Where: MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.
Date and Time: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Broncos -2.5, per Vegas Insider (as of Jan. 31)
Over/Under: 48.5, per CBS Sports (as of Jan. 31)
With two weeks in between the conclusion of the conference championship games and the kickoff for Super Bowl XLVIII, almost every possible angle is dissected ad nauseam leading up to the final football contest of the season.
You may have heard that the Denver Broncos feature arguably the best single-season offense in the history of the NFL, while the Seattle Seahawks bring the league’s best defense to the table. It is a classic showdown between strengths and a solid test for the old cliche of defense wins championships.
While Peyton Manning and his arsenal of weapons facing off against Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” Seattle secondary is certainly intriguing, what about those who are in Las Vegas looking for any knowledge or edge they can find when it comes to the Super Bowl point spread?
With that in mind, let’s dig into a discussion on some of the betting trends and statistics that favor the Broncos over the Seahawks. Keep in mind that logically many of these numbers may have no impact on the actual game come Feb. 2, but they are still interesting and worth noting if you believe in patterns.
Note: Stats courtesy of Vegas Insider’s Super Bowl previews.
Manning is the first name that comes to mind when discussing the Broncos, and bettors who favor Denver will be happy to know that he is 3-1 against the spread in his career against the Seahawks. He is also 22-12-1 against the spread when under center for Denver.
What’s more, Manning led his offense to 41 points and 448 yards per game in the three contests it played on turf fields this season.
Manning isn’t the only one who should instill confidence in Denver from a betting standpoint.
John Fox is 8-5 all-time against the spread in the postseason as an NFL coach. While he probably takes no solace in it, when Fox coached the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, he actually won the game against the spread despite the three-point loss.
Historically speaking, Denver is 12-10-1 against the spread since 1992 when facing the Seahawks. Interestingly enough, Seattle and Denver used to be in the same division.
The Broncos are also 15-2 against the spread since 1992, with at least two weeks of rest heading into the game.
While these trends are certainly worth mentioning, on the field the Broncos defense will have to stop Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and company if they hope to hold the Lombardi Trophy. Vegas Insider’s Joe Nelson points out that the Denver defense may be better equipped than it gets credit for to do just that:
Denver's defense does not have Seattle's overall statistical profile, but down the stretch and in the playoffs, Denver was arguably more impressive on defense. In the two playoff games, the Broncos allowed just three points combined in the first three quarters of the two games as almost all of the scoring for San Diego and New England came with the game all but in hand for the Broncos. The teams that did give the Denver defense problems were mostly strong down field [sic] passing teams.
Note that Seattle, at least statistically, is not a strong passing team. The Seahawks finished the season 26th in the league in passing yards per game.
While there are plenty of betting trends that seem to favor Denver, there are also a couple that work specifically against the Seahawks.
Seattle is a mere 1-19 straight up in the past 20 games versus AFC West opponents who have a win percentage of at least .800. Denver certainly fits in that category, even if the two postseason victories are not included.
Clearly, those 19 losses in years past likely won’t have any impact on this individual game, but these are the types of trends that bettors are looking for heading into a tight contest.
What’s more, squads that played three straight home games before lacing it up for the Super Bowl (as Seattle has) are a mere 1-7 against the spread since 2000 and 0-5 against the spread when coming off of a win of six points or less. Seattle’s victory over San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game came by exactly six points.
Teams that played four consecutive home games heading into the Super Bowl (which Seattle has) are 0-3 against the spread since 2000.
This Super Bowl is being billed as the showdown between the high-octane Denver offense and the stifling Seattle defense, so it is interesting to note that the team with the better defense is just 1-6 against the spread in the past seven Super Bowls.
Furthermore, favorites of 3.5 points or less in Super Bowl history are an impressive 8-3 against the spread and straight up.
The Broncos may only be a slight favorite, but if betting history is any indication, they will be the ones holding up the Lombardi Trophy and planning trips to Disney World at the end of Super Bowl XLVIII.
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