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superbowl info

Matchup: Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos

Spread: Broncos minus-2.5
Public consensus pick: 72 percent picked Broncos

Public perception: The wiseguys are given most of the credit for betting the Broncos from an opening underdog to favoritism, but the general public that also bet early was all over the Broncos, too. While the wiseguys have slowed down, the public consensus number at Insider's PickCenter and other bet-tracking sites have continued to show more than 70 percent of the action coming in on the Broncos. Peyton Manning is obviously a big part of Denver's appeal (the public rarely fades him) and they've been rewarded, as the Broncos are 11-7 ATS on the year (though the Seahawks certainly have their supporters and are an NFL-best 12-6 ATS).

Wiseguys' view: As stated previously, the sharps were on the Broncos early. Some of them probably thought Manning & Co. should be favored all along, while the rest of the movement came as part of the snowball effect. It gained momentum and other wiseguys jumped in along the way as it became more and more likely that they could buy back some on the Seahawks plus-3 at some point if they wanted. The line has gone that high a few times at a few books, but many industry insiders think it'll get pushed there for sure by Sunday. Regardless, the Seahawks also will be a popular teaser play, as you can get them over a touchdown.

Tuley's Take: I have no fear of fading Manning in big games, many times with success (such as Super Bowl XLIV with the Saints), plenty of times without, such as in the AFC title game against the Patriots. But the Seahawks' top-ranked defense gives me the confidence to go against him again. I'm sure you've all heard the stat that there have been four times where the No. 1 offense has faced the No. 1 defense and that the top defense is 3-1 so far, though what's not mentioned as often is it was Manning's Colts that defeated the Bears as the lone exception. Still, I also have more faith in Russell Wilson than Rex Grossman. Manning hasn't been sacked yet this postseason, but I expect that to change or at least the Seahawks' pass rush to pressure him into mistakes. I'm not counting on the weather to have a major impact on the game, but any conditions that are less than ideal can only help Seattle's cause.

The pick: Seahawks

Wunderdog says: "One reason the public is betting Denver is that they love offense and they know and admire Manning. Wilson is not a household name among non-NFL fans. The reason why the line could very well continue to move is that, unlike regular-season NFL games, the line moves in the Super Bowl are driven by the public. The amount of public money dwarfs sharp money in this game. And this effect only intensifies the closer you get to Super Bowl Sunday.

"My computer matchup for this game (not an official pick) has Seattle winning a very close game. The Seahawks offense ranked eighth in points scored this season, averaging 25.7 points per game. They ranked third in the league in rushing yards per game behind the power running game of Marshawn Lynch. Wilson quietly put up great numbers and that was without the services of Percy Harvin, Seattle's most explosive receiver, who will be back for this game. When facing defenses similar to Denver's this season, the Seahawks averaged 24.5 points per game.

"Denver set an NFL record for most points per game this season, but in their last four games (coinciding with improved defense on their part), the Broncos have averaged 30.3 per game -- a big number, but not the world-beating numbers they were putting up earlier.

"So why do we see the dip? I believe it's partly due to a conscious choice by John Fox to slow the game down. He knows that to win in the playoffs he needs to control the clock more and give his defense more rest. To get better defense, he has sacrificed offense. This has worked in the playoffs and as a result, I think he will continue with that strategy here.

"In the end this game looks like a pick 'em type of game -- one that either team can win. If you can get plus-3 or better on either team there is some value. Otherwise, pass."

The pick: Seahawks (if the line gets to plus-3)

Over/under: 47

Tuley's Take: The total points are lower than we usually see in Super Bowls, where the long timeouts often help the offenses set up big plays. However, the colder conditions and the Seahawks' No. 1-ranked defense (as well as the Seahawks staying under in seven straight games and the Broncos also having a five-game under streak) have ensured this number stays low. While I do think that a low-scoring game works in the Seahawks' favor, I can see them winning a shootout (with their defense getting one more stop, or a pick-six to really turn the game around while pushing the score higher), so I'll pass on the total.

The pick: Pass

PJ Walsh of Sports Insights says: "The Super bowl betting market sees a huge influx of money on the spread and over/under (O/U) from those not necessarily interested in value, but betting to have something to root for between commercials. In scenarios like these, bets are often driven by mainstream media coverage and this week's overemphasis of weather is having a significant effect on O/U betting.

"As of Tuesday morning, 60 percent of O/U bets are on the under for Super Bowl XLVIII. While this doesn't seem overly one-sided, the fact that the public is on the under at all is quite a surprise. Historically, recreational bettors favor overs because, frankly, rooting for an exciting game with lots of scoring is more entertaining than hoping for a game full of three-and-outs and field goals.

"According to our Bet Labs data analysis software, only 100 regular-season games have closed with 60 percent or more of O/U bets on the under since 2003. That breaks down to only 3.6 percent of all games. Furthermore, only one playoff game since 2003 has seen betting this extreme, which results in a paltry 0.8 percent of postseason games receiving 60 percent or more on the under.

"As contrarian bettors, we're always looking for overreactions by the masses that result in valuable betting opportunities. In fact, our Week 12 article for ESPN Insider highlights that when the weather drops to 32 degrees and below, the over is historically the correct side as oddsmakers shade totals in anticipation of public money hitting the under.

"While most will be focusing on the spread, prop bets and playing the under, don't forget this rare opportunity to take the over in Super Bowl XLVIII, especially if the thermostat hits 32 degrees by kickoff."

The pick: Over

Prop bets

Tuley's Take: A lot of value is gone from the majority of prop bets that started getting posted the middle of last week. Wiseguys have found the ones that were mispriced by oddsmakers and pounded them into shape. So, if you're looking for out-of-whack prices as the weekend approaches, you could have a long search. However, I think the way to attack props now is as a complement to how you think the game is going to play out. It's more of a true handicap of the game as opposed to just playing the market. It shouldn't surprise anyone, then, that my prop picks are mostly on the Seahawks and against the Broncos. (Note: prop prices as from the LVH SuperBook as of Monday)

Player to score first TD: Since I mentioned the Hester bet earlier, I should try to find a big price. I'll go with Wilson at 12-1 to get one on a scramble (or sneak). Actually, a nice long shot would be Manning at 50-1 as a naked bootleg would work near the goal line, plus it works as a nice hedge if you have the Seahawks.

SportsNation: Wanna bet on it?

SportsNationWill Renee Fleming wear gloves? Will Knowshon Moreno cry? Will the Red Hot Chili Peppers go shirtless? Vote! »

Russell Wilson longest rush OVER 11.5 yards: I think Wilson will scramble several times during the game as a means to avoid throwing into coverage. I'm not sure he'll get to his game total of 30.5 yards (though I think that's a decent play as well), but I think he can get one run of at least 12 yards to win this prop.

Seahawks OVER 129.5 rushing yards: I'm tempted to take Marshawn Lynch over 92.5 yards, but with my thought that Wilson will add to the total plus Robert Turbin (and perhaps Percy Harvin getting a carry or two as a change of pace), I like the team total better.

Longest completion by Russell Wilson OVER 38.5 yards: With the emphasis on the run, I believe that will open it up for Wilson to go deep either off play-action or off of a scramble. He should be able to connect on at least one long pass.

Most penalty yards by Seahawks (minus-120): This might sound counterintuitive, but I expect the Seahawks to "lose" this stat and have more penalty yards -- that's fine as that's how they play (they had the most penalty yards in the NFL this year; Denver had the fourth most). They're very physical, especially with receivers, and those are the defenses that have caused Manning the most problems. So they're going to get flagged at times; I just hope it's not on a play where Seattle gets a turnover.

Total TD passes by Peyton Manning under 1.5 (plus-175): We're expecting a relatively low-scoring game, so I'm counting on Manning to not put up huge numbers regardless. But even if the Broncos score, maybe they'll get a pass interference call in the end zone and Manning hands the ball off from there to at least take away one scoring pass. Note: Manning had only one TD pass in each of his previous Super Bowl appearances.

Demaryius Thomas under 5 receptions (plus-105): The Broncos have a lot of weapons, but I believe the Seahawks will try to take away this Thomas (Julius Thomas could be harder to contain, especially if he draws a lot of coverage from linebackers). He'll probably draw Richard Sherman, plus the Broncos could likely use him as a decoy on a lot of routes. He might hit for a big play, but I don't expect him to get many targets.

Will either team score in the final 3.5 minutes?: I'll take the "no" at plus-140 and count on the Seahawks to be running out the clock with Lynch or the defense to hold off a late rally as they did against the 49ers.


Prop I like: Highest-scoring half = 2nd + OT (minus-135)

"So far this season, we have seen a virtual dead heat with 23.3 points being scored on average in the first half and 23.6 scored in the second half of games. But in 47 Super Bowls, the average score for the first and second halves, respectively, has been 21.49 and 24.32. So we see that the second half average score is 13 percent higher. Excluding the push in 2012, the second half has been the highest scoring half in 29 of 46 Super Bowls (63 percent). Fair odds on a 63 percent bet are minus-170. In the last 23 years, the scoring difference has been even more pronounced with 22.31 average points in first halves and 28.18 in the second. In the last 16 years, the second half has been the highest scoring half 12 times out of 14 years (85.7 percent). The bottom line is that there is a lot of value on this bet at minus-135."

Prop I hate: Missed extra point YES (plus-800)

"People generally want to risk a little to win a lot. They want to win the lottery. The sportsbooks know this and as a result, they shift the odds off what they should be, to something that will attract more equal action. This bet is a prime example. The YES on this bet is set at plus-800. Bettors jump all over this because it would be a fun bet to win. But it's about the dumbest bet you could make because even if it hit, you'd be getting paid a ton less than you should, based on the true odds of this happening. Over the past 24 seasons (since 1990), there have been 364 missed extra points out of 24,951 attempted. That equates to a 1.46 percent chance of this happening. And kickers are getting more accurate. In 2013, only five of 1,267 attempts were missed, for a 99.6 percent success rate. To get paid only 8-1 on this is ludicrous; it should pay over 70-1."

Ted Sevransky

Total number of Seahawks to catch a pass: Under 7.5 (minus-175)

"Wilson isn't likely to air it out on Sunday, and the Seahawks haven't been spreading the ball around to eight different pass-catchers in any of their last six games. In fact, Seattle completed passes to eight or more receivers only five times all year. With Harvin suiting up and Doug Baldwin emerging as a 'go-to' WR for Wilson, I'm expecting less pass-catching diversity for Seattle, not more, making this juice worth laying."

Old Post 01-31-14 05:40 PM
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a new twist on squares

Old Post 01-31-14 06:09 PM
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Super Bowl 48 Countdown
By Jim Feist

In the world of eleven to ten, there’s nothing quite like Super Bowl week. In this case, it’s two weeks, as the teams have two weeks to prepare for the Big Game. It’s also one of the most creative weeks of the sports betting season. While there’s only one game left on the football calendar, there are still ample opportunities for betting with hundreds of creative props by various oddsmakers.

For example, you can bet on the exact score of the game by each team, who will score first, or how many yards a player has. A year ago the largest lead was projected at over/under 14 (The Ravens led 21-6 at the half and 28-6 when Jacoby Jones returned the third quarter kickoff 108 yards). RB Ray Rice’s receptions was 3½ — he ended up with four catches for 19 yards. Passing yards by Joe Flacco was set at 247½ (he threw for 287). Two years ago QB Tom Brady was projected over/under 300 yards and 2.5 TDs (he finished with 276 yards, 2 TDs, going under for both).

Three years ago, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers’ TD passes was over/under 2 (he threw 3 against Pittsburgh). His first pass to be incomplete was +210 (it was). Four years ago, Pierre Garcon scored the first TD at 10-to-1 odds. Five years ago, RB Gary Russell was 18-to-1 to score the first TD in the Super Bowl and did on a one-yard run. He finished with minus-three yards rushing but cashed that exclusive prop.

Seven years ago, if you bet on Chicago return specialist Devin Hester to score the first touchdown of the game you would have cashed a 25-to-1 prop ticket after he returned the opening kickoff 92 yards. 14 seconds in cashing a 25-to-1 ticket is the best way to watch a Super Bowl!

You can wager that no TDs will be scored by either team, often at 50-to-1. Of course, that has never happened as we head to Super Bowl 48 next week. There also has never been overtime, though you will be able to wager on “Will there be overtime or not?” There will be “over/under” lines offered on how many touchdown passes a quarterback might throw, the first team to turn the ball over and even the coin flip. There will be creative wagers offered such as how many receiving yards one player might get matched up against the number of points the NBA’s Jeff Green might have as the Celtics/Magic battle before the Super Sunday kickoff.

The Super Bowl brings out the best in the creative minds of oddsmakers. Smart bettors will search through all the props, totals and side bets offered in an attempt to find an edge and add to their bankrolls. Since Super Bowl X in 1976 between the Steelers and Cowboys, there have been 22 “overs” and 16 “unders.”

Why so many “overs?” One factor is that coaches with a lead are less likely to sit on the ball in the second half in a Super Bowl. If a team is up 17-0 at the half of a December game, for example, a coach might be inclined to go conservative, run the clock and avoid injuries. In the postseason, it’s the final game of the year and no lead is safe. No coach wants to play super-conservative and be remembered as the guy who blew a 20-0 lead in the biggest game of his career. Since it’s the last game of the season, coaches often put in trick plays and new offensive wrinkles in an attempt to maximize scoring opportunities.

Despite the excessive “overs” you can’t overlook the importance of defense. The Patriots got taken down against the defensive-oriented Ravens a year ago, while the 49ers were a powerhouse defensive team. Two years ago the Saints and Packers didn’t win a playoff game despite all those flashy offensive numbers, while the defensive-oriented Giants, 49ers and Ravens made it to the Final Four.

In 2008 and 2012 the big story was the flashy offense of the Patriots as a favorite each time, but who came out ahead? The great defense of the Giants kept the game close and was the main reason in their 17-14 and 21-17 victories. 11 years ago the No. 1 offense (Oakland) faced the No. 1 defense (Tampa Bay)? Oakland’s great offense was a 4-point favorite, but Tampa’s defense dominated in a 48-21 rout. In fact, seven of the last 13 Super Bowl champs have had statistically better defenses than their offenses, including the 2005 Steelers (4th in defense) and 2008 Steelers (No. 1). Three of those champs, the 2001 Patriots, the ’02 Buccaneers and the ’07 Giants, were Super Bowl underdogs.

You’ll be able to find creative point spread props, too. Seven years ago, the total number of field goals was 3½ over +135. The Colts and Bears combined for 4 field goals as the over just made it. Eight years ago Seattle RB Shaun Alexander had these over/under props: Total yards 89½, carries 21½, and longest rush 19½. The final tallies: 95 yards, 20 carries, with the longest rush of 21 yards. Nine years ago the number of passing yards by QB Tom Brady: 237½. The “under” ended up being the winner, but not by much: Brady finished with 236 passing yards.

Key numbers will come into play, as well, as books are petrified of getting middled. 14 years ago the Rams were a 7 to 7½-point favorite against the Titans. The Rams won by seven points, 23-16. The most famous example was in 1979, forever known in Las Vegas as “Black Sunday.” The Steelers opened a 2½-point favorite over the Cowboys, were bet up to 5, then back down to 4. Books everywhere were sick when the Steelers won, 35-31, landing on the dreaded ‘M’ word!

Old Post 01-31-14 06:56 PM
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Forty-Eight Great Betting Notes For Super Bowl XLVIII
By Brian Covert

We're just a few days away from Super Bowl XLVIII so it's time to really buckle down and get focused on your bets. We put together a list of the best 48 Super Bowl betting notes we could find to help you with your handicapping down the stretch.

1. Sunday’s game will be only the third time in the last 20 years the two preseason favorites have met in the Super Bowl. The NFC has won the two previous meetings with the New Orleans Saints beating the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and the Dallas Cowboys beating the Buffalo Bills in 1993.

2. The closest approximation of this year’s Super Bowl matchup was in 2002, when the league’s best defensive team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, beat the Oakland Raiders, who were the league’s second-highest scoring team, 48-21.

3. Twenty-one of 47 Super Bowls have featured a Top-5 total offense against a Top-5 total defense. In those instances, the defense has beaten the offense 13 times SU. However, teams with the better defense are just 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS in the last seven Super Bowls.

4. The NFC has held the upper hand over the AFC in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, going 21-11 SU and 20-10-3 ATS.

5. The team that scores first is 31-16 SU in the Super Bowl.

6. The Broncos’ starters have an average 5.7 seasons in the NFL, 3.3 playoffs and players who have experienced five different Super Bowls. The Seahawks starters have an average of 4.6 seasons, 2.5 playoff seasons, and no Super Bowl appearances.

7. Denver’s coaching staff has a combined 49 NFL seasons, 19 playoff seasons, and three Super Bowls between them while Seattle’s coaching staff have 38 NFL seasons, 19 playoff seasons, and zero Super Bowls between them.

8. Seattle beat Denver 40-10 as a 5-point favorite in the preseason. Peyton Manning was 11 for 16 for 163 yards passing and a TD while Russell Wilson went 8-for-12 for 127 yards and two scores.

9. The Broncos set an NFL record with 606 points scored this season. Not one of the next eight teams on the all-time season scoring list went on to win the Super Bowl.

10. The team that controls the clock usually wins. Teams that have a superior time of possession have won nine of the last 12 Super Bowls SU. The Seahawks have averaged 29:59 minutes of possession in their two playoff games while the Broncos have averaged over 35:30 minutes of possession in their two postseason games.


11. The Seattle Seahawks have given up only 30 points twice in two seasons – a Week 5 loss at Indianapolis and a 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s divisional playoff round. Denver has scored at least 30 points in 12 of 18 games this season.

12. According to the website Advanced NFL Stats, temperatures of 25 degrees or less affect play calling. The same website says a winds of 15 mph or stronger also affects play calling.

13. Terry McAulay was named head official for Super Bowl XLVIII. McAulay presided over both Super Bowl XXXIX, in which the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 as 7-point favorites and Super Bowl XLIII in which the Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23 as 6.5-point favorites. In Super Bowl XXXIX, there were 10 penalties called for 82 yards total. In Super Bowl XLIII, there were 18 penalties for 182 yards total.

14. Weather Underground isn’t predicting a major storm but is expecting “a frontal system that with colder air retreating, all precipitation types, from snow, to sleet, to rain, are on the table with this system.”

15. Cold weather and frozen fields could push both teams' preparations indoors which coaches agree is not ideal because the synthetic field is harder on their players’ legs.

16. In 10 playoff games there have only been seven pass interference calls made. Seattle is the most penalized teams in terms of pass interference calls with 13 in 18 games for a total of 232 yards. Denver is the second biggest beneficiary of pass interference calls with 14 calls against for 215 yards.

17. Eight of the past 12 Super Bowl winners were flagged for more penalty yards than the loser. Seattle was the most penalized team during the regular season with 7.9 per game while Denver was 30 of 34 with 7.1 per game.

18. Seattle has given up an NFL-low 231 points this year with only 101 of those points coming in the second half.

19. Peyton Manning has averaged 295 yards and has thrown 19 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions in his last eight games in sub 40-degree weather.

20. Broncos had a touchdown drive of 7 minutes, one second against the San Diego Chargers to go with scoring drives of 7:50 and 7:52 Sunday against the Patriots. Those are the three longest scoring drives of the season for the Broncos. Denver is slowing down its pace on offense, compared to a hurried no-huddle attack in the regular season.


21. The winning QB has been Super Bowl MVP in six of the last seven games. Peyton Manning is currently the oddsmakers' favorite at 8/5 while Russell Wilson is next at 13/4.

22. After the quarterbacks, Marshawn Lynch is, at 6/1, the oddsmakers’ favorite to life the MVP trophy. No running back has been named MVP since Terrell Davis was in 1998.

23. The total for how many times Peyton Manning will say “Omaha” is 27.5. The Broncos QB used it 44 times in the divisional round versus San Diego and 31 versus New England.

24. The AFC has won the last two coin tosses in a row. Before that the NFC had won 13 straight.

25. "Heads" has been the right call in the last five Super Bowls and six of the last seven.

Seattle Seahawks

26. Seattle WR Percy Harvin was given the all clear to return to practice after suffering a concussion versus the Saints and did so this past Wednesday. He still needs to be given medical clearance to play Sunday.

27. Russell Wilson is leaving no stone unturned in preparation for the big game. The Seattle QB is anticipating 56 different balls to be used during the game and the larger Super Bowl emblem will make the ball slicker than usual.

28. The Seahawks defense has held standout tight ends Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis to a combined three catches and 24 yards in their two playoff games. Denver TEs Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme were instrumental in the team’s AFC Championship win making 10 catches for 109 yards and two TDs.

29. Pete Carroll intends on keeping the competition for starting left guard open through the week leading up to the big game with Dan Carpenter, Michael Bowie, and Paul McQuistan all vying for the position.

30. With Harvin in the lineup the Seahawks will, at times, be able to lineup with at least three wide receivers. They have had such a formation on only 12 first-down attempts, 16 second-down attempts, and 24 third downs.

31. This will be Seattle’s third trip to Meadowlands in the last three years. They beat the Giants 36-25 as 10-point underdogs in 2011 and 23-0 as 9.5-point favorites in December. The O/U is 1-1 in those games both times with a 43.5-point total.

32. Russell Wilson is 8-1 ATS as an underdog as the Seahawks starter.

33. Percy Harvin faced the Broncos as a member of the Minnesota Vikings racking up a career-high 175 yards from scrimmage. One hundred of those yards came on a pair of touchdown catches covering 52 and 48 yards.

34. The Seahawks were dead last, converting only 49 percent of chances when facing third and fourth-and-two to convert or a goal-to-go situation inside the two-yard line.

Denver Broncos

35. The Denver Broncos gave up the third-most receiving yards to tight ends this season. Seattle TE Zach Miller caught only 33 passes for 387 yards and five TDs but was most prolific in December with 11 catches for 139 yards and two TDs.

36. Denver kicker Matt Prater missed three straight days of practice because of illness but managed to fly with the team to New York Sunday. Team took precautions to ensure Prater didn’t pass anything on.

37. Defenses have made nearly 200 pressure calls versus Peyton Manning this season. He has been sacked only five times on these occasions while passing for 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.

38. Denver RB Knowshon Moreno was listed as questionable with a rib injury suffered in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game. Moreno says he will be good to go Sunday and doesn’t expect needing to wear any additional padding.

39. The Broncos run game averaged 30 rushes and five yards per carry in their three cold weather games this season. Overall, Denver averaged almost 29 carries per game for just 4.1 yards per carry over the regular season.

40. The Broncos offense has given the ball away 28 times in 18 games while the Seahawks defense have 42 takeaways.

41. Denver has almost 500 snaps of no-huddle offense this season with 89 so far in the postseason. They have scored 57 touchdowns from this package in 18 games this season.

42. Denver kicker Matt Prater was so prolific through the postseason that, when combined with the Mile High air, the Denver Broncos’ special teams did not field a kick return all playoffs. It is expected that Percy Harvin, the league’s best kick returner in 2011 and 2012 will be healthy enough to return kickoffs this Sunday.

43. Manning has been touched only once this postseason and has not been sacked.

44. Broncos WR DeMaryius Thomas welcomes the opportunity to face All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman despite Sherman not allowing a reception this postseason as well as having the best defensive passer rating of any defensive back this season at 47.3. The second-lowest opposing passer rating was Seattle’s Byron Maxwell at 47.8.

45. Denver was 4-1 SU and ATS this season against teams with a Top-10 rushing offense. The Over is 4-1 in those games.

46. Broncos offensive line consultant Alex Gibbs was Seattle’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach in 2010 and worked with Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable in Atlanta in 2006.

47. The Broncos are 8-2 SU in 10 games that Peyton Manning has worn a glove this season, throwing 33 touchdowns against five interceptions.

48. Since the Broncos were tagged for 177 yards on the ground in week 15, they have allowed the opposing team to rush for 87, 64, 65, and 64 yards respectively the past four games. The Broncos are 3-1 ATS in those games and the under is 4-0.

Old Post 01-31-14 06:57 PM
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NFL's Biggest Betting Mismatches: Super Bowl XLVIII
By Jason Logan

Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches for Super Bowl XLVIII:

Broncos’ slower pace vs. Seahawks’ organized chaos

Like the bachelor-turned-family man, the Broncos are trading in their sports car for a reliable mini-van. Denver has undergone a dramatic change in pace this postseason, leaving the up-tempo attack behind for a slower, more deliberate offense. That’s panned out as back-to-back Under wins in the playoffs. The Broncos’ three longest drives of the season have come against San Diego and New England, lasting 7:01, 7:50, and 7:52. They’ve dominated time of possession, hanging on to the football for over 35 minutes in both wins.

Seattle will be so jacked up on defense, the worst thing the Broncos can do to the Seahawks is take their time - kind of like that feeling when you and your lady are about to get it on, and she runs to the bathroom “for a second”. Seattle’s anxious stop unit could get lulled to sleep by Peyton Manning’s methodical playcalling, and the longer Seattle’s defense is on the field, the more worn down they’ll get.

Runnin’ Russell Wilson vs. Broncos’ dual-threat weakness

The Broncos faced a handful of mobile QBs this season and gave up some big gains for the most part. Denver allowed Terrelle Pryor to scramble for 85 yards on 13 carries in two meetings, couldn’t stop Alex Smith from rushing for 98 yards on nine attempts in their two games versus the Chiefs, watched Mike Vick tack on 41 yards on eight runs in Week 4’s win over the Eagles, and gave up 29 yards and a rushing TD on four runs to Andrew Luck in the loss to the Colts. And Denver got off the hook against a one-legged RG3 in Week 8.

Russell Wilson’s passing game has declined the past few games, completing only 58 percent of his passes and topping the 200-yard mark just twice in his last six games. But while Wilson’s arm may be a little shaky in the Super Bowl, his legs could do some serious damage to Denver. He’s rushed for 539 yards, picking up 5.6 yards per carry. He’s only added 16 yards on the ground this postseason but was the third-best rushing QB in the NFL – behind Cam Newton and Pryor – this season.

Broncos’ flag-flying offense vs. Seahawks’ over-aggressive defense

OK conspiracy theorist. This one is right in your wheelhouse. What’s better for TV: A high-scoring or low-scoring Super Bowl? And, in a season where we’ve seen an endless stream of ticky-tack calls against defenders, there’s no reason to believe Super Bowl XLVIII won’t be any different. Will Roger Goodell put the bug in the referees’ ear when it comes to keeping the points – and revenue - flowing? For the sake of the Seahawks and their backers, I hope not.

Before you sprint to the comment section to call me whatever insult this site’s filters won’t let you type, hear me out. The Broncos forced 14 pass interference calls – tied for most in the league – for 215 yards. Denver also drew nine defensive holding penalties – another NFL high - for a total of 40 free yards. The Seahawks’ aggressive defense was flagged for pass interference 13 times – tied for the most – giving up 232 yards and was whistled for holding 11 times – tied again for the most – handing opposing offenses 55 yards.

Seahawks’ home-run hitter Percy Harvin vs. Broncos’ big-play problems

Percy Harvin is one of those players who may only touch the ball a handful of times during a game, but ends up having the biggest impact on the outcome. Harvin is ready to roll after getting his eggs scrambled against the Saints in the NFC Divisional Round, his first game back from a hip injury. When healthy, the speedy WR is a game changer and can strike for big plays. The last time he faced the Broncos, as a member of the Vikings, Harvin had TD catches of 52 and 48 yards.

The Broncos defense is getting better, holding their last four opponents to 17 points or less. But that has a lot to do with Manning milking the clock and keeping opposing offenses on the sidelines. Denver’s deepest, darkest secret on defense is its susceptibility to big plays downfield. The Broncos have constantly allowed teams to convert on big gains, giving up 61 passes of 20 or more yards – ranked fifth worst in the NFL. They’ve also allowed their last three opponents to convert on 40 percent of their third downs, including allowing the Patriots to go 6 for 12 on third down

Old Post 01-31-14 06:58 PM
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Super Sunday!
By Jim Feist

It’s been a while! Seattle was last in the Super Bowl after the 2005 campaign while we haven’t seen Denver here since the late 1990s with some guy named John Elway behind center. Back in August the Broncos were 6-to-1 and the Seahawks 17-to-2 to win the Super Bowl, both ranked in the Top 5, so it’s the “NFL Year of the Chalk.”

We had been in a golden age for the AFC for a while, almost as if the pendulum had swung. During the 1980s and much of the 90s, the NFC dominated, winning 15 of 16 Super Bowls, including 13 in a row. That changed in 1998 when Denver upset Green Bay, 31-24. Since then, the AFC has won 10 of the last 16, including last year wit the Ravens, though the Saints, Packers and Giants won the previous three.

What we have in 2014 is finesse versus physical, the high flying modern QB against the old fashioned, powerhouse defense. We also have the first outdoor game in cold weather since the 1970s when the Steelers and Vikings played in 39 degree temperatures (Tulane stadium).

We’ve seen the Colts and Saints meet in the Super Bowl, the top two offensive teams, the pass-happy Patriots, and even the Arizona Cardinals wining it with Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald. But let’s face it: Defense is still King. The Giants won two titles with great defense, topping the Patriots, and last year the Ravens and 49ers were physical, punishing defenses, topping finesse teams in the conference championships. Remember that when the Packers and Steelers squared off three years ago they were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in points allowed, so defense is still very much alive and dominating.
The Seahawks hope to continue a trend: The underdog is 9-3 ATS the last 12 Super Bowls, winning six times. Here’s a look at what to expect this weekend as America’s unofficial national holiday, the Super Bowl, kicks off.

What the Broncos want to do: If the game is an uptempo track meet, the Broncos have the best lineup on the planet with 37-year old Peyton Manning (55 TDs, 10 INTs, 5,477 yard and his record setting passing attack with WR Demaryius Thomas (1,430 yards, 14 TDs), WR Eric Decker (1,288 yards), WR Wes Welker (778) and TE Julius Thomas (788). No one has really been able to slow them down. The over is 34-16-2 in the Broncos last 52 vs. a team with a winning record.
The defense, though, has been a mixed bag, decent against the run, but suspect in the secondary. They’ve had injuries, too, losing speedy DE Von Miller and their top cornerback just two weeks ago, Chris Harris. They have been in every game with their only losses by 7, 6 and 3 points. The Broncos are 4-9 ATS on fieldturf and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 playoff games.

What the Seahawks want to do: Forget about any track meet. This is an old-fashioned style of team from the 1920s (or maybe the 1985 Bears) that prefers to knock the tar out of opponents from the opening kickoff through the first quarter. They are a physical, dominating defense that can stuff the run, rush the passer, and for good measure the athletic secondary is No. 1 against the pass. Even in their worst defensive game, a 34-28 loss at Indy, the defense allowed just 317 total yards and still forced 2 turnovers.
The offense does whatever is needed, a conservative group behind quiet, cerebral QB Russell Wilson (26 TDs, 9 picks, 3,357 yards), who chipped in 539 yards rushing, and power back Marshawn Lynch (1,257 yds, 4.2 ypc), a bruising back who seems to get better in the fourth quarter as defensive players tire.
Seattle is on a 34-16-1 ATS run, plus a 7-0 run under the total. The Seahawks are 26-10 ATS in their last 36 games on fieldturf, 13-4 ATS against a team with a winning record. The last 38 years the “over” has gone 22-16 in Super Bowl play, though the under is 6-3 the last nine years.

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Super Bowl Trends: Underdogs Beat Spread, NFC Teams Cover

Mike Pickett , Senior Writer
Jan 22, 2014

When the dust settled on opening lines for Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos emerged as a slight 2.5-point favorite over the Seattle Seahawks.

But being the underdog may bode well for the Seahawks, as underdogs in the Super Bowl are 5-1 against the spread with four outright upsets over the last six Super Bowls.

The team representing the NFC is also 5-1 ATS over the last six Super Bowls, with San Francisco's failing to cover as a 4.5-point favorite last year breaking a 5-0 ATS run by the conference.

And let's not forget about the pattern when the top defensive team meets the top offensive team in the Super Bowl. The best defense has won three of the past four championship games when that matchup has occurred.

From a team-trends perspective, both Seattle and Denver should feel comfortable with the spread as it stands. Seattle is 17-3-1 ATS in its last 21 games as an underdog, while Denver is 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS in its past 11 games as the betting favorite.

Seattle's last trip to the Super Bowl came in Super Bowl XL, when they lost and failed to cover the spread in a 21-10 loss to Pittsburgh. Denver hasn't been to the Super Bowl since the team won back-to-back Super Bowls under John Elway in 1998 and 1999.

Peyton Manning's last Super Bowl appearance was in Indianapolis's 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints in 2010.

While many Super Bowl trends don't point definitively one way or the other, the trends for these two teams coming off of bye weeks seem to heavily favor the Broncos. Over the last 13 seasons, Denver is 11-2 ATS coming off of a bye week.

Seattle, on the other hand, is just 3-10-1 ATS coming off of a bye week over the last 14 seasons.

"The two weeks before the Super Bowl isn't a proper 'bye' but underscores how teams have performed when they get that extra week to rest up and prepare a game plan," said analyst Jack Randall in an interview Wednesday.

Another historical trend favoring the Broncos is the head-to-head history between these two teams. In 15 meetings since 1996, Denver is 12-3 SU and 9-6 ATS against the Seattle Seahawks.

The two teams have met just three times since Seattle moved to the NFC, with Denver going 2-1 SU and ATS in those three meetings.

One trend that shows no sign of abating is the trend towards hundreds of Super Bowl prop bets. Since the very first prop was added to the betting menu back in Super Bowl XX (will William Perry score a TD?), the number of fun proposition wagers has grown every year.

This year, it includes everything from the coin toss, where the NFC is on an inexplicable 17-3 streak.

Recent games point to a low-scoring game in the Super Bowl. The total has gone UNDER in each of Denver's last five games and in each of Seattle's last seven.

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doc sports

Sunday, Feb. 2

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos (6:25 p.m. FOX)
Pointspread: Denver -2.5
Total Line: 47

The matchup at the top of the list in this year’s Super Bowl is Seattle’s No. 1 defense going up against Peyton Manning and the No. 1 offense in the league. When you break these numbers down a fit further, you find that the Seahawks allowed an average of 172 passing yards and 273.6 total yards a game, which were both ranked first in the league. They gave up an average of 14.4 points a game during the regular season, which was also ranked first. Seattle did hold Drew Brees and the New Orleans’ offense to 15 points in the divisional playoffs despite allowing 409 yards of total offense.

Denver averaged 37.9 points a game, which was the highest total in the league, but it only eclipsed that total once in its last nine games, including playoff victories over San Diego and New England. Manning threw for a record 5,477 yards during the regular season, which was an average of 342.3 yards a game, but he was held to 230 yards against the Chargers. He bounced back with 400 yards passing against the Patriots in the AFC title game while completing 74.4 percent of his throws.

Another big matchup is Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch against Denver’s rush defense. Lynch has already put up two impressive performances in the postseason after rushing for 1,257 yards on 301 carries in his first 16 games this year. He ran all over the Saints with 140 yards on 28 attempts and he gained 109 yards on 22 carries against the 49ers.

The Broncos were ranked a respectable eighth against the run in the regular season; allowing an average of 101.6 yards a game. In their two playoff games, they gave up just 64 yards to San Diego on the ground and held New England to 64 yards rushing on just 16 attempts. Denver’s ability to win this game could directly hinge on its ability to take away Seattle’s running game as well.

If you take a look at some of the betting trends for each team, you find that Seattle has gone 13-4 against the spread in its last 17 games against a team with a straight up winning record. It is 18-7 ATS in its last 25 games following a SU win. The Seahawks went 12-6 ATS this year.

The Broncos went 11-6-1 ATS in their first 18 games this season, and they covered in eight of their last 11 contests. They split their first two playoffs games 1-1 ATS, but looking back at their last 10 games in the postseason, they are just 3-7 ATS.

Some of the strongest betting trends for this matchup favor the “under” on the total line. The total has stayed under in the Seahawks’ last seven games overall, and it has stayed under in their last six games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed under in five of Denver’s last seven games following an ATS win, and it has stayed under in its last five games overall.

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Call your bookie, Madden already knows who will win Super Bowl XLVIII

By Ryan Fleming — January 31, 2014

This Sunday, televisions across the America will be our lord and master. More so than usual even! The Super Bowl, otherwise known as the “Big Game” to establishments not blessed with the approval of the NFL, will take place on the frozen fields of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Either the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks will be crowned the NFL champions on February 2, but if you want a sneak peak we have you covered.

All season long we’ve been using Madden 25 to simulate the weekly NFL games with … mixed results. Madden 25 is a fickle beast, sometimes predicting games with uncanny accuracy, other times barely going .500 on a good week. We’ve tried different versions of the game on different systems, but the rigors of picking multiple games each week in a dynamic and ever-changing system like the NFL proved to confuse poor Madden’s digital brain.

Each year for the last decade, Electronic Arts has simulated the Super Bowl – and it’s been right eight out of ten times.
For the Super Bowl though, we decided to do things a bit differently. Throughout the season we ran sims on the Xbox 360 first, then on the PlayStation 4. For the Super Bowl we used copies of Madden 25 on both systems, as well as the Xbox One. Madden 25 has the Seahawks and the Broncos listed evenly, with each team rated at a 91 overall score, so we made sure the rosters were as up to date as we could make them, set the conditions to match the predicted weather, and then let the games do their thing.

Each year for the last decade, Electronic Arts has simulated the Super Bowl – and it’s been right eight out of ten times. It’s on a two-game winning streak as well, having picked the Ravens and the Giants as the winners of the last two Super Bowls, despite both teams technically having been underdogs.

This year, EA ran its own simulation once again, and it’s predicting Denver to beat the Seahawks 31-28 in overtime. It’s not that we don’t trust EA, but we decided to run our own sims. The results were surprising … in the sense that they weren’t surprising at all.

In three games, played on three systems, using three separate copies of Madden 25, the results were the same. The scores were different, the stats varied, but in all three simulations Madden picked the Denver Broncos to win.

Here’s how it went down:

PlayStation 4

Denver 31 Seattle 23

Of the three simulated games, the one played on the PS4 was the closest. It started slowly with Seattle taking an early 6-0 nothing lead thanks to a pair of field goals. That didn’t last for long though. Denver quickly answered in the 2nd with three unanswered touchdowns.

Seattle made a late push in the 4th, but with 1:13 to go, Denver kicked a field goal that sealed the victory and gave Peyton Manning his second championship.

Throughout the game, Manning was brilliant. He threw for 299 yards with only 1 TD and 1 INT, but he completed an astounding 74-percent of his passes against the top rated defense in football. Russell Wilson threw for just 187 yards with no touchdowns and 2 costly INTs, and completed just over 50-percent of his throws. Marshawn Lynch, however, continued his Beast Mode, and ran for 103 yards with 2 TDs for Seattle.

Xbox One

Denver 42 Seattle 10

Of the three games – four if you count EA’s own simulation – the Xbox One version was by far the most lopsided. Denver came out hot and never looked back, scoring 28 unanswered points. Seattle finally scored with a field goal in the 3rd, but it was far too late.

Once again, Manning was dominant. The Broncos’ QB threw for 283 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions. He also went an amazing 34 of 38, which would likely earn him a Super Bowl MVP trophy. Wilson went 17 for 23 for 139 and a TD, but also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

With all the talk of Seattle’s impressive defense, it was Denver’s D that won the day. Lynch was held to just 24 yards, while Denver had four receivers with over 50 yards.

Xbox 360

Denver 31 Seattle 17

At this point, a third game was unnecessary, but we ran the sim anyway just because. Seemed like a shame to waste a perfectly good copy of Madden 25, and besides – this system is where we first began our weekly sims, so there was a certain synchronicity to it.

This game wasn’t nearly as big a blowout as the Xbox One version, but it was still a dominant performance from Denver. The Seahawks scored first with a TD in the 2nd, but Denver answered with two TDs and never looked back.

Of all the games though, this one saw Manning at his worst. Of course, Manning’s worst is better than most. He went 23 of 31 for 193 yards, and just 1 TD. Wilson, on the other hand, had a very, very bad game. Seattle’s digital quarterback threw for 183 yards and a touchdown, but also threw 3 interceptions. Lynch had 86 yards and Baldwin had 101 yards with a touchdown, but Denver, by comparison, didn’t have a single receiver with over 53 yards – instead it had multiple receivers with catches. That was the key to outwitting Seattle’s defense, which sent the Lombardi trophy back to Denver.

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OddsShark, SBNation
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 10:35 AM

Underdogs have won four of the past six Super Bowls and they boast a 5-1 ATS streak in those games. What other Super Bowl betting trends point to the Seahawks over the Broncos?

With an epic Super Bowl XLVIII slated with two No. 1 seeds set to meet, a trio of trends seems to favor the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos.

The NFC is on a 5-1 ATS roll in the big game, after the San Francisco 49ers lost last year as 4.5-point favorites to the Baltimore Ravens. Underdogs are enjoying the same Super Bowl trend with a 5-1 ATS run, while they've won four of those six outright.

Favorites of 1 to 3 points are just 3-7 ATS in the Super Bowl. After last year's 34-31 win by the Baltimore Ravens, who were 4.5-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers, there have been seven Super Bowls that have fallen between 1-3 points.

In the playoffs, underdogs finished 5-4-1 ATS in the AFC and NFC playoffs, with three winning outright. Eight of the 10 games finished under the posted number.

Another interesting trend — one with no logic footing — is the coin toss betting trend. NFC teams have won the coin toss in 15 of the last 16 title games.

As of Wednesday, AFC champion Denver (17-5 SU, 13-9 ATS) was a 2.5-point favorite over NFC champion Seattle (19-3, 16-6), which comes into the pro football championship on a 17-3-1 ATS run as underdogs, dating back to 2011.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are in on winning streaks of 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS when installed as favorites.

Seattle has covered six of its last nine playoff games, but is mired in losing streaks of 3-10-1 ATS after a bye week and 3-12 SU against the Broncos since 1995. Denver, on the other hand, is in on an 11-2 ATS win streak after a bye week. The two-week delay before the Super Bowl isn't officially a 'bye' but provides some historical insight into how teams perform with an extra week to prepare and rest.

The total is 47.5 points, and in the Super Bowl, when the line has been between 42 and 48 points, there have been nine Overs and six Unders. Overall there have been 25 Overs and 22 Unders — including 18 Overs in the last 28 years.

These two have gone Over in six of the last eight meetings, though they haven't met since 2010. The Seahawks have stayed Under in seven straight games and 14 of their 22 this year, while the Broncos have stayed low in five in a row, despite going Over in 14 of their 22 games.

Read more at SBNation_20140122_Super_Bowl_2014__Betti

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Favorites vs. Underdogs

Even though they lost last year, the favorites are 26-19-2 ATS in Super Bowl history, while the underdogs are 14-33 SU. In other words, if you go by strictly the trends, you should be all over the favorite in the moneyline and the spread this year. However, this is as broad as the spectrum gets, and if you narrow things down a little, you’ll see that the favorite might be the square play.

In the last six Super Bowls, the underdogs are 5-1 ATS and SU, including last year’s, and the last four in a row. Is the trend changing? It could be. The public loves betting favorites, and if it ends up the two #1 seeds this season, I can almost guarantee the Broncos are favorites over the Hawks in New York City. However that matchup might be so close neither side has much underdog value. Either way, favorites have been falling off ever since Peyton Manning won his Super Bowl, and then Manning also helped an underdog win in the last six years.

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Historical trends and Super Bowl XLVIII

By pacificsands on Jan 23 2014, 9:42a

since Sunday I've been wondering what historical trends might say about this game. After barking up a few (mostly irrelevant, since one can't recreate Aaron Schatz's life's work in a couple of days) trees, here are a few trends that seemed like they might be worth sharing. On the whole, they tend to confirm what our eyes tell us.

Tl;dr - defense may have a little bit of a historical advantage over offense, but this game looks really, really close.

Defense may, in fact, tend to win championships

You've probably heard this week that the #1 scoring defense has met the #1 scoring offense in four previous super bowls: 2002 (Bucs D, Raiders O), 1990 (Giants D, Bills O), 1984 (49ers O, Broncos D), and 1978 (Steelers D, Cowboys O). Defense has gone 3-1 against offense in those games. Although this is nice to know, there are a handful of obvious issues with this analysis, including the small sample size and the fact that the '84 49ers were third on scoring defense in addition to being first on scoring offense. What sets next week's game apart from those, though, is how bad the Broncos' defense is relative to the #1 offenses listed above.

This year's Broncos have a somewhat unique historical profile in being by far the best offense, but quite below average on defense (22nd in scoring defense at 24.9 ppg). To get a larger and hopefully more accurate sample size, take a look at playoff games between teams similar to the Broncos (top 5 scoring offense, scoring defense ranked 20-25) and teams similar to the Seahawks (top 5 scoring defense, top 15 scoring offense).

Admittedly, this sample comes with caveats: the Broncos are so much better on offense than most of these teams that it's difficult to compare them to any team in NFL history. Even so, if there's one piece of really good news in here, it's that the good defense never seems to get blown out - it's always in the game.

The good Defense went 8-2 in these games, winning by an average score of 24-14:
•2012 Seahawks (9th O, 1st D) over 2012 [DC] (4th O, 22nd D), 24-14
•2010 Packers (10th O, 2nd D) over 2010 Eagles (3rd O, 21st D), 21-16
•2005 Steelers (9th O, 3rd D) over 2005 Bengals (4th O, 22nd D), 31-17
•2003 Patriots (12th O, 1st D) over 2003 Colts (2nd O, 20th D), 24-14
•2000 Ravens (14th O, 1st D) over 2000 Broncos (2nd O, 23rd D), 21-3
•2000 Giants (15th O, 5th D) over 2000 Vikings (5th O, 24th D), 41-0
•1991 [DC] (1st O, 2nd D) over 1991 Falcons (5th O, 25th D), 24-7
•1998 Bills (14th O, 3rd D) over 1998 Oilers (2nd O, 22nd D), 17-10

Offense won two, including Peyton's only ring:
•2006 Colts (2nd-T O, 23rd D) over 2006 Bears (2nd-T O, 3rd D), 29-17
•1991 Falcons (5th O, 20th D) over 1991 Saints (8th O, 1st D), 27-20

Passer Rating Differential

You may have heard of Passer Rating Differential, which CHFF calls 'the mother of all stats' because of its accuracy in predicting Super Bowl winners - nearly two thirds of NFL champions have finished the season in the PRD top 3. Unfortunately, while Seattle is #1 with a PRD of 38.97, Denver is #2, with a PRD of 29.91 - a PRD differential (PRDD? Nah, let's not get carried away. Who am I, @KennethArthurS?) of 9.06. In 2010, CHFF and Sports Illustrated looked at the history of PRD in title games since 1940, and the top 25 PRD ratings of all time, irrespective of whether that team won the title.

First, the good news. Since 1990, the 2013 Seahawks have the 5th-best PRD. In that timeframe, there have been 7 other teams with PRD over 35, and 6 have won the Super Bowl. The loser was the ultimate outlier, the 2007 Patriots.

1.1994 49ers, 43.3
2.1999 Rams, 42.5
3.1996 Packers, 40.3
4.1991 Redskins, 39.1
5.2013 Seahawks, 39.0
6.2007 Patriots, 37.9
7.2002 Buccaneers, 37.9
8.2009 Saints, 37.4

Next, the less good news. Since 1990, teams with better PRDs are 15-7 in the Super Bowl. There have been only seven Super Bowls as close as this one in PRD (where the difference between the AFC and NFC Champions' PRD, or PRDD, was within 10.5 points). In 'close' PRD Super Bowls, the team with the better PRD is a whopping 5-2. Thus, PRD upsets have tended to be huge upsets - the 2012 Ravens, 2011 Giants, 2007 Giants, 2001 Patriots, and 1997 Broncos. I advise you to try not to look at which teams lost the 'close' PRD upsets.
Now, the bad news. In 2011 and 2012, PRD failed miserably: the 12th-ranked Giants (PRD 6.8) beat the 4th-ranked Patriots (19.6), and the 12th-ranked Ravens (5.8) beat the 4th-ranked 49ers (23.18). And in 2007, PRD had its worst failure ever (along with just about every other statistical prediction in the universe) when the perfect Pats got knocked off by Eli and Tyree. Thus, in the last six years, PRD is 3-3 in predicting champions.

Winner PRD Loser PRD Diff
2012 Ravens 5.8 Niners 23.18 -17.38
2011 Giants 5.8 Patriots 19.6 -13.8
2010 Packers 31.7 Steelers 21.47 10.23
2009 Saints 37.4 Colts 14.8 22.6
2008 Steelers 18.5 Cardinals -0.8 19.3
2007 Giants -10.4 Patriots 37.9 -48.3
2006 Colts 20.6 Bears 7 13.6
2005 Steelers 15.4 Seahawks 19.4 -4
2004 Patriots 19.2 Eagles 2.1 17.1
2003 Patriots 28.1 Panthers 4.8 23.3
2002 Buccaneers 37.9 Raiders 19.9 18
2001 Patriots 16.7 Rams 32.3 -15.6
2000 Ravens 10.2 Giants 9.4 0.8
1999 Rams 42.5 Titans 0.8 41.7
1998 Broncos 13 Falcons 15.9 -2.9
1997 Broncos 15.9 Packers 32.9 -17
1996 Packers 40.3 Patriots -1.7 42
1995 Cowboys 19.4 Steelers 0.2 19.2
1994 49ers 43.3 Chargers -0.7 44
1993 Cowboys 21.5 Bills 11 10.5
1992 Cowboys 18.9 Bills 4.8 14.1
1991 Redskins 39.2 Bills 32.4 6.8
1990 Giants 28.4 Bills 25 3.4

Peyton Manning is 1-3 coming off playoff games in which his passer rating is 100 or higher

The week after Peyton Manning has a passer rating over 100 in a playoff game (as he did last week against the Patriots, going for 118.4), his record is 1-3. In his 21 playoff games before last week, PM has gone over 100 five times. In one case, PM went over 100 in a game he lost (2010 in a 17-16 home loss to the Rex Ryan jets), therefore playing no 'next' game. He won his next game only once (in 2003). In the other three cases, including the super bowl against the Saints in 2009, he averaged 60%, 269 yards, 0.66 TDs, 2 INTs, and a rating of 64.

The regular season yardage leader in passing has never won the super bowl

Mildly reassuring, sourced here. Only four have appeared in it: Brady (07), Rich Gannon (02), Kurt Warner (01), and Marino (84).

2013 Peyton Manning Broncos 5477 ?
2012 Drew Brees Saints 5177 Missed playoffs
2011 Drew Brees Saints 5476 Lost division round
2010 Philip Rivers Chargers 4710 Missed playoffs
2009 Matt Schaub Texans 4770 Missed playoffs
2008 Drew Brees Saints 5069 Missed playoffs
2007 Tom Brady Patriots 4806 Lost Super Bowl
2006 Drew Brees Saints 4418 Lost NFC championship
2005 Tom Brady Patriots 4110 Lost division round
2004 Daunte Culpepper Vikings 4717 Lost division round
2003 Peyton Manning Colts 4267 Lost AFC championship
2002 Rich Gannon Raiders 4689 Lost Super Bowl
2001 Kurt Warner Rams 4830 Lost Super Bowl
2000 Peyton Manning Colts 4413 Lost wild card
1999 Steve Beuerlein Panthers 4436 Missed playoffs
1998 Brett Favre Packers 4212 Lost wild card
1997 Jeff George Raiders 3917 Missed playoffs
1996 Mark Brunell Jaguars 4367 Lost AFC championship
1995 Brett Favre Packers 4413 Lost NFC championship
1994 Drew Bledsoe Patriots 4555 Lost wild card
1993 John Elway Broncos 4030 Lost wild card
1992 Dan Marino Dolphins 4116 Lost AFC championship
1991 Warren Moon Oilers 4690 Lost division round
1990 Warren Moon Oilers 4689 Lost wild card
1989 Don Majkowski Packers 4318 Missed playoffs
1988 Dan Marino Dolphins 4434 Missed playoffs
1987 Neil Lomax Cardinals 3387 Missed playoffs
1986 Dan Marino Dolphins 4746 Missed playoffs
1985 Dan Marino Dolphins 4137 Lost AFC championship
1984 Dan Marino Dolphins 5084 Lost Super Bowl
1983 Lynn Dickey Packers 4458 Missed playoffs
1982 Dan Fouts Chargers 2883 Lost division round
1981 Dan Fouts Chargers 4802 Lost AFC championship
1980 Dan Fouts Chargers 4715 Lost AFC championship
1979 Dan Fouts Chargers 4082 Lost division round
1978 Fran Tarkenton Vikings 3468 Lost division round
1977 Joe Ferguson Bills 2803 Missed playoffs
1976 Bert Jones Colts 3104 Lost division round
1975 Ken Anderson Bengals 3169 Lost division round
1974 Ken Anderson Bengals 2667 Missed playoffs
1973 Roman Gabriel Eagles 3219 Missed playoffs
1972 Joe Namath Jets 2816 Missed playoffs
1971 John Hadl Chargers 3075 Missed playoffs
1970 John Brodie 49ers 2941 Lost NFC championship
1969 Daryle Lamonica Raiders 3302 Lost AFL championship
1968 John Hadl Chargers 3473 Missed playoffs
1967 Joe Namath Jets 4007 Missed playoffs
1966 Joe Namath Jets 3379 Missed playoffs

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All season long BangtheBook has brought you NFL betting trends to consider that will help you get paid. We’re not about to stop now that we are to the final game of the season! The Super Bowl is finally upon us. Peyton Manning and what has been the NFL’s best offense will go up against the Seattle Seahawks, who have had the best defense in the NFL much of the year.

Over the next few years, you’ll hear a lot of people’s opinions about this game. While listening to opinions is never a bad thing, I find it extremely helpful to back and look at trends from the past. What do past Super Bowl trends tell us about this game? What do the trends from this season from both of these teams tell us about this contest? Let’s take a look at some trends to consider before betting on Super Bowl XLVIII. We’ll look at team trends for each team as well as a few historical Super Bowl trends to keep in mind.

Team Trends- Seattle

-Seattle is 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a winning record.

-The Seahawks are 26-10 ATS in their last 36 games on turf.

-Seattle is 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games following a win.

-The Seahawks are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games.

-Seattle is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.

-The under is 7-0 in the Seahawks last 7 games.

-The under is 6-0 in Seattle’s last 6 games against a team with a winning record.

Team Trends- Denver

-Denver is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.

-The Broncos are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 playoff games.

-Denver is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games on turf.

-Denver is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games when they have more than one week to prepare.

-The over is 13-2-1 in the Broncos last 16 games on turf.

-The under is 4-0 in the Broncos last 4 following a win.

-The over is 49-24-1 in the Broncos last 74 games overall.

Super Bowl Historical Trends to Remember

-The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 Super Bowls. The underdog has won the game outright in 4 of the last 6 Super Bowls.

-The NFC is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 Super Bowl matchups.

-The posted total has gone over 23 times and under 23 times in Super Bowl history.

-The NFC is 25-22 straight up in the Super Bowl.

-Teams that score less than 21 points are 8-37 straight up and 10-31 ATS in the Super Bowl, so you better believe your team can score 21 points here if you are betting on them.

-The under is 6-3 in the last 9 Super Bowls.
- See more at:

Old Post 01-31-14 07:15 PM
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Favorites/Underdogs...23-21-2 (1 pick)
Favorites straight up...31-15 (1 pick)
Favored by 0-3...5-5
Favored by 31/2-6...7-6
Favored by 7-91/2...4-4-1
Favored by 10-131/2...5-4
Favored by 14 or more...2-2-1


14 or more...22

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5 Rings

Old Post 01-31-14 10:43 PM
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Super Bowl XLVIII Pick: Seattle +2.5 over Denver (Covers 60%)
See: Game Summary Matchup Analysis Key Players

Game Summary
Super Bowl XLVIII features two teams whose identities could not be more different. Seattle is built around physical play, stout defense and a balanced attack that leans on the running game at a greater rate than the average NFL team. Denver put together one of the clear top three passing offensive seasons in NFL history and has the best overall set of skill position players in the league, yet is largely vulnerable elsewhere (relative to typical top seeds and Super Bowl participants).

As different as these teams may seem, they certainly share some characteristics in common. The most notable of these is that they are clearly the best two teams in the NFL and stand out within their respective conferences. Denver ranked first in the league in averaging 0.98 more yards-per-play than opponents, while Seattle finished second in the same metric with a 0.95 yards-per-play margin. Both teams have won at least 13 games by more than a field goal and each only lost to teams (by six points or fewer in each case) that finished in the top ten in our final regular season NFL Power Rankings. This is not last year’s Super Bowl that featured two teams that changed drastically down the stretch and “got hot” at the right time.

Since Week 2 of the NFL season, the Predictalator’s projected Super Bowl every week was Denver vs. Seattle. To add to that, both of these teams were more than 50% likely to make the Super Bowl for all but two weeks in that stretch as well, a feat rarely seen by any team in any week before the playoffs started in the last decade (let alone two teams consistently). This is the best Super Bowl we could have this season and it may be the best matchup of NFL teams in the Super Bowl in the league’s history. Not too surprisingly, the spread on this game has stayed below a field goal and has, at times already, favored either team.

Also tying these teams together (besides John Moffitt and their states’ legalization of marijuana) is the fact that they have both done all of this despite dealing with critical injuries (and suspensions). One could make a case that rush linebacker Von Miller and offensive tackle Ryan Clady are/were the second and third most valuable players on the Denver Broncos and they have barely seen the field this year due to health (and suspension for Miller) issues. Recently, Chris Harris, who has been a fixture in the secondary for Denver for three seasons, was lost for the rest of the postseason with a knee injury. Similarly, Seattle wide receiver Percy Harvin has game-changing talent when healthy. He has not been healthy all year (and, while we expect him to play, it would be impossible for us to project Harvin to be in that game-changing form in the Super Bowl after just 37 snaps all year). Meanwhile, Richard Sherman’s teammate across the field at cornerback, Brandon Browner, is out with a(nother) suspension. The Seahawks have dealt with major health issues along the offensive line all season as well.

And yet both teams have dominated. And there is no question that they both deserve to be here.

While their journeys may sound similar and the matchup looks like a classic, there is one major difference between these two teams that ultimately leads us to our prediction (both straight-up and against-the-spread) – the Seattle Seahawks are, simply, the more complete football team. Sports and direct competition are often about utilizing one’s strengths to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses.

Another way to say that is the oft-used cliché around the office that “styles make fights.” Generally, the team with the fewest exploitable weaknesses has the best chance to win in a contest that is otherwise similar. Denver’s greatest strengths are all-time elite numbers, but the Broncos have a few holes, particularly in defending the pass and running the ball efficiently (especially late in games with a small lead when it is more important to do so). Seattle has elite numbers as well, but, aside from some concerns with penalties, the Seahawks, who finished the season in the top ten in all of our strength-of-schedule-adjusted efficiency categories, do not have glaring weaknesses.

Here are the game charts that generally accompany our weekly, in-depth analysis for the NFL. While teams are usually ranked relative to all other teams playing that week, we have updated this chart to rank the team’s standing compared to all 32 NFL teams. This helps to put the true value of each facet of the game for each team in more appropriate context when reviewing two squads.

Sunday, February 2 at 6:25 PM ET:
Seattle Seahawks +2.5 @ Denver Broncos (Covers 60.0%), UNDER 47 (Covers 52.7%)
ATS Play Type: Normal
O/U Play Type: Light
The Vitals:
Projected Score: Seattle 23.8 - Denver 21.5
SU Pick and Win%: Seattle wins 54.8%
ATS Pick and Win%: Seattle Seahawks +2.5 covers 60.0%
ATS Wager for $50 player: $80
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (47) 52.7%
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $3

The Teams: SEA DEN
Straight-Up Record 15-3 15-3
Against-the-Spread Record 11-5 12-6
Over/Under Record 7-11 11-7
Avg. Points For vs. Against 25.7-14.6 36.4-24.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #8 #18
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #6 #1
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #9 #22
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #1 #19
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #10 #9
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 47.3%/52.7% #59.7%/40.3%
Turnover Margin +23 -2

Against common opponents (Jacksonville, Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, New York Giants), Denver went 4-1 straight-up and 3-2 against-the-spread with an average final score in those games of 39.4-24.4. Against those same five opponents, Seattle was 4-1 straight-up and 2-2-1 against-the-spread with an average score of 27.8-16.8 (the takeaway from that is that not much can be gleaned from the common opponent exercise in this case since it’s a small sample size and they were mostly bad teams).

Using strength-of-schedule-adjusted, play-by-play statistics, the Predictalator has played Super Bowl XLVIII 50,000 times before it's actually played. The Seattle Seahawks win outright 54.8% of those games and by an average score of 23.8-21.5 As 2.5 point underdogs, who win outright in the upset, the Seahawks (+2.5) cover the spread exactly 60% of the time, which is a "normal" play that would warrant an $80 play from a normal $50 player. The money-line for the Seahawks is +115 (i.e. wager 100 to win 115). This requires at least 46.5% to play. A normal $50 player with +115 odds on a team winning 54.8% of the time can justify a $77 wager on the team to win. The OVER is 18-18 in games these teams have played this season, so, not surprisingly, we have a very light, though playable opinion on the total. The UNDER (47) hits 52.7% of the time. At least 52.38% confidence is required to win at the typical -110 juice. At 52.7% confidence, the UNDER is worth just a $3 play to a normal $50 player. Utilizing the Parlay Calculator, Seattle (+2.5) and UNDER (47) both cover 31.6% of the time.

Old Post 02-01-14 12:06 AM
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Matchup Analysis
In analyzing games, the team that wins a game is most often the team that best exploits favorable matchups and generally gets a little "lucky." While luck usually comes from turnovers, especially when the two teams are otherwise evenly matched, balance is critical to success. In this case, balance does not necessarily mean that a team must pass as often as it runs, but that it must find the right mix of decisions to exploit the other team's weaknesses while hiding its own.
Let's take a close look at the matchups in Super Bowl XLVIII:

Seattle’s Run Offense vs. Denver’s Run Defense:
As noted above, Seattle finished the season as our ninth ranked run efficiency offense. Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks faced the eighth toughest schedule with respect to run defenses and averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry in the regular season and 4.5 yards-per-carry in the postseason. They did this despite running the ball more than 50% of the time, which meant that defenses were keying on the run more than the pass. As physical as Lynch is, he can fit the play-making mold of a “feast or famine” (though “famine” in this case rarely means zero or negative yards) running back that can pick up two or three yards on almost every carry all game and then break a game-changing run. Lynch has had at least a twenty yard run in eight games this season, including both playoff games. The most efficient player running the ball for Seattle is quarterback Russell Wilson who uses his legs to buy time and make plays in the passing game, yet can also be effective taking off and running or on designed run plays. Wilson averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry on 104 attempts, which is almost identical to what he did last season. That being said, Wilson only has 16 rushing yards on eight carries in the playoffs and has not had more than eight attempts or 50 yards since Week 6. Denver’s defensive strength is its run defense, which also ranks ninth overall. Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is the best active player on the defense (which was on full display against New England in the AFC Championship game) and linebacker Danny Trevathan is exceptional at getting sideline-to-sideline behind him. Facing a formidable schedule of strong rushing attacks, the Broncos allowed just 3.9 yards-per-carry in the regular season and gave up a total of 129 yards rushing in two postseason games (3.8 yards-per-carry). With respect to Seattle’s offense against Denver’s defense, this is strength vs. strength. In the projected Super Bowl XLVII boxscore, the Seahawks combine for 3.8 yards-per-carry.
Edge: Push

Seattle Pass Offense vs. Denver Pass Defense:
We have to start by discussing Denver’s pass defense. Opponents threw the ball about five percent more often in games than the Broncos did due to the big leads that Denver was consistently able to build. That makes some of the Broncos aggregate passing defense numbers a little gaudier than they should be, but that does not mean that this is a strong unit. The Broncos fell below league-average in sack rate (6.3%) and interception rate (2.8%) and were essentially league average in yards-per-pass allowed (7.1). That’s with a full season of cornerback Chris Harris and nine games from linebacker Von Miller, the two most important players to the Broncos’ pass defense when healthy, both of whom are injured for this game. The Broncos do not have a single player in their active secondary who played at least 250 snaps this year and grades as an above average player at his position. Much has been made of Russell Wilson’s passing yardage totals down the stretch, but his overall numbers – 3,357 yards on 407 pass attempts (8.3 yards-per-attempt), 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions - are stellar for anyone. He should not be expected to maintain the 70% completions and 10+ yards-per-pass that he put together over a four game span in November and December, but neither would Peyton Manning. Wilson is definitively one of the league’s top ten quarterbacks right now. Plus, with the emergence of Jermaine Kearse, Golden Tate’s explosiveness and a healthy Percy Harvin, Seattle’s skill position unit in the passing game is deep and presently underrated. Seattle averages 7.6 yards-per-pass in our projections for this game (which is better than a yard more than what Peyton Manning and the Broncos are expected to do… interestingly, the Broncos were actually out-gained per reception over the course of the season as well).
Edge: Seattle (this matchup should make the difference)

Denver Run Offense vs. Seattle Run Defense:
In the Super Bowl podcast (complete with picks, props, Live ScoreCaster and more), we analyze each unit against its corresponding unit on the opposing team. Denver does not fare as well in that exercise comparing Marshawn Lynch to Knowshon Moreno as it does when looking at this head-to-head matchup. Ultimately, Seattle still has the edge, but it is not as obvious. The Seahawks can and need to be run on. In the games this year in which Seattle failed to cover the spread, opponents rushed for an average of 145 yards on 34 carries (4.3 yards-per-carry). In the other games, Seattle allowed just 76 yards a game on only 22 carries (3.4 yards-per-carry). We grade the Seahawks run defense tenth in the league, which is strong, but technically their weakest ranking for them in our six core efficiency categories. Unfortunately for Denver, despite ample opportunity to pad rushing stats late in games with the lead, the Broncos only topped 145 rushing yards three times and 4.3 yards-per-attempt four times all year. Against a below average defensive schedule, they ended the regular season averaging just 4.1 yards-per-attempt and posted 3.9 yards-per-attempt in two postseason games. Removing Peyton Manning’s 32 rushes for -31 yards and Brock Osweiler’s (kneel down driven) three carries for two yards, the numbers do look better from an efficiency standpoint – Knowshon Moreno has averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry and Montee Ball 4.7 – but this still is not a strength for Denver and it probably needs to be in the game itself to provide Denver with the balance it needs to offset a very strong and very aggressive Seattle pass defense. Denver rushes for 4.0 yards-per-carry in our projected Super Bowl XLVIII boxscore.
Edge: Seattle

Denver Pass Offense vs. Seattle Pass Defense:
Most epic clash ever. Having studied and specialized in historical context for much of my career, I’m comfortable saying that Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of all-time and that his 2013 season is clearly one of the three best passing performances in the league’s history (he is competing against himself in that category as well). This is the best and most well-rounded set of skill position weapons that Manning has ever had and he is at the top of his game with respect to making protection and route calls. Through the AFC Championship, the Broncos lead the league in most net-yards-per-pass play (8.0), fewest interceptions-per-pass attempt (1.5%) and fewest sacks-per-pass play (2.9%). That’s a triple crown win that sounds so absurd that we’ve never thought to award it. And yet, in this game, this matchup is a “push.” That is how good the Seattle Seahawks are against the pass. Seattle leads the league in most interceptions-per-pass attempt (5.3%) and fewest yards-allowed-per-pass play (5.4) - both by a healthy margin - while ranking fifth in the league in sacks-per-pass play (7.8%). Do not necessarily expect something to give. The matchup will be a blast to watch. The game will likely be decided elsewhere. We project Denver to throw for 6.3 yards-per-pass play (only Andrew Luck in the regular season and Drew Brees in the postseason were even able to top 6.7 team passing yards-per-attempt against Seattle).
Edge: Push

Special Teams:
In the short-term (i.e. one game, not 50,000), a big special teams play has far more relevance than it does in assessing teams' general strengths and weaknesses. In other words, this will be short because it does not mean too much to this exercise. Just like we have to account for the Coors Field bias in the Colorado Rockies numbers, we have to do the same with Denver’s kicking and punting calculations given that this game will not be played at high altitude. While that does even the numbers, Denver still gets the edge overall. Denver and Seattle both finished in the top four of our overall special teams rankings and they finished first and second in field goal percentage. Matt Prater is a slightly better kicker than Steven Hauschka and Denver has a notable edge in kick returns. Trindon Holliday is certainly an X factor for this game, but that could have as much to do with his propensity to fumble as it does his explosive nature on kick returns. Of course, then there is the ultimate X Factor/question mark in special teams: Percy Harvin.
Edge: Denver

Misc. - Coaching, Penalties, Turnovers, Crowd
Since Seattle had the most negative impact from penalties in the league BOTH offensively and defensively, penalties are a slam dunk win for Denver (though penalties are called less frequently both in the postseason and in colder temperatures). Turnovers, on the other hand, are an easy category win for Seattle. The Seahawks have a +23 turnover margin and Denver -2. We project Seattle to win the turnover battle by +0.5, which is notable because we have the Seahawks winning the game while gaining fewer total yards than the Broncos in our average projected boxscore. As far as both teams are from home and as big as the market where the game is played, the crowd should be truly neutral. Coaching comes through in the numbers, but there is an edge here. All four coordinators were hot names in head coaching searches and all are seemingly strong minds for their respective expertise. It does come down to the head coaches, John Fox of the Broncos and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks. The way I evaluate coaching, in-game decision making in critical situations is of the utmost importance. Fox, more of a game-manager and CEO than a hands on coordinator or motivator tends to be overly conservative, especially with fourth downs. The team also did not skip a beat when Fox missed time with health concerns earlier. That’s good news for the Broncos and speaks to the foundation of this franchise, but it’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement for Fox in this comparison. Carroll is the more aggressive and better defensive mind of the two defensive oriented head coaches. His fingerprints are all over this team in the way it is constructed and plays. The Seahawks can sometimes be aggressive to a fault, but I would much rather that than to be conservative to a fault. Carroll and Seattle get the overall edge in coaching.
Edge: Seattle

Based on that information, here are the most important players for each team:

Most Important Offensive Player to a Broncos’ Victory: Knowshon Moreno, RB
With as stout as the Seahawks’ pass defense is, some semblance of balance will be important for the Broncos to establish, especially in order to keep the best tandem of safeties in the NFL honest. Furthermore, with four unique talents all capable of being primary targets in the passing game – Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas - it’s difficult to pinpoint one player from that group that needs to have a great game for the Broncos to win. Seattle is thinking about and preparing for the same concept. The more attention to the weapons in the passing game, the more opportunities a player like Moreno will have to make a mark on the game. Teams that have troubled Seattle have been able to spread the field in the passing game, yet still have confidence to run the ball consistently, even out of more passing oriented sets.

Most Important Defensive Player to a Broncos’ Victory: Danny Trevathan, LB
Trevathan should be used to this kind of pressure by this point in the season. Despite playing second fiddle to Wesley Woodyard going back to their college days at Kentucky, Trevathan has emerged this year (partially due to an injury to Woodyard) as the player on the Broncos defense tasked with doing a little bit of everything. He is on the field on every down, plays very well off of Terrance Knighton against the run and, though not an elite coverage linebacker, he can find the football in the air (he is second among active players with ten passes defensed and leads the team with three interceptions). For the Broncos to succeed, Trevathan is going to have to make plays that keep Russell Wilson and the Seahawks guessing, not the other way around.

Most Important Offensive Player to a Seahawks’ Victory: Russell Wilson, QB
This is Russell Wilson’s game to lose. The second-year quarterback has the most favorable matchup in this contest and will very likely be the reason that Seattle wins or loses. Wilson has thrown an interception on just nine of his 450 pass attempts (2.0% interception rate) this season and only has three multiple interception games in his 36 games played (to go with 19 games with no interceptions). He has been sacked on almost exactly 10% of his dropbacks (well above the NFL average of about 6.5% over the last decade). And he has completed at least one pass of 40+ yards in half of his starts this year. Wilson will need to avoid mistakes, be comfortable making plays with his feet when it gives the team an advantage (without taking too many sacks in the process) and hit on at least one explosive play downfield in order to put his team in the best position to win. The Seahawks may need just a little more than a “game manager” in this contest, but Wilson does not need to match Peyton Manning (in this game or in the general Manning mold) for Seattle to win.

Most Important Defensive Player to a Seahawks’ Victory: Byron Maxwell, CB
This should probably note all Seahawks tasked with playing in coverage, especially on the outside or in the slot and likely in press situations except for Richard Sherman. Peyton Manning may have an ego, but he is not stupid. Do not expect him to test Sherman much during the game (unless it’s to set something up for later in the contest). Manning will do everything he can to pick on less experienced players. Maxwell is at least third in line for this role after Brandon Browner and Walther Thurmond lost their chances to star in the “Legion of Boom.” Maxwell is another bigger cornerback (though not quite Sherman’s size) who plays physical defense. He does not need to make an interception or other big play for Seattle to succeed, but he does need to find a way to keep from being exploited/picked on.

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Percy Harvin entered last week as the only true question mark as it relates to current injuries. It looks like he is prepared and preparing to play, though his impact remains a question mark. We have added him to the active roster and he appears in the projected boxscore at slightly less output than the player props are forecasting. As much as he was targeted when on the field in the two games he played, it is impossible for us to expect that he can change this game. Moreover, it should only be able to help our pick if Harvin can put together a complete football game in the manner that made him such a weapon in Minnesota.

While it got more pub than it should have leading into a matchup in the AFC Championship game against a New England Patriots team devoid of weapons on the outside in the passing game, Chris Harris’ injury likely looms larger now than it did in the previous game. Harris had a good combination of experience, intelligence, youth and athleticism that could be sorely lacking for a Broncos defense that will have to stay in coverage even longer than usual while Russell Wilson scrambles while looking to make plays downfield.

Line Movement:
Though the NFC was made a 2.5 point Super Bowl favorite heading into Conference Championship weekend, Peyton Manning’s brilliant performance and Seattle’s early game struggles made this a PK (a zero spread) when the line opened soon after the NFC title was crowned. Almost three-fourths of the action has come in from the public enamored with Manning on the Broncos, pushing this line quickly to Denver as the favorite. The current consensus spread is Denver -2.5. Literally every Las Vegas sportsbook that we track is currently at Denver -2.5 with standard -110 juice, suggesting the line is not likely to move any further (plus, taking the spread to Denver -3 puts a distinct chance of a “push” in the Super Bowl into play, which few people on either side really want). At the current spread of Denver -2.5, we have our fifth consecutive “normal” pick on the Super Bowl (out of five that we have projected on and second projected outright upset (after New York over New England two years ago). Keep an eye on the juice as select books make move the odds to Denver -115 or greater without changing the line. And, as always, use the Play Analyzer to re-run the game at the consensus line or your lines. The total has fluctuated more recently and does not have unanimity. It opened at 47, was bet up originally to 48 and even 48.5 in some books, yet has come back down to 47 as the consensus (47.5 still exists). This could be volatile throughout the week, however, due to the public’s reaction to weather. Speaking of…

The weather forecast utilized in these projections anticipates temperatures at kickoff to hover just over 30 degrees, with winds out of the Northwest at 8-18 MPH (gusts no stronger than 25 MPH) and almost no chance of precipitation during the game. The temperature has some impact on our analysis, but not much. Should the temperature drop or precipitation become more probable, it’s unlikely that such a forecast would warrant re-simulating the game. If winds are anticipated to pick up to significant gusts, the team that runs the ball more than it throws it (Seattle) and also has the best, play-making pass defense, would have a greater advantage than we already assume.

Old Post 02-01-14 12:08 AM
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In the last two-plus decades, the No. 1 seeds have met in the Super Bowl just twice: Indianapolis and New Orleans in 2009, and Buffalo and Dallas in 1993. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks join those other teams in this rare match-up of the two best teams in the NFL. Super Bowl 48 at MetLife Stadium should be one of the most well-balanced and competitive games in recent history as the league’s most potent offense goes up against the league’s most stout defense.

Not an AccuScore member? Use the coupon code "nflmonth" and get 25% off a monthly membership.

Fun Fact: Favorites have gone 33-14 straight up and 26-17-2 against the spread in the Super Bowl.
AccuScore has the Broncos as slight 50.2 percent favorites. The average score after 10,000 simulations is 25.8 – 25.7 with the Seahawks covering the +2 spread nearly 52 percent of the time. While Seattle does boast a defense that rarely allows 3+ TDs in a game, let’s not forget the type of offense it will be going up against. There is a 58 percent chance the total combined score goes over 47 points, and just a 38.7 percent chance it stays under that total.

Projected Leaders

Passing: Russell Wilson (SEA) - 257.2 yds, 2 TDs, 101.7 QBR | Peyton Manning (DEN) - 274.9 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 94.1 QBR

Rushing: Marshawn Lynch (SEA) - 64 yds on 21 carries | Knowshon Moreno (DEN) - 42 yds on 12 carries

Receiving: Doug Baldwin (SEA) - 81 yds | Golden Tate (SEA) - 54 yds | Percy Harvin (SEA) - 38 yds | Demaryius Thomas (DEN) - 88 yds | Julius Thomas (DEN) - 68 yds | Eric Decker (DEN) - 51 yds | Wes Welker (DEN) - 25 yds

What to Watch for

Quarterback Peyton Manning and his receivers versus Seattle's secondary - that's what this Super Bowl matchup will come down to. How effective can Manning be against a secondary that has the likes of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell and Earl Thomas?

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), for how efficient Manning has been with his throws, his receivers have been just as good at holding on to the ball. Manning's receivers have dropped a total of 43 passes this season. That's 43 drops, third-most in the league, on Manning's league-leading 659 pass attempts. Looking at the math provided by SB Nation's Field Gulls, Denver's receivers have produced better numbers than one would expect them to - allowing Manning to have 15+ pass attempts per drop (QB Tom Brady averaged 11.84 pass attempts per drop; QB Matt Stafford averaged 10.93 pass attempts per drop).

AccuScore simulations project two turnovers for the Broncos, at least one of which is expected to be a Manning interception. Seattle committed fewer turnovers in 70% of simulations and won 62% of simulations when they take care of the ball.

Key Match-up

The effectiveness of running back Knowshon Moreno against the league's seventh-best rush defense will be a key indicator of how the Seattle defense attacks Manning. Bronco coach John Fox mentioned earlier this week that Moreno's ribs, while not one hundred percent, are doing well enough for him to be the team's starting back.

Moreno has 93 first downs on the season to go along with just one turnover. A sub-par game from Moreno will allow Seattle to be exponentially more aggressive in their game plan against Manning.


From the chit-chat on Twitter, it seems that all the top bettors are taking Denver on the spread, and doing so confidently. While AccuScore data projects a close game, the bettors are favoring a "big win" for Denver. With all this talk of Seattle's secondary and Denver's offense, I expect Marshawn Lynch to take advantage of the situation by making his mark on the game early on.

The pick: 30-26, Seattle

Old Post 02-01-14 12:12 AM
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everyone in the den

please feel free to add any info you have or come across in this thread. lets make sure we have all the info we can get our hands on. your input is much appreciated thanx

Old Post 02-01-14 12:17 AM
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