Thu, Jan 30, 3:54pm by Ed Scimia
When & where: 10.00 am (AEST) Monday, February 3, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Wager with: Sportingbet.com.au – new customers receive a $200 free bet
IT’S time: Super Bowl XLVIII has arrived (that’s 48, for those not familiar with Roman numerals).
It’s not only the game that everyone has been waiting for, but perhaps the match-up as well, as it pits the league’s top offense against its most feared defence. Both teams have strengths and weaknesses that could come into play in the NFL’s first cold weather Super Bowl in decades.
Don’t place a bet on the biggest sporting event on the US calendar without taking a look through Australiangambling’s game guide below:
The biggest name in this year’s championship is Peyton Manning, the legendary quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
Manning set records for both passing yardage (5,477) and touchdowns thrown (55) this season, raising his game to a new level late in his career. He’s the most cerebral quarterback the league has seen in a long time, and there’s likely nobody else you’d want leading your team if you wanted to win a football game.
Or is there? The biggest knock on Manning is that his playoff success has been spotty at best. He’s “only” won one Super Bowl in his career, and his playoff record is a pedestrian 11-11. But he’s looked great in the playoffs this year, including throwing for 400 yards and two touchdowns against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
As great as Manning and the Denver offence has been this year, they’ve yet to be tested by a defensive unit as strong as Seattle’s.
The Seahawks have terrorised opposing offenses all year long, allowing just 14.4 points per game. Richard Sherman has made headlines based on his words over the past two weeks, but it is his play that has been more impressive with his play, capturing eight interceptions over the course of the season. He may well be the leader of a secondary that has become known as the “Legion of Boom” for their hard-hitting style.
That defence forced 39 turnovers and only allowed 172 yards per game through the air – a perfect foil for Manning and Denver, which scored 37.9 points per game this year (the most in NFL history). But Seattle can score points too (if not at Denver’s breakneck pace), and second-year quarterback Russell Wilson is a threat both to run and throw the ball at all times. Marshawn Lynch is one of the NFL’s best running backs, and will give Denver’s defence plenty to worry about throughout the game.
Here’s some good news, perhaps just as much for fans attending the game as the players themselves: the conditions shouldn’t be so bad for football on game day. Rain and snow should not be a factor, and while temperatures will be low, they probably won’t drop below 0° Celsius during the game.
That means the game will come down to the teams and the players, as it should be. Seattle opened as a small favourite, but the public quickly backed Denver, turning them into about a 2.5-point favourite within hours. The current line at Sportingbet.com.au is Denver -1, which is actually a bit closer than at many books.
Typically, the rule of thumb is that a great defence will beat a great offence. But I’m not going that way for this game. We’re not talking about a great offence here: we’re talking about potentially the best offence ever to play this game. And while Seattle’s defence is quite good, they’re not an all-time great defensive unit. Manning won’t be able to dominate the Seahawks, and the Broncos aren’t going to put up 40+ points again this team. But they’ll score enough to win the game.
Seattle will get some points on the board too (Denver’s defence is nothing to write home about, while Seattle can score), but the Broncos will have enough firepower to stay ahead of a young Seahawks team that simply won’t be able to compete with Denver’s experience. There are no guarantees in this one – the teams really are well-matched – but I believe the smart money is on Denver.
Prediction: Denver 28, Seattle 23
Picks: Denver -1, Over 47 @ www.sportingbet.com.au
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