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NFL Betting: Seahawks vs. Broncos Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 1/22/2014 10:18:45 AM

The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will meet in the Super Bowl, making this the first Super Bowl matchup of two top-seeded playoff teams since Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts in 2010. In that game, the AFC champion was quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. It lost. Will history repeat itself, or will Manning win a second Super Bowl title, thereby improving his place in professional football history?

Super Bowl XLVIII – Game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Odds: Broncos -2.5

Total: 48

The Seattle Seahawks managed to get to the Super Bowl with a relative lack of balance. Seattle leaned heavily on its defense to make professional football’s ultimate event. The Seahawks scored a modest total of 23 points in each of their two NFC playoff wins, but in each game, Seattle scored points off turnovers and favorable field position created by defense and (to a lesser extent) field position. It was the defense which had to make big plays again and again to secure those two victories, first over the New Orleans Saints and then over the San Francisco 49ers in this past Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. The Seahawks’ offense found a couple of big plays in the passing game against San Francisco, but Seattle is still not throwing the ball well on a consistent basis. Quarterback Russell Wilson was evidently nervous against the 49ers. He fumbled multiple times and failed to communicate properly with running back Marshawn Lynch on multiple handoffs, one of which led to a fumble on a fourth-and-goal running attempt from the San Francisco 1. There are so many issues to be sorted out with respect to the Seahawks’ offense, and since Denver’s defense was so good in its 26-16 win over the New England Patriots that the Broncos should expect to contain the Seahawks, holding them to something in the area of no more than 20 to 23 points. Seattle will need to play an above-average offensive game if it is going to win in suburban New York.

The Seahawks, though, are going to count on their defense’s ability to not only make plays, but get turnovers. Seattle was playing from behind for most of the NFC title game against San Francisco, but in the final 12 minutes of regulation, the Seahawks got three takeaways against Niner quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the last one preserving a victory with 22 seconds left on the clock. The game would have been decided at an earlier point in the fourth quarter had Seattle’s offense done its job, but the fact remains that the Seahawks’ defense continued to excel when called upon. It is so good – and more specifically, so physical in the secondary – that it could legitimately disrupt the Broncos’ offense and claim the takeaways Seattle needs in order to win this game. If there’s one defense in the NFL that shouldn’t be sold short against Peyton Manning, it’s Seattle’s.

Prediction

It’s a matchup of two great but very different teams. The sense here is that Seattle’s offense won’t score enough against Denver’s defense. Unless Seattle gets a defensive or special-teams touchdown, it will lose.

Pick: Broncos -2.5

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