After months of speculation, the Super Bowl is set. The Denver Broncos handily beat the New England Patriots, 26-18 in the AFC Championship game. Peyton Manning led the way by throwing for 400 yards and 2 TDs. The Seattle Seahawks rallied to top the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17. Running back Marshawn Lynch grinded down San Franicsco tough Front 7 enroute to 109 yards and a touchdown.
Prior to the championship games, most sports books installed the NFC as a one-point favorite against the AFC. After the Seahawks secured their victory against the 49ers, the Seahawks opened as one-point favorites against the Broncos. However, after Richard Sherman’s infamous post-game rant and the public sentiment behind Peyton Manning, heavy money came in on the Broncos and pushed the line up 2.5 or 3 points. Nearly 66 percent of bets have come in the Broncos, which puts the Super Bowl odds squarely in their favor. The Seahawks’ biggest strength is their home field advantage, something they won’t have in the Super Bowl. If Denver gets out to 10+ point lead, the Seahawks may have tough time recovering. Seattle offense, which is led by quarterback Russell Wilson, is not built to overcome massive deficits. The Seahawks want to feed Marshawn Lynch the ball and if he gets more than 20-25 carries, the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl. Denver’s defense played very well against the Patriots and if they can carry that over, they’ll be awfully hard to beat.
Ultimately, I believe weather conditions will make the difference in the game. If game conditions are rainy or snowy, Seattle will have a massive advantage. Seattle will be able to ride Marshawn Lynch and get the ball to Percy Harvin in space. If we get a nearly perfect day, Denver’s offense shouldn’t have any issues. Watching the Seattle secondary square off against Denver’s receivers will be a real treat.