Super Bowl Betting: Seahawks Passing Game, Denver Rush Defense on Notice
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Jan. 31, 2014
After nearly two weeks of hype, we all are aware by now that Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks matches the top overall offense in the NFL and its No. 1 defense. Seattle remains a 3-point underdog at Bovada on a line that hasn’t moved all week despite heavy Broncos action (Denver -140 on the moneyline).
The Broncos became the first NFL team to join the 600-point club with 606 and averaged 37.9 points per game, the most in the league since the 1950 Rams averaged 38.8. Peyton Manning set NFL records for yards passing and TD throws.
Scoring was up throughout the NFL in 2013 as teams averaged on the whole 23.4 points per game this season, more than any other year. Yet no team was within 161 points of the Broncos. How far superior was the Denver offense? If it had taken Weeks 14-17 off, the Broncos still would have led the league in scoring by 19 points. Denver is given a points total of 24.5 in this one. The Broncos scored more than that in all but one game.
On the other side, Seattle led the league in scoring defense in allowing 14.4 per game. No other team was under 15.1. The 23.5-point differential between what the Broncos scored and Seahawks allowed is the largest in any NFL game since 1950, regular season or playoffs.
The Seahawks gave up just 172.0 passing yards per game, with the next best team at 194.0. In total yards, Seattle allowed 273.6, nearly 30 yards better than No. 2 Carolina. The Seahawks also led the NFL with 39 takeaways (28 interceptions, 11 fumbles).
This is the fifth Super Bowl since the merger to have the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense, and the latter has won three of the previous four. What if the Denver offense and Seattle defense play to a draw? Then the Super Bowl would seem to be decided by the Seahawks offense and Broncos defense.
hat would turn the focus largely to Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and QB Russell Wilson. Seattle is a bit of an old-school offense in that it averaged 31.8 rushes per game and Wilson threw the ball on average just 25.4 times, the lowest of any QB who started at least 12 games. He has a listed over/under of 26.5 attempts in the Super Bowl.
Lynch has rushed for 100 yards in each game in these playoffs and has a total of 90.5 set for this game. Lynch has four TD runs of at least 25 yards in six career postseason games, the highest total in NFL history.
Denver was pretty good against the rush during the year, allowing 101.7 yards per game, No. 7 in the NFL. That unit has really come on of late. Denver has allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in five of its past six games after yielding 100-plus in the previous six. No opponent has topped 65 yards in the past three games. Denver was a terrific 4-1 against teams with a top-10 rushing attack this season, so it could be up to Wilson and not Lynch to be the Seattle offensive star.