The top two seeds in the NFL meet up for Super Bowl XLVIII today at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, as the Seattle Seahawks seek their first-ever championship against a Denver Broncos team that last won the title in the 1998 season.The game has a start time of 6:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on FOX. Vegas odds have the Broncos listed as 2.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 48.
Analysis: The Denver Broncos come in at 15-3 on the yer and they got to the big game with wins over San Diego and New England. During the regular season the Broncos were the most prolific scoring offense in the history of the NFL as they put up 606 points on the year. The offense is led by Peyton Manning, who threw for 55 scores and 5,477 yards, which are both NFL single season records. Manning has the luxury of throwing to a fine set of receivers. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are only the second tandem with more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in consecutive seasons, while Wes Welker had 87 catches and 10 TDs) and tight end Julius Thomas also added in 65 catches and 12 TDs. Very tough to just pick one weapon to stop. The Broncos aren,t just about their passing game as they run the ball as well averaging 117.1 ypg on the ground for the year. The ground game is led by Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 1038 yards and 10 TDs on the year, while also catching 60 passes for 548 yards and another 3 scores. Offense was not a problem for this team this year, but the defense did have it's struggles, allowing pedestrian 24.0 ppg on 349 ypg this season, but these numbers have improved greatly during their current four-game win streak to 15.0 ppg on 269 ypg. Denver was much more efficient in stopping the run this season (97 ypg on 3.9 ypc) than the pass (251 ypg on 6.7 ypa).
The Seahawks also come in with a 15-3 mark on the year and their path to te Super Bowl included wins over New Orleans and San Francisco. The Makeup of these teams is so different as the Broncos got here mostly on their offense, while the Seahawks are here mainly because of their top ranked defense. The Seahawks allowed just 14.4 ppg, 273.6 ypg overall and 172 ypg through the air, which were all tops in the league, plus they also ranked 8th in the league vs the run, allowing just 101.6 ypg on the ground this year. Oh yea, they also led the league in leading the league in takeaways (39) and interceptions (28), whit Richard Sherman grabbing 8 of those picks to lead the league. The Seahawk offense is built around a power running game that averages 138 ypg on 4.3 ypc this season. Marshawn Lynch is the leader of this ground attack after putting up 1,506 yards on 4.3 ypc) with 15 TDs this year. In two playoff games this year he has run for 249 yards, 5.0 ypc and 3 TDs. The Seahawks can throw when they need to and Russell Wilson has been efficient, hitting 63% of his passes for 3357 yards, with 26 TDs to just 9 INTs. Wilson also helped out the ground game with 539 yards rushing at 5.6 ypc. WRs Golden Tate (942 rec. yards, 5 TD) and Doug Baldwin (914 rec. yards, 5 TD) are Wilson's most targeted receivers, but he should have an added weapon return for this one as Percy Harvin is listed as probable for the game.
Pick: Back and forth I have been going over this one and I feel that the Under is the way to go here. I know the weather is not supposed to be bad in this one, but there should be some win which will effect the passing of Peyton. The Broncos will still be able to move the ball, but this Seahawk defense doesn't give allot of quick scores. They make you work the ball down the field and that will be just fine by the Broncos, as playing ball control is just what the Broncos did down the stretch. We know that Seattle has to throw the ball to win this one and I expect them to do just that, but they will also run allot and that will keep the clock moving, which helps keep Peyton on the sidelines. I don't expect many big plays in the passing game for Seattle as that is not really their game, but they will use a ball conterol offense that works the ball down the field a little at a time. I know all about the inter-conference Overs that have happened this year, but these teams have had 2 weeks to prepare and I feel that will show up more on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle's last 7 games have all gone Under the total and I feel that this one will follow suit with a game that will put no more than 42 points on the board.
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