Super Bowl Predictions
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
The Denver Broncos will square off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2 at MetLife Stadium. It’s just the second time in the last 20 seasons that the No. 1 seed from each conference will meet in the final game of the season. Oddsmakers opened with the Seahawks listed as 2-point favorites, but that has changed quite a bit in less than 24 hours. As of right now Denver is a 2.5-points favorite with the total set at 48 points.
Why Seattle Will Cover:
The Seahawks were able to overcome an early 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in one of the great NFC Championship Games. A big reason for that was big plays on both sides of the ball, most notably the three turnovers forced by the Seattle defense in the 4th quarter. None bigger than Richard Sherman’s tipped pass that resulted in the game-clinching interception by Malcolm Smith.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense set numerous records this season, but the Seahawks enter with the league’s top rated defense. Seattle held opposing teams to just 273.6 ypg and a mere 14.4 ppg. Only once all season did the Seahawks allow more than 24 points in a single game and that came back in Week 5. Most importantly they ranked 1st in pass defense, surrendering just 172.0 ypg. This will be the fifth time in Super Bowl history that the top offense will face the top defense. The top defense has came out victorious in three of the four. It’s also worth noting that in the previous 15 times that the No. 1 ranked total defense played in the Super Bowl, they have an impressive 12-3 SU record.
Seattle certainly has a strong history against high-powered offenses. The Seahawks are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games against teams who average 235 or more passing yards/game, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 versus teams who average 7 or more passing yards/attempt and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 against teams who average 350 or more total yards/game.
The Seahawks are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games against teams who average 235 or more passing yards/game, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 versus teams who average 7 or more passing yards/attempt and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 against teams who average 350 or more total yards/game.
One of the big concerns you might have with the Seahawks is the fact that this game isn’t being played at home. Seattle was a completely different team at CenturyLink Field than they were on the road. However, you have to think the location for the Super Bowl favors the Seahawks. With conditions not expected to be ideal, that should make it that much harder on Denver to move the football against Seattle’s vaunted defense.
Why Denver Will Cover:
The Broncos didn’t just beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, they dominated them for 60 minutes. Peyton Manning and Denver offense put up 507 yards of total offense, which is the most ever allowed by New England in the Bill Belichick era. It wasn’t just the offense. The Broncos defense held the Patriots to just 3-points through three quarters.
Manning ended up completing 32 of 43 attempts for 400 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots and I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Super Bowl hopes of Denver rest on the arm and mind of No. 18. As good as Seattle’s secondary has played, Manning is more than capable of moving the football on them. Unlike Colin Kaepernick, he’s not going to make the mistake of testing Richard Sherman and he’s got more than enough weapons at his disposal if Sherman shuts one of them down. If there’s a weakness in the secondary, Manning will find it and exploit time and time again. Getting two weeks to prepare for the Seattle defense should greatly benefit Manning and the Broncos offense. Denver is 15-2 ATS in their last 17 given two weeks or more of rest, while Seattle is just 6-17 ATS over the last 23 when playing with 2 or more weeks of rest.
Denver is 33-17 ATS in their last 50 games against good defensive teams who allow 17 points or less and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 versus mistake prone teams who commit 60+ penalty yards/game. The Broncos are also an impressive 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games when listed as a favorite and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 when the total is set between 42.5 and 49 points.
Broncos are an impressive 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games when listed as a favorite and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 when the total is set between 42.5 and 49 points.
One of the things I think a lot of people are going to overlook in this game is the Broncos defense. Denver has been playing extremely well on the defensive side of the ball down the stretch. The Broncos have held each of their last four opponents to 20-points or less. Seattle’s offense is far from explosive and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Denver’s defense was the difference in this game.
Early Lean – Seahawks +2.5