Super Bowl XLIX Betting: New England vs. Seattle

Super Bowl XLIX Betting: New England vs. Seattle

And then there were two. The AFC Champion New England Patriots and NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks will decide Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. A Super Bowl hasn’t had a spread this close since 1973. Currently, the Patriots are 1 to 2 point favorites, so Vegas is pretty much calling this one a Pick ‘Em. It is a classic matchup between dynamic offense and dominant defense. Lest we forget, Seattle pummeled Denver’s record-breaking offense a year ago as 2.5-point underdogs. The ‘Hawks are playing in their third Super Bowl since 2006. As for the Patriots, this marks their 8th Super Bowl, meaning they have participated in roughly 1/6 of the games. All five of the Big Game appearances in the Belichick/Brady era have been decided by 4 or fewer points. Here’s a preview and prediction for the final game of the 2014 NFL season.

NEW ENGLAND VS. SEATTLE +1

Whether or not the media’s preoccupation with “Deflategate” has affected the Patriots’ preparation is unknown. Should they lose, especially badly, some pundits will assuredly blame the defeat on distractions. In truth, what the Patriots did or didn’t do prior and during the AFC title tilt has zero to do with this game. What matters is New England’s ability to score touchdowns against Seattle’s stifling defense. Brady has been sacked only 24 times in 18 games; if he has time in the pocket, and his receivers gain separation, the Pats will be able to move the ball. Of course, both of those things are easier said than done, particularly the part about gaining separation. Both Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are banged up, so Gronk, Edelman, and LaFell could have an edge. Brady is a precise decision-maker, but he struggles with pressure in his face. The Giants harassed him from start to finish in Super Bowls XLVI and XLII. Slowing down Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett will be critical to the Pats’ chances.

Green Bay was gifted three short fields in the NFC championship and walked away with 9 points. That failure to find the end zone early had more to do with their collapse than what happened in the final three minutes. Like all historic defenses, Seattle just doesn’t give up touchdowns. The Patriots’ only elite playmaker is Gronk. A combination of Kam Chancellor, KJ Wright, and possibly Sherman will be tasked to bracket Gronkowski. Both Edelman and LaFell lack the talent to consistently make plays against the Legion of Boom. Using LeGarrette Blount to pound the interior of the ‘Hawks front seven looks good on paper, but if it doesn’t work, the result will be a nightmare scenario of repeated third and longs. Yards after catch on short throws over the middle and in the flat is a staple in the New England attack. Problem is, no defense pursues and tackles as well as Seattle. Marshawn Lynch lives for these matchups, and Russell Wilson is unflappable in the clutch, despite limited weapons.

Seattle is 7-0 in its last seven games against Brady, Brees, Peyton, and Rodgers. Since both teams relish being the villain, this has the potential to be a down to the wire thriller. As long as the ‘Hawks take care of the ball, they should come away with a second consecutive Lombardi Trophy.

Bet Seattle +1