Super Bowl XLVIII Free Pick: Side
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Broncos are currently 3-point favorites over the Seahawks but if you shop around you can find the line listed at either 2.5 or 2. So depending on who you like, you can bet the line either right at or below the key number of 3.
While I would take the points in what should be a close game throughout, I like the Seahawks to potentially win outright. The team that has had the regular season's No. 1 defense is 12-4 straight up in the Super Bowl and Seattle boasted the league's best defense in 2013. While the Broncos can attack you in a variety of ways, the Seahawks have the personnel in their front seven and secondary to neutralize Denver's passing attack. And while Peyton Manning is nearly impossible to prepare for because he's so intelligent, we've seen him struggle in cold climates before, much more than he's succeeded.
Another factor to consider is the referees. The officials usually allow the two teams to play and thus, minimize the amount of penalties that they call throughout the Super Bowl. The league doesn't want its refs to steal the spotlight away from the two teams and thus, I expect the officials to "let 'em play tonight." That favors a Seattle defensive backfield that likes to be physical with the opposition's wide receivers.
Judging by our public betting charts, "Joe Public" loves Denver and has wagered on the Broncos at a near 70-percent clip. But if you're looking for value, it's in the Seahawks at +3. They've struggled offensively over the past month but with two weeks to prepare, plus the addition of Percy Harvin back into the starting lineup, we should see a better effort out of Russell Wilson and Co. tonight.
Finally, according to latest NFL trends, the Seahawks are 13-4 against the spread in their last 17 games versus a team with a winning record and 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games following a straight up win. They have a track record of playing well against top opponents and tonight will be no different.
SUPER BOWL XLVIII FREE PICK: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS +3