Among the myriad ridiculous prop bets available to gamblers for Super Bowl XLVIII, a few stand out as easy money.
Hint: It's not going to involve a halftime performer or the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos reached the Super Bowl in 2014 by completely different avenues. Denver brings the league's top offense to the contest, while Seattle comes to battle with the NFL's most formidable defense.
Which team will win?
The chess match between the two sides should prove tantalizing to those who love watching coaches scheme and adjust game plans during the Super Bowl. Both teams bring tremendous strengths, and they appear to be matched up well in that regard.
Here's a quick look at when and where you can catch Super Bowl XLVIII, followed by a closer examination of a few prop bets that you can take to the bank.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Updated Betting Info (via Bovada)
Spread: Broncos (-3)
Moneyline: Seattle (6-5), Denver (5-7)
Prop Bets to Take to the Bank
Will Russell Wilson Score a Rushing Touchdown in the Game?
Here's what oddsmakers are saying:
- Yes: (+275)
- No: (-350)
The payout isn't huge, but you can feel confident about taking the "no" on this bet.
Russell Wilson is slippery in the pocket and is one of the hardest passers to bring down because of it. If he wants to make plays with his legs, he possesses the athleticism and agility to do so.
However, given the fact that he's a small player who is going up against much bigger men, Wilson has long preferred to stay in the pocket and make plays with his arm.
“To be honest with you, I don’t really like running. I’d rather throw the ball to guys and let the true playmakers make the plays,” Wilson said in an interview with ESPN's Mike & Mike before the 2013 season began. “When I have to run to get a first down, I’ll do that. If something extra happens, that is always good, too.”
The numbers bear this out, as Wilson only rushed for one touchdown in 2013. Don't look for the diminutive quarterback to change his strategy in the upcoming Super Bowl.
Will Marshawn Lynch Rush for Over or Under 90.5 Yards?
- Over: (-135)
- Under: (+105)
Seattle's offense runs through Marshawn Lynch. He's been the catalyst for the team's success this postseason, rushing for 249 yards and three touchdowns in two playoff games.
Most impressive was his 109-yard, one-touchdown performance against the San Francisco 49ers. Jim Harbaugh's defense finished the regular season with the NFL's No. 4-ranked run defense, and Lynch was the first running back all year to eclipse 100 yards against it, as EA Sports Madden NFL points out:
While it's impressive that Denver was able to hold San Diego and New England to 65 and 64 yards rushing, respectively, the Broncos haven't yet faced "Beast Mode."
Look for Lynch to gain well over 100 yards in the Super Bowl.
Will Peyton Manning Throw Over or Under 2.5 Touchdown Passes?
Oddsmakers have this set at:
- Over: (+115)
- Under: (-145)
As tantalizing as it is to envision Manning tossing numerous touchdown passes in the Big Game against Seattle, it's highly unlikely he's going to have a hugely productive day in the red zone.
In his first two playoff games, he threw two touchdowns in each game.
San Diego finished the regular season with the No. 29-ranked passing defense and allowed 23 passing touchdowns during the regular season. New England was slightly better at No. 18, but the Patriots allowed 25 regular-season passing touchdowns.
But the Seahawks present a totally different challenge, according to Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake Tribune:
Seattle will present a much tougher challenge to Manning. The Seahawks feature cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in a scheme that’s both aggressive and conservative, if that’s possible. There’s not much blitzing, but the coverage is so tight that the pass rush becomes effective.
For a point of reference, Seattle led the league by allowing just 172 passing yards per game and 16 total passing touchdowns. No quarterback threw for more than two touchdowns against this defense, and Manning won't, either.
Go with the under.
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