has enough skill players to hang with Peyton Manning and company. The offense will continue to score points, and the Seahawks simply will not be able to keep up.
Unless the weather becomes absolutely dreadful to the point where no one can throw the ball, Denver should be able to come away with a win and a cover.
This might be the toughest game of the year to predict an over-under. When two top offenses get together, you know it will be a high-scoring affair. However, there are so many question marks about which team's strength is better.
In all likelihood, the over-under will be directly tied to the outcome of the game.
Which are you taking?
If the Seahawks are going to win, it will likely be due to the fact that they slowed Manning down and kept the score at a reasonable level. On the other hand, a Broncos victory likely will be the result of a shootout.
However, the under certainly has better odds based on strategy for each team. Seattle will try to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch as often as possible and keep possession. This will keep points off the board, regardless of how well the defense is performing.
Meanwhile, the Broncos have shown the ability in recent weeks to tough out wins in low-scoring battles. On the other hand, the Seahawks are unlikely to keep up with Denver in the passing game, so their point total will remain low regardless.
Additionally, Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN discusses why the Broncos defense will have success in this one:
This really is a unit built around the power running of Marshawn Lynch and the opportunities that approach creates for Wilson's play-action passing. Seattle simply doesn't have the weapons in the passing game to frighten a Broncos secondary that has quickly become a patchwork unit. That matters big in a game where Seattle will need to score touchdowns to win.
According to Bovada, the last five Seahawks games and last five Broncos games have all gone under the final line. Even with a relatively low mark, grabbing the under is a safer bet regardless of who you think will win the game.
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