CHFF oddsmaking analyst Mike Wilkening provides a game-by-game betting review of the Seahawks here and Broncos here for CHFF Insiders. It's part of a powerful package of CHFF Insider Super Bowl analysis.
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By Mike Wilkening
Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider Oddsmaking Analyst (@mikewilkening)
Pro football handicapping sometimes feels like a series of doors slammed upon your nose.
Take Sunday’s AFC Championship. Multiple factors pointed to the visiting Patriots as the play. The Patriots, who took apart Indianapolis in the divisional round, were in very good form. Now, they were underdogs against the Broncos, ranging from 4.5 to 5.5 points, whom they had defeated earlier in the season.
Moreover, the Patriots have a sterling record as underdogs in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era: 29-13-1 (.690) ATS before their 26-16 loss in the AFC title game.
Then, the title game began, and the Patriots were seemingly a step behind for all four quarters. Brady wasn’t quite on his game. Most unsettling of all was Belichick passing on a field goal that would have cut the Broncos’ lead to 14 late in the third quarter.
It was as if he knew New England had to be aggressive to have a chance. In the end, the Broncos covered the spread with relative ease.
It's quite possible some of those Patriots bettors still sour from the title-game experience did a double take when the opening Super Bowl XLVIII line was posted.
The Broncos, who were so strong in victory against the Patriots, were 1-to-2 point underdogs against the Seahawks. And it’s quite possible some of those Pats backers quickly shook off the cobwebs and took the Broncos and the points in Super Bowl XLVIII.
As of this writing, the Broncos are 2.5-point favorites at most Nevada sports books over the Seattle Seahawks. The line has held steady for much of the week. The big money will come closer to game time, especially on game weekend.
There are more ways to bet the Super Bowl than any other. Proposition wagers are as much a main course for some handicappers as the line and total. For handicappers looking to end their season on a high note, there are countless outs, so to speak.
Of course, there are also countless ways to lose. And when the Super Bowl ends around 10 p.m. Eastern, the accounting will be complete, and the clock and calendar will firmly remind us there is work on Monday, that the back nine holes of winter are still to be played — and without football.
For now, it is time to get down to the business of picking one last winner. Pro football handicapping is a puzzle, but everybody tries to solve the Super Bowl riddle, for what else is there do in the January cold?
So go on, get your stat sheets and lap top and settle in the kitchen table. Pour yourself an iced tea or Basil Hayden and put on some Charles Mingus.
It’s time to beat this Super Bowl thing, to put a nice little bow on the season — slam the door on it, if you will.
To aid your handicapping, here are the Seahawks and Broncos point results for 2013, as well as a key records and trends for each club:
Seattle Seahawks here and Denver Broncos here.