New England Patriots 14-4 SU, 10-8 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (14-4 SU, 10-7-1 ATS)
Super Bowl 49
Date and Time: Sunday, February 1, 6:30pm ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium - Phoenix, AZ
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NEW +1/SEA -1
Over/Under Total: 48
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Well here we are!!! After a long grueling NFL season, we finally have the match-up set for the BIG GAME. The New England Patriots represent the AFC after making light work of the Indianapolis Colts, and the Seattle Seahawks will make their 2nd straight appearance after pulling off one of the most insane comebacks in NFL playoff history over the Packers. Both of these teams started the season slow, but over the last month, both have stepped up their game to a new level. This should be a great game… at least much better than the garbage we saw last season.
At this time, the line may as well just be a straight pick game. I have seen this line anywhere from a point fave either way, and some books just went ahead and listed the odds as EVEN. The book I use has the Pats as the slight underdog, so we will go based on that. So, here we stand with New England as a +1 and the total points are set at 48. As of Tuesday morning, 64% of the action was on the Patriots to cover, while the total points is about even with 53% thinking it will go over 48.
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Lets start this breakdown with the fave. The Seattle Seahawks just may be the team of destiny…again. They had all but lost the NFC title game to the Packers, but then a miracle happened. I will spare you the details because if you are reading this article, there is 99.999% chance you already know what took place in the final two minutes of the game. It was seriously one of the greatest game I had ever seen. With that said, now its on to the Super Bowl. That game means NOTHING now and all the focus needs to be on the New England Patriots. Seattle comes in with the what is in my opinon the best defense in the entire NFL. They rank 1st against the pass with Richard Sherman, Cam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas locking down the opposing offenses. Not only is Seattle a wall against the pass, they also ranks 3rd in the NFL against the run, allowing just over 80 yards a game on the ground. On the offensive side of the ball, many have called QB, Russel Wilson a “game manager” more than an elite level quarterback. To an extent I can understand that assessment, but lets take a closer look at his numbers. During the 2014 regular season, he threw 20 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions, not bad. Not only did he pick up yards with his arm, he also ran for nearly 1,000 yards ending with 849 yards. This guy can play. Now, many people are pointing at his four interceptions he threw against the Packers. Okay, it was not his best performance, but three of the interceptions hit his wide receiver in the hands. That is NOT his fault. Yes he will have to play better to get his 2nd straight Super Bowl, but I have not seen anything from the kid to make me think he will not be ready. The key to this game…pressure Brady. Tom Brady is an all time great, if not the greatest ever, but he can be rattled. If the Seattle defense can knock him down and get a few sacks, things could get very interesting. Not only do they need to get to Brady, but shutting down the run is a must. The Patriots passing game is as successful as the run. If Seattle can make New England a one dimensional team, I smell another title in Seattle.
The New England Patriots have been a true contender for going on almost 15 years now. Crazy thing is, they have not won a Super Bowl in 10 years. Good news for Tom Brady and the Patriots, you are not facing the New York Giants… so there is a chance. New England is solid. They are not as solid on defense but they are still pretty good. The Patriots rank 9th against the run and 17th against the pass. On the offensive side, New England is averaging nearly 260 yards per game passing and over 100 on the ground. This team is just solid. Nothing fancy, they just win. I can remember back to week three and four. Many were thinking that Tom Brady was on the verge of being replaced…hahahaha..idiots. Even Tom himself scoffed at the idea, and then a week later destroyed the Bengals on national television. Including the playoffs, the Patriots have won 7 of ther last 9 games, but one of the losses was a week 17 loss to Buffalo, a game that did not matter for the Patriots. The key to this game for New England is completely opposite of Seattle. Offense. Tom Brady and the Patriots MUST get the offense clicking early. Their defense is not good enough to grind out a come from behind win over these Seahawks, so New England needs to punch first and stay ahead. Also, the running game must get going. Whether it be Blount, Vereen, Gray, or any of the other 13 running backs the Patriots have, someone has to keep the Seattle D off balance. End of story.
Well, well, well…who to pick. I could seriously see this Super Bowl being one of the all time best to be played. Of course I say that, and the score will end up being 56-0, but on paper and the eye test tells me we have a good one on our hands. With all the public love on the Patriots, I have to go the other way. Just like last season when everyone was pounding Denver, I told you, beware of Peyton Manning…did I not? Now, I do not see Tom Brady playing as bad as Manning, and I also do not see the Patriots offensive line playing as bad as Denver, but I avoid the public. Seattle wins a great, hard fought Super Bowl 23-17.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -1 AND UNDER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 48 POINTS