The Seattle Seahawks (13-3, 2-0) and Denver Broncos (13-3, 2-0) are set to square off in what should be nothing short of one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory.
It’s also going to be one of the most heavily bet games of the year, as it seems that everyone is looking to get a piece of the action.
Regardless of whether you are looking for a small slice and plan to make a small bet amongst friends or to take down the house with a massive wager in Vegas, it’s always wise to be on the winning side if you plan to take the risk of gambling on the Super Bowl.
Let’s take a look at the latest odds and check out the most updated spread, plus take a peek at my predictions on the outcome and more.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2
Kickoff Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Predicted Final Score: Seattle 24, Denver 21
|Seattle Seahawks||+2||+110||Over 47.5 (-105)|
|Denver Broncos||-2||-130||Under 47.5 (-115)|
Spread: Seattle Seahawks (+2) over Denver Broncos
While the Seahawks were initially a favorite, bettors quickly pounced and poured in enough money on Denver to quickly swing that side to chalk.
Which team will cover?
Perhaps, those early adopters of the Broncos should have waited before placing down their money, as the trends are pointing towards a victory for Seattle.
It’s worth noting that out of the last four times that the team with the best defense in the NFL went up against the top offense, the defensive side ended up winning on three occasions.
As per ESPN Stats & Info, this upcoming Super Bowl showdown will not only feature Seattle’s league-leading scoring defense up against Denver’s record-setting scoring offense, but also the top overall defensive and offensive forces in the NFL:
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
Don’t discount Seattle’s status as the underdog in the Super Bowl, as it’s been a common thread amongst most recent winners. The Seahawks would be the latest team in a long line of recent victors to go against the oddsmakers, as ‘dogs are 5-1 against the spread in the last six championship games.
The NFC is also great at covering in the big game. Up until the San Francisco 49ers were defeated as a favorite last year by the Baltimore Ravens, the conference had gone 5-0 ATS in the previous five Super Bowls.
Keep in mind that Jay Kornegay, manager of the LVH sports book in Las Vegas, initially made the Seahawks a favorite for a reason. He explained to the Associated Press (via CBSNews.com):
"With the game being in New York and the early forecast for below normal temperatures that favors a defensive team," he said. "It also favors a running team, and that's certainly an advantage to the Seahawks."
The bettors forced the books hand, but you can now get behind a team that the sharps and linemakers love in Seattle with the added security of getting points. It’s a win-win situation and one you must pounce on.
Total: Under 47.5
The under is looking like a relatively safe bet despite the fact that Peyton Manning and his 600-plus point offense will be prominently involved in this game.
One of the defining factors of this Super Bowl is that it will be played outside in New Jersey during the cold winter month of February. It’s going to be cold, potentially wet and definitely uncomfortable for the players on the field.
As Kornegay mentioned, that environment favors defense and will likely result in numerous three-and-outs and mistakes by both offenses.
The Seahawks are especially adept at forcing these mistakes and capitalizing on them, as they ranked atop the league in differential at plus-20. They forced a whopping 39 takeaways, giving up the rock a mere 19 times.
Denver wasn’t shabby, either, forcing 26 takeaways and turning the ball over 26 times for an even differential.
Factor in Seattle’s league-leading defense—which gave up a mere 14.4 yards per game in 2013—and Denver’s newfound commitment to stopping the run (giving up just 64.5 yards per game to the opposition), and we could be looking at a potential slugfest.
Lean towards the under and hope that the weather turns even more sour in order for this to be a sure thing.