Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) vs. Den – I’m not entirely sure how Denver is the favorite although the “Peyton Manning mania” set in immediately after Championship Sunday. The Seahawks opened up as favorites but then saw the betting line turn and now they’re underdogs.
Let’s look at the game which features the NFL’s best offense vs the NFL’s best D.
When the Broncos have the ball, look for Peyton Manning to run a spread offense and dink and dunk to his receivers. This will act as a rushing attack because Knowshon Moreno will not be able to get going against the Seahawks front.
However, the Broncos will not want or be able to abandon the run because Seattle’s attacking D will make Manning’s life miserable if it turns Denver one dimensional. The two wild cards will be WR Eric Decker and TE Julius Thomas.
While WR DeMaryius Thomas is a tremendous receiver, CB Richard Sherman should be able to contain him. Welker will be contained for the most part, too, as Seattle is excellent covering the middle of the field. Decker could make some plays on the outside as could Julius Thomas, but that will come when they move the TE outside on an island. Seattle’s safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are the best duo in the game. Look for Denver to put up between 14-20 points on the day.
When Seattle has the ball, look for them to pound Marshawn Lynch mercilessly into Denver’s D. And look for him to have success. The Seahawks OL is big and matches up well with Denver’s front. This will set up the pass. QB Russell Wilson’s struggled lately, but he won’t be asked to put the offense on his shoulders.
When he throws the ball, it will come off play action and by moving him around, and he’ll find some success on the intermediate to deeper routes. Also, expect slant patterns mixed in to keep the chains moving. The Wild Card is Percy Harvin, but even 30-40 yards from him on a few plays will add another dimension to the Seahawks. All in all it’s not flashy, but this offensive unit is physical and efficient.
When the clock hits 0:00, look for Seattle to win by 4-10 points. Super Bowls tend to remain closer in our era of parity, but Seattle is the better and more complete team. And high flying passing games haven’t had much success in the big game facing dominant defenses.
The Seahawks are bullies and will wear this Denver team down late 24-17 or 27-17.
Seattle is solid on the money line (+115) too.