Date: Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 – Kickoff: 6:30pm ET on FOX
Current Superbowl Spread: Denver -3 / Seattle +3 (@ Bovada)
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Superbowl Moneyline: Denver -130 / Seattle +110 (@ JustBet)
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Current Superbowl Total: Over/Under 47 (@ WagerWeb)
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Free Super Bowl Picks & Matchup Analysis: For just the second time in 20 years the two #1 seeds will be matching up in Super Bowl XLVIII as the Denver Broncos (15–3 SU, 11–7 ATS) will take on the Seattle Seahawks (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS). Denver won the AFC championship over New England 26-16, as Peyton Manning passed for 400 yards in one of his better efforts in his playoff career. Seattle defeated San Francisco 23-17 in the NFC championship, in what was one of the most entertaining conference championships in recent memory. Manning will be looking to become the first quarterback in NFL history to win a Lombardi trophy with two different teams. It will be Denver’s seventh Super Bowl appearance, and the second for Seattle. Seattle has yet to win a championship, while Denver has won two behind back to back championships won by teams led by John Elway and Terrell Davis.
Denver’s offense vs. Seattle’s defense
This is without a doubt the most intriguing matchup in recent memory. The NFL’s #1 offense against the NFL’s #1 defense. Denver’s record setting offense is potent behind the guidance of Peyton Manning. Wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and tight end Julius Thomas all have the ability to get separation. Seattle does have the best secondary in the league, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. Their other safety, 6’3” Kam Chancellor is a heavy hitter, and is also very good in coverage. Denver has run the ball quite effectively this year, as Knowshon Moreno has had a resurgent season. Seattle’s run defense was good this year, allowing 3.9 yards per carry to the opposition. More often than not Peyton will change the play at the line of scrimmage to a run play if he sees man coverage and the safeties playing deep. Seattle’s front four will definitely be tested, but then again, this will probably be the fiercest pass rush Denver has faced all season. Seattle doesn’t really do much scheming; they line up and jam the wide receivers, and can flat out get to the quarterback. Their linebackers are extremely athletic and are effective in space. It will be a game of chess between Manning and middle linebacker Brian Wagner that should be very interesting.
Seattle’s offense vs. Denver’s defense
When talking about this game, all of the focus will be on how Denver’s offense will attack Seattle’s defense. This actually takes the spotlight of the young quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson is in his second year, and has come quite a long way this season. One x-factor for Seattle could be wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has only appeared in two games this season, battling a hip injury and a concussion. One would have to wonder how Seattle will use him. Their wide receivers have the ability to get open, yet they don’t have the stellar #1 wide receiver. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin have led the way this season, and also have Jermaine Kearse and tight end Zach Miller contributing as well. They have one of the premier running backs in the league in Marshawn Lynch going up against a defense that allowed 3.9 yards per carry. Denver’s defense was able to get to the quarterback in the AFC championship, but against mobile quarterbacks they have struggled this season. Russell Wilson’s ability to extend the play will definitely change things for Denver’s weakened secondary minus their best corner Chris Harris.
In my opinion, the two best teams in the league played in the NFC championship. Seattle didn’t play their best game, but they forced 3 turnovers, and made the key plays in the second half to win. One key factor I think in this game will be the officiating crew. The head referee will be Terry McCauley. McCauley has been known to let the guys play, that in turn benefits Seattle, who likes to play physical. The back judge will be Steve Freeman, another guy who doesn’t throw a lot of flags for pass interference, which is another advantage for Seattle. The Seahawks should be able to run the ball with success, and I think the mobility of Russell Wilson will expose the Denver secondary. I also think the Seattle defensive front will get to Manning, he won’t have as much time as he did against New England. If Seattle can limit Manning’s possessions, they will have a very good chance to win this game. The weather will also be a factor, as the temperature will be in the 20’s and could be snowing. We all know Peyton Manning’s record in cold weather, and the weather will be more conducive to the brand of football Seattle plays to. The last time we saw the highest scoring team in NFL history get to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots fell to the New York Giants. The defensive pressure the Giants brought was just too much for the potent offense of New England. Defense wins championships, and every time the #1 rated offense has played the #1 defense, the team with the #1 defense wins the game. I think this will be a similar result, as I see the Seahawks bringing their first Lombardi Trophy to the Pacific Northwest. (Free ATS Pick & Score Prediction Below)
Free Super Bowl Picks For Sunday, 2/2/2013 (Side & Total): Seattle +2 & Under 47
Our Super Bowl XLVIII Game Prediction (Final Score): Seattle 26 Denver 17