Super Bowl 49 Point Spread and Over/Under: SB XLIX Preview and Analysis
Super Bowl 49 is a dream match-up for fans of dynasties. The defending world champion Seattle Seahawks hope to become the ninth team in Super Bowl history to repeat as champs. The New England Patriots are making their 6th appearance in the Super Bowl in the past 13 years. If Bill Belichick and Tom Brady can win the Super Bowl, the Belichick/Brady era Patriots will join the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers and the 1980s San Francisco 49ers as the only teams to win 4 Super Bowls in the same era.
The game is a dream match-up for gamblers and Las Vegas sportsbooks, too. It is rare when the sportsbooks cannot agree on which team is the favorite in a title game, but different sportsbook have installed each team the favorite. Most of the bookmakers installed the Seahawks as 2-point favorites, but gamblers bet those lines down to 1.5 or even 1-point spreads.
About the Point Spread
Among the online sportsbooks, the point spreads are also split. Again, most of the Internet bookmakers have the Seahawks small favorites, but a significant number have the Pats as the favorite. For instance, Bovada has Seattle installed as a 2-point favorite, while GT Bets has the Patriots as a 1-point favorite.
Remember that the bookmakers are not necessarily predicting which team they think will win, but what the better public thinks. Oddsmakers want half the money bet on one side of a proposition and the other half of the money bet on the other side of that proposition. In that circumstance, the casino makes money off the vigorish or juice, and faces no risk.
2014 Seattle Seahawks
One reason the sportsbooks lean towards Seattle is they know the betting public remembers Super Bowl 48, when the Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos, 43-7. That is a difficult impression to get out one’s head. The Seahawks are also on an 8-game winning streak, while winning 11 out of 12. The team actually started the season 3-3, before surging enough to have homefield advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs.
2014 New England Patriots
The Patriots, on the other hand, posted a 12-4 season after starting out the year 2-2. The Patriots have won 12 of the last 14 games, though the final game of the regular season was a 17-8 loss to the Bills, when the Patriots had taken many of its stars players out of the game to rest starters for the playoffs. New England also finished the season as the number one seed in the AFC Playoffs. After a tough divisional round game versus the Baltimore Ravens, they defeated the Indianapolis Colts in a blowout win.
The Patriots are currently going through a scandal, called Deflate-Gate, because 11 out of 12 of the team’s balls were deflated below league standards during the Colts game. No one disputes that the Patriots were the better team. Dwayne Allen, the Colts tight end, posted on Twitter, “Not a story. They could have played with soap for balls and beat us. Simply the better team. We have to continue to build!”
Super Bowl XLIX Over/Under
The over/under on the game is 48 or 48.5, depending on where you place your wagers. Remember to find a sportsbook which offers 48.5 if you take the under. Bookmakers know their business quite well, so that extra half-a-point often makes all the difference.
The Patriots have scored an average of 30.44 points a game in 2014-2015, while their defense has given up 19.50 per game. The Seahawks has scored 25.17 per game this season, while giving up a league-leading 16.28. The Pats have a better point differential, but that’s often the case with the offense-minded teams. Despite the big numbers produced in NFL games throughout the regular season these days, in the playoffs, defense often deflates the score.
That being said, the typical New England game this years has involve 50 points per game, while the typical Seattle game has had 42 points a game. The bookmakers believe the Super Bowl will look more like your typical New England Patriots game.
Super Bowl 49 Analysis
This game comes down to two main factors. One, can the Seahawks vaunted pass defense slow down or shut down the Patriots vaunted pass offense, as the ‘Hawks did to the Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl? Two, can the Patriots Defense contain Marshawn Lynch? The Patriots have an excellent pass rush with Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich as bookends on the line. If they can force the Seahawks into passing situation and contain the pocket, they could force Russell Wilson into mistakes like the Packers did. But most teams can’t control Lynch, whose unorthodox style often gives linebackers and safeties fits.
Remember that Bill Belichick knows Marshawn Lynch well, because the Patriots played Lynch’s former team, the Buffalo Bills, twice a year. Though that was a lesser team, the Patriots contained Lynch pretty well in those days, and their coaching staff should have the book on how to deal with Marshawn Lynch’s “wobbly” style of running.
Patriots Offense vs Seahawks Defense
The Patriots receivers could have major problems with the Seahawks’ defensive backfield, though. Edelman and LaFell have put up numbers this year, but they are not the kind of elite receivers you expect to excel against the Seahawks. The Pats’ effectiveness might come down to whether Rob Gronkowski has a big game. That’s the biggest mismatch the Patriots will have, though Gronk is going to need to be prepared to take a big pounding from Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. If he stands up to the pressure, then the Patriots could exploit the Seahawks the way most teams cannot.
Super Bowl XLIX Prediction
The wild card in this game is Legarrette Blount. Blount is an unlikely candidate to be the only running back who’s ever scored 3 touchdowns in a game for two different teams in the playoffs. His bruising running style gives the Patriots an added dimension, but the Pats were not that great in the running game in 2014 (60 yards per game less than the Seahawks).
But the Seahawks have a small defensive line that does not have the depth it did in last year’s Super Bowl run, so teams (like the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers) with top running games have given the Seahawks problems this year. If Blount gives the Patriots that unseen factor, then the Pats could pull off the mild upset and give Brady his 4th Super Bowl victory.
It’s often the less-talked about facets of a game that make the difference. If you believe Blount and the Pats running game can rough up the small Seahawks defensive line enough to make the difference in the game, take the Patriots. If you don’t believe in that running game, bet on the Seahawks.
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