A lot of handicappers have been discussing their 2014 Super Bowl spread betting picks as if the handicap on the game is going to matter. Seattle’s top ranked defense clashes with Peyton Manning and the best offence in the NFL, and usually defense wins championships. People have been openly wondering why this spread doesn’t lean more so towards Seattle, and I’ll tell you exactly why it doesn’t.
Seattle Seahawks (15-3) vs. Denver Broncos (15-3)
Sunday, February 2nd — MetLife Stadium — 6:30pm EST
2014 Super Bowl Spread Betting: Denver -3.0 (47.5)
The line doesn’t favor Seattle simply because it shouldn’t. In fact, this line has never favored the Seahawks and it won’t by the time the weekend warriors chime in on the line either. Seattle is a great team; I’m not arguing against that. But I’m shocked that the Broncos aren’t favored by -5.5 or more because the winning Super Bowl team has won the championship game by an average margin of +5.6 points in the last five years. If you prefer Denver as your 2014 Super Bowl spread betting pick, then the current number has to have you salivating. It’s why the action has been non-stop on Denver since it opened over a week ago.
People love these Seahawks because they’re an extremely likeable team. Richard Sherman can be a bit of a blow hard, but he’s also been one of the best corners in football so he walks the walk as much as he talks the talk. Marshawn Lynch may have snubbed media day, but he’s also one of the best running backs in the game. And Russell Wilson has literally taken this league by storm. They’re an extremely entertaining bunch overall. But falling in love with a vibrant underdog can be a dangerous mix when making a 2014 Super Bowl spread betting pick, especially when they’re lined up against a team like Denver.
The thinking behind a Seahawks 2014 Super Bowl spread betting pick is fairly easy to understand. Their secondary is one of the toughest to throw against, and they can chew up the clock with Lynch running wild against a very suspect rushing defense. You also need a playmaker at quarterback who can work miracles, and Russell Wilson fits that bill to a tee despite his height. There are plenty of occasions when Wilson escapes pressure and makes unbelievable throws, but those are few and far between as well. Seattle attempted the second fewest passes of any team in the league.
Now, you could argue that Seattle didn’t throw the ball that much because they didn’t need to but you could also say that they didn’t throw the ball that much because they couldn’t. As tantalizing as Wilson is, he’s just not a stat monster. His greatest strength is actually his ability to avoid mistakes, but as we saw with Joe Flacco last year, you need a quarterback who is confident enough to take a couple daring strikes when necessary. I don’t know if Wilson is capable of really forcing the window when he has to, especially against cagey veterans like Champ Bailey and Antonio Cromartie.
The fact remains that Seattle needs the Super Bowl to unfold in a specific way. They have to create turnovers, generate overwhelming pressure in the pocket and force the Broncos in to making mistakes while keeping this game tight. They expect their opponents to choke. Their offence isn’t designed to run away with the score against good teams, because they rarely ever do that. And good luck picking off or sacking Manning. His release time is one of the fastest in league history, and is the primary reason he was taken down in the backfield just 18 times this whole season. That’s the lowest amount of sacks suffered by any quarterback. Plus Manning has thrown just 11 picks this whole year.
In the event that Seattle does get ahead on the scoreboard, all that means is that Denver will take to the skies. There isn’t a scarier come-from-behind team than the offensively loaded Denver Broncos, which is why my early 2014 Super Bowl spread betting pick is leaning in their direction. In a blowout of their own, or in a chase down comeback, the Broncos can utilize their strengths in any type of in-game scenario.
The two teams in this game are a contrast of styles, but I like the broncos as a more adaptable team. Seattle is limited in that respect and I’ve belabored the point so I won’t expunge any further. The team that passes the ball better usually wins out in the Super Bowl, and very few teams in league history have bombarded opponents through the air like these Broncos. If they’re building a lead, or storming a comeback as narrow favorites on the line, Denver is simply engineered to cover any and all types of scenarios.
Simply put, I prefer my 2014 Super Bowl pick to have the ability to perform in any type of situation. That’s the Denver Broncos in a nutshell. Even if this game is a fist fight like Seattle hopes, Manning has been as cutthroat as ever in 2013. He started the season by decimating the defending champions in Week 1 with a marvelous 462 yard and 7-touchdown performance. I expect him to end the year just as fiercely.
No matter what happens, the Broncos will be ready and Manning will not be denied this time around. You’re free to make your own decisions when wagering your hard earned money, but there’s too much favoring Manning and Denver for me to turn the other way. That’s why Denver is ultimately my 2014 Super Bowl pick.
2014 Super Bowl Spread Betting Pick – Denver -3.0 (OVER)