Peyton Manning leads the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks “Legion of Boom” in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Sportsbooks have Denver as -3 point favorites heading into the big game. With the Broncos as favorites, bettors have started to worry that the persistent Seahawks are not only covering the spread, but will also win this game outright. But with the mass number of weapons on the Broncos offense, there will be plenty of opportunities to put the Seahawks back on their heels. Denver is 2-4 in the Super Bowl, winning its last two appearances following the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Quarterback Russell Wilson tied Ben Roethlisberger for the second-most wins (27) in his first two seasons but he did not throw for more than one touchdown or 215 yards in his past six games. One of the reasons is bullish running back Marshawn Lynch, who has gone over 100 yards four times in six postseason games and rushed for 249 yards and three TDs in the Seahawks’ playoff wins over New Orleans and San Francisco. Wilson can join Brady, Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as the only quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in his first two seasons.
This matchup pits the Broncos’ top-ranked offense against Seattle’s league-best defense, marking only the fifth time in Super Bowl history that the NFL’s highest-scoring team (Denver, 606 points) squared off against an opponent that surrendered the fewest points (Seattle, 231). The Seahawks are allowing 14.4 points per game, and surrendered the fewest total yards and passing yards while leading the league in takeaways (39) and interceptions (28), including a league-best eight by Sherman.
Russell Wilson will get back a big weapon in WR Percy Harvin, who played in only one game during the regular season after recovering from hip surgery and suffered a concussion in the victory over New Orleans that caused him to miss the next contest.
Manning put together the finest season by a quarterback in NFL history – shattering records for touchdowns and yards – and a victory could settle the debate of whether he is the greatest quarterback of all time.
WR’s Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are only the second tandem with more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in consecutive seasons. Add in Wes Welker (87 catches, 10 TDs) and tight end Julius Thomas (65 catches, 12 TDs) along with 1,000-yard rusher Knowshon Moreno and it’s not hard to see why Manning threw for 55 scores and 5,477 yards – both NFL single-season records.
Denver’s high-powered offense overshadowed a much-maligned defense that has made enormous strides and yielded an average of 14 points over the past four games since a 27-20 home loss to San Diego on Dec. 12. “We kind of made a pact after the San Diego loss,” said Broncos coach John Fox, the sixth coach to lead two different teams to a Super Bowl. “Basically, everybody made a pact that we’re going to be the best we can be these last five games. We’ve gone through four of them; we’ve got one remaining.”
“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” bombastic Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. “They’re an unbelievable record-setting offense with a Hall of Fame quarterback. That’s as tough as it gets. The No. 1 defense against the No. 1 offense.” It is also only the second time in 20 seasons that the No. 1 seeds in each conference reached the Super Bowl.
Recent Trends to Consider:
Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Denver.
Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
Seahawks are 13-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Seahawks are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game
Broncos are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
Broncos are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2
Kickoff Time: 6:25 p.m. ET
Pick: Broncos -3
The Bottom Line: Lynch has amassed 50 carries and managed to rack up 249 yards and three touchdowns. While the lackluster passing attack led by Russell Wilson’s inconsistency will ultimately doom the Seahawks, Lynch will help Seattle put points on the board. We recommend you signup with Bovada to receive a 10% signup bonus heading into the 2014 Super Bowl.