Super Bowl Odds 2014: Analyzing Latest Line and Hot Prop Bets

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 1, 2014

Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning answers questions during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

On the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos are still two-point favorites over the Seattle Seahawks, per With less than a field goal as Las Vegas’ dare to the betting public, this could be one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in recent memory.

It’s difficult to determine which team should be looked at as the favorite. When the league's best offense (Broncos) meets its best defense (Seahawks), it becomes a matter of which team can control the identity of the game.

Here’s the viewing information for Super Bowl XLVIII.


Date: Sunday, Feb. 2

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

TV Info: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

Spread (Bovada): Denver -3


This Game Will Be Close

Seattle must get pressure on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. As Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News writes, that’s easier said than done:

For starters, Manning hasn't been sacked in the playoffs and he simply doesn't let much pressure get to him. Expect Manning, as usual, to be patient if the plays he wants aren’t there early, and he'll focus on protecting the ball until he can make the right adjustments.

The winner of this game will likely come down whichever team is able to make adjustments. Seattle has to run the ball and control the clock.

In Denver’s three losses, it only held the edge in time of possession in one of them. That was the regular-season loss to the New England Patriots when Denver blew a 24-point lead. If Seattle starts to move the ball consistently on the ground, the Broncos will have to devote a safety to help in run support. 

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

If that happens, it may open up some one-on-one opportunities down the field for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks receivers. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald talks about the domino effect that Marshawn Lynch’s success can lead to:

Seattle’s offensive prowess comes in running the football downhill behind cowbell running back Marshawn Lynch. He gets the football practically every running down and if he’s effective, then Seattle’s play-action and rollout pass game becomes effective.

The plethora of matchups that are too close to call explains the close odds. 

The line is the traditional way to approach betting on the Super Bowl, but prop bets have also become popular in association with the NFL’s title game. Per CBS Sports’ Will Brinson, here are three of the hottest prop bets for Sunday’s game.


How Many Times Will Peyton Manning Say "Omaha" During the Game?

Manning’s audible call has taken on a life of its own. The future Hall of Famer’s charity received $24,800 for all the references during the AFC title game. 

Manning uttered the word 31 times in that one; it’s fun to guess how often he’ll say it on Super Bowl Sunday. It's even more fun listening to Manning spin reporters as he explains what Omaha means.


What Will the TV Rating be for the Super Bowl?

Doug Benc/Associated Press

There’s enough star power and pregame intrigue to make this a highly rated Super Bowl—even by the big game’s standards. 

When you factor in the polarization of Richard Sherman, Manning’s star appeal and a solid halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers, you would have to think a ton of American viewers will tune in.


Total Team Points

This is anyone’s guess. If the Broncos find a way to penetrate Seattle’s defense consistently, the score might get even higher than people expect.

A good way to approach this prop bet is to first pick the team you favor to win. If the Broncos are your pick, it might be a good idea to figure on 40-plus points. If the Seahawks win, it’ll probably be a low-scoring affair.

Bet on 35 points or fewer in this case.


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