January 25, 2014

Super Bowl 48 NFL Odds Analysis

SportsBookAfter all of these games and five months of watching and waiting, Super Bowl 48 is finally here. The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks are set to head to MetLife Stadium, where they are going to be squaring off for the right to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Join us today as we are breaking down all of the ins and outs of the Super Bowl odds, as well as breaking down some of the betting trends for which one of these two juggernaut teams will have the edge in this game.

After watching this line open up at a pick ‘em, the spread has moved up to Denver -2. It’s not a huge gap in terms of a jump from pk to -2, but it’s still notable. It’s also notable that at least 70 percent of the betting public has consistently been on the Broncos every step of the way leading up to the halfway point of the wait between the NFC and AFC Championship Games and the Super Bowl itself.

The ‘total’ started off at 48 and has taken a bit of a dip towards the ‘under’, as the number has decreased to 47.

Some of this might have to do with Mother Nature. The 10-day weather forecast is now out for game day, and though weather conditions aren’t expected to be fantastic, there is only a 30 percent chance of snow with game time temperatures expected to be right around the freezing point.

And of course, the stat which has to come up is that of QB Peyton Manning. He has played in 11 games in his career in which the temperature at kickoff was colder than freezing. His teams are 4-7 in those outings, though the Broncos are 2-1 (1-2 ATS) this season when the thermometer drops below 32.

This is threatening to be the closest contested Super Bowl from a betting standpoint that we have seen in quite some time. The New England Patriots were 2.5-point favorites over the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46, but no spread aside from that has been less than a touchdown since Super Bowl 16 way back in 1982 when the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals as one-point favorites. If this game holds with a spread less than a field goal as expected, it will be just the fifth time in Super Bowl history that the closing spread was less than three.

The ‘total’ of 47 is relatively high when you look at the span of the 48 Super Bowls, but of late, that’s a quite low number. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals had a number on the board of 46 at the close for Super Bowl 43, but the last time the number to beat was below that was in Super Bowl 38 when the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers for their first Super Bowl in their dynastic run. The ‘total’ that day was just 37.5.

These two teams combined to go 23-12-1 ATS this season, and it is expected that this is going to be a game which comes right down to the wire. Both teams were the home team in both of their playoff games, and they each failed to cover in the Divisional Round of the playoffs but fired back with a cover in the conference title game. Denver finished the season on an 8-3 ATS run over its last 11 games. Seattle went 7-2 ATS in its last nine.

The Seahawks, as you would expect, have a lot of great ATS trends on their side. They are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games, which is largely attributed to the fact that they are hardly ever even challenged when playing at CenturyLink Field. Seattle is 13-4 ATS in its last 17 games against teams with winning records and 18-7 ATS in games following an SU victory.

Denver is only 3-7 ATS in its last 10 playoff games, and the Broncos are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games played on field turf.

In respect to the ‘total’, there are a lot of signs pointing towards the ‘under’. The ‘under’ has cashed in seven straight Seattle games and five out of six Denver games. The Seahawks have played six straight games beneath the number played on field turf. Denver though, is 24-7 towards the ‘over’ in its last 31 games against teams with winning records. All four playoff games these two teams have played combined have stayed ‘under’ the ‘total’.

There’s not much here in terms of head to head meetings between these two clubs. The Broncos and Seahawks last met early in the 2010 season, and they have only met three times since the Seahawks left the AFC for the NFC. Denver is 2-1 SU and ATS in those games. Dating back to the days when these two teams shared the AFC West together, the Broncos are 6-3 ATS in the last nine meetings.

Two straight and six out of eight between these two have exceeded the ‘total’.

Underdogs have covered five of the last six Super Bowls, winning four of those six games from an SU standpoint. The team before that which covered as a favorite? Manning’s Indianapolis Colts, who won Super Bowl 41 against the Chicago Bears 29-17. The ‘over’ and the ‘under’ have alternated in Super Bowls for each of the last six Super Bowls. Last season’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers went past the ‘total’ of 48.5.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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