Everything is big when it comes to the Super Bowl, but this will especially be the case when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos take on Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
This description extends to the betting world, where bettors have plenty of chances to make boatloads of cash. Not only are the typical bets still around, but wacky props such as whether the power will go out in the stadium are interesting options to win cash.
Here's the essential information you need to know about the game, along with betting info and a breakdown of the top options.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: FoxSports.com
|Seattle Seahawks||+3||+120||48 (-105)o|
|Denver Broncos||-3||-140||48 (-115)u|
|Coin Flip||Heads (50), Tails (50)|
|Halftime Score||Broncos (-0.5)|
Note: Full list of odds and prop bets can be found at Bovada.lv
Breakdown of Odds
Halftime Over/Under and Score
A smart decision would be to stay firmly away from any halftime bets—this matchup is as unpredictable as it gets.
One may have a knee-jerk notion to throw some cash on Peyton Manning and his vast array of weapons jumping out to an early lead, but as ESPN details, the Seattle defense is no slouch:
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
The first half in the NFL typically sees both sides get a feel for each other before things break open in the second half, and bettors need to understand this will certainly be the case now that both sides have had two weeks to prepare and tout some of the most cerebral players in the NFL on both sides of the football.
As ESPN hints, sloppy weather conditions may ground the passing attacks on both sides, much to the disgust of Don Shula:
Legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula believes NFL made mistake by putting Super Bowl in cold-weather market. >> http://t.co/LgYwoi2ZtB— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 26, 2014
Weather can be unpredictable, and that is an element to stay away from in this scenario.
In fact, the defense will likely be the star of the show despite all the attention Manning and weapons such as Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Eric Decker have received in the long buildup to the big game.
ESPN's Louis Riddick puts it best:
<---Thinks this Super Bowl will be the very definition of offense selling tickets, but defense winning championships.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) January 25, 2014
With Manning stuck in cold weather against the NFL's best pass defense, the Broncos may end up leaning on running backs Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball. While not a horrible strategy, it is one that may struggle against Seattle.
When making a bet here, also understand that the Broncos have an unheralded defense that is elite against the rush thanks to star defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, better known as "Pot Roast."
Also understand that the cold weather will not have an impact on the effectiveness of either defense, which Broncos safety Mike Adams discussed with the Associated Press, via the Indy Star:
We're talking about the Super Bowl. I'm not worried about the cold, I promise you that. Weren't we practicing in like minus-3 degree weather here? So I'm definitely not worried about any cold weather. If anything, I'm worrying about them cancelling the game.
Bet the under for some easy coin.
The spread has failed to move much thanks to the uncertainty surrounding the game, whether it's because this is an epic matchup for the ages or because the forecast has created plenty of doubt about the contest.
But when it comes to the spread, one simple rule applies—never bet against Manning.
This postseason just seems like destiny for Manning after he rewrote the record books and surgically dissected all playoff competition.
Manning has had two weeks to prepare and will be able to counteract Sherman, who only occupies one half of the field—which is the side Manning struggles with:
Peyton Manning has been red hot all over the field this season...except the area Richard Sherman patrols the most. pic.twitter.com/kWJ0R0NCt5— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 22, 2014
This means, paired with sloppy weather, that short passes will be the name of the game, which is great news when one takes into account that Demaryius Thomas was one of the best in the NFL at yards after the catch in 2013, per Pro Football Focus:
Top 3 WRs in YAC: Pierre Garcon 662, Demaryius Thomas 643, Josh Gordon 629— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 28, 2013
Manning has plenty of movable pieces to work with, but the highlight is Thomas, who can motion to the side of field opposite of Sherman and catch a pass behind or at the line of scrimmage and take it to the house as he weaves through defenders that have to react to his cuts on a potentially slick surface.
That is but one example of what Manning has in store for the Seattle defense, so be sure to take Manning and the Broncos.