The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos were the top teams in the regular season and tested their mettle over two challenging playoff games, earning the right to face one another in a much-anticipated Super Bowl showdown.
As you’ve probably heard, the main story is going to be legendary quarterback Peyton Manning leading his record-breaking offense against one of the toughest defenses we’ve seen in a long time—personified by star cornerback Richard Sherman, who always backs up his trash talk and bold claims.
If you’re looking for a way to make this already thrilling matchup even more exciting, it’s worthwhile to consider placing a bet down on the action.
While there are a plethora of prop bets and other ways to wager on the contest, it’s better to focus on the meat and potatoes by picking a winner against the spread and whether or not the points scored will go over or under the set total.
Let’s take a look where you can watch the championship game before focusing in on the betting lines and project how Super Bowl XLVIII will play out.
Date: Sunday, Feb, 2
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Start Time: 6:25 p.m. ET
TV Info: Fox
Live Stream: FoxSports.com
Spread: Denver -2.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
This line opened with Seattle as a favorite, but bettors quickly pounced and backed the Broncos, making Denver the chalk. Are those that took or are considering backing Denver laying points making the right move? The trends say probably not.
Over the last four times that the league’s best offense went up against the best defense with the Lombardi Trophy on the line, the defensive side won out in three of the contests.
Seahawks-Broncos is No. 1 scoring offense vs. No. 1 scoring defense, No. 1 total offense vs. No. 1 total defense and matchup of No. 1 seeds.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 20, 2014
Underdogs have also been finding a way to defy the odds, going 5-1 against the spread over the last six Super Bowls. Another trend in favor of Seattle is that NFC teams were 5-0 ATS before the San Francisco 49ers faltered as favorites to the Baltimore Ravens last year, dropping them to 5-1 in that same six-year span.
It’s very possible that the sharps and other heavy bettors recognize these patterns and decide to drop big bucks in favor of Seattle, moving the line back toward the opener.
According to the Associated Press (via CBSNews.com), Jay Kornegay, manager of the LVH sportsbook, isn’t exactly sure where the spread will finally settle: "We're just trying to figure out what the market will be and get a feel of where money will go. At this point it doesn't take a lot to move the line."
Jimmy Vaccaro, who runs the South Point sportsbook, agreed with that sentiment, as per the AP: "It's all small stuff now. The smart guys are not going to grab either side right now until they see how this shakes out."
Which team will cover the 2.5-point spread?
It would be smart to get ahead of the sharps and put your bet down now if you wisely believe the Seahawks are going to win, or at least cover.
Remember, this is a run-heavy team that boasts the best defense playing in what should be extremely inclement weather in New Jersey. It’s going to be a battle, but Seattle is built for this and should be able to win out.
Take the points before the line shifts too much.
Total: Over/Under 47 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Lean toward the under here, but it may be better to wait and check the forecasts. The aforementioned weather will likely play a major factor in how much offense is generated in this Super Bowl and could be the difference between the game hovering under or going well over this current total.
While the Seahawks were stoning opponents and giving the least amount of points per game in 2013 (14.4 per contest), Denver was busy breaking records and became the first team in NFL history to breach the 600-point mark in a season.
Do you think the total will go under or over 47?
The Broncos averaged 37.9 points per game, over 10 points higher than the second-place Philadelphia Eagles (27.6). If the weather breaks, and it’s warm, the Broncos could potentially go over this total by themselves before the game is even over.
Remember, they racked up 507 total yards against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and easily could have had more than the 26 points they wound up scoring.
It was clear, warm and sunny that day, so weather will be the most important factor to pay attention to before making this bet. If you think it’s going to be icy, snowy and miserable, give the under a strong bet. If not, go toward the over.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Broncos 21