Enough already with the Richard Sherman schtick. I’ve had my years worth of canned PR answers from classy guys Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. No more “Beast Mode” loves Skittles (who doesn’t) and hates the media stories. And finally, for the love of JC, please stop with the weather. We get it. It’s early Feburary in the Northeast and it’s going to be cold. Enough already.
It’s finally that time for the two best teams in the NFL to pull on their respected hideous uniforms and play some actual football in Dirty Jersey. And here’s what “this hack” thinks will happen from both an on field aspect as well as the gaming angle.
Seattle vs. Denver (-2.5, 47.5) 6:07 PM FOX
Since 1975, when seeding was introduced as part of the NFL playoff structure, this will be only the 10th time in which the best team from the NFC faces its AFC counterpart–and it is only the second time since 1993 that it’s happened. The last time was just a mere 4-seasons ago when then Colts QB Peyton Manning was throwing a back-breaking pick 6 to give Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints a 31-17 SB-win in Miami.
Overall the NFC has won 7 of the 9 such matchups with an overall victory margin of 20 points. From a gaming standpoint (my wheelhouse) the favorites in these matchups have gone 7-2 ATS, with only the Raiders in SB XVIII and the aforementioned Saints in 2009 being able to win SU as underdogs.
In the four times that the top scoring offense has met the top scoring defense in the Super Bowl, the defensive-minded team has come out on top 3 times. The only offensive outlier in this “extensive” sample size was a 1990′ San Francisco 49ers 55-10 curb stomping in SB XXIV over the Broncos.
Here are the regular season “tale of the tape” type stats on this years version of best O vs. best D. Seattle held teams to an average of 14.4 points per game during the regular season, allowing 273.6 yards per game. The Broncos managed to score 37.9 points and rack up 457.3 yards of total offense.
If you add the record setting year from that “washed up” Manning to Seattle’s “Dick” Sherman’s act, you can see why most of the public are riding the Broncos both figuratively and literally. That’s because shortly after Sherman scared the G-string off FOX’s Erin Andrews after his “tip”, his ‘Hawks opened as a 1-pt favorite.
But whether it was Sherman’s “look at me” moment or the fact that the public loves offense, the Broncos were quickly pushed to a 2.5 pt favorite by the next morning and it has stayed there. A lazy, open total of 48 (the most used over/under total over the past 20 years) was posted, but was quickly dropped to it’s current 47.5. And based on the decent weather forecast I don’t anticipate it moving much more off that number.
If you believe in history and hate the public, then you take the points and the Seahawks. If you are in the camp that thinks it’s “destiny” or “Peyton’s year”, then you lay the 2.5 points and hope his noodle arm is strong enough to throw 3+ TDs in a windy Met Life Stadium. Remember, Eli Manning plays his home games in this eye sore off the Jersey turnpike and said he will help his big brother with any advice he needs. But based on his INT totals this year, I think Peyton should just stick to watching film of the Legion of Boom Seattle secondary.
No matter how this one turns out late on Sunday evening, it has been another great year of NFL football. Of course in the City of Charm it could have been much better, but remember your Ravens are still the Champs until Sunday night.
And who do I think will be the team raising the Lombardi Trophy you might have asked? Denver 28-17. Peyton wins his second MVP Award and throws 3 TDs.
Finally, if you like “prop bets” here are a couple I like