Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots vs. Seahawks Plays, Props and Analysis
#BLSPicks is 79-54-4 Against the Spread during the 2014/15 Season and +118 Units Overall
We’ve got quite the backdrop for this years’ ultimate sporting event. Deflate-gate looms and the investigation won’t come to finality until after the game, which is a convenient fact for the Patriots and the NFL alike. However this latest Patriots scandal shakes out, statistically backed arguments show a clear correlation between lack of fumbling by Patriots players at Foxborough vs. games played on the road. Brady and Belichik staunchly deny any wrong-doings and the league will so eloquently sweep this saga under the rug like they have so frequently for teams they must protect.
Then we have Marshawn Lynch. The former Cal Bears standout has delivered, shall we say, Neanderthal level interviews each time he begrudgingly takes the podium during one of the many absurd media sessions this week. While it’s understandable that professional athletes don’t jump at the chance to have their comments run through the media spin cycle, the hypocrisy Lynch exhibits as he plugs his own hat and apparel, show what a child he really is. He can run the rock and that is all that fans should concern themselves with when considering placing a wager on this tilt. We’ll have to wait and see whether Marshawn grabs his sack and balls as he leaps into the end zone, or not. The League has preemptively warned of fines for such behavior, but if there’s a prop for whether Lynch grabs his family jewels, my money is on YES.
VIDEO: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
How the Patriots Got Here:
To say New England’s offense has been firing on all cylinders this post-season would be a drastic understatement. In two games, Brady and the boys posted 80 points; 35 on the Ravens and 45 on the Colts. In the divisional bout with the ‘Dirty Birds’ it was the passing attack that led the Patriots to victory behind 367 yards and 3 touchdown passes. In the AFC championship game, it was LeGarrette Blount who carried the load en route to 148 yards on the ground and there touchdowns.
How the Seahawks Got Here:
The ‘Hawks found a miraculous way to overcome a four interception performance from Uncle Russ Wilson in their NFC Championship matchup with Green Bay. Facing a 16 point halftime deficit, the Seahawks scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes on the shoulders of an onside kick recovery that will cement their place in the annals of football as one of the luckier franchises to ever grace the gridiron. Lynch rushed for 157 yards and a nut-grabbing touchdown versus the Packers. The victory was made final on a Jermaine Kearse touchdown catch.
‘Gronk vs. the Seattle Secondary: Seattle has key concerns in the secondary with All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman nursing an elbow injury and hard-hitting safety Earl Thomas dealing with an ailing shoulder. Whether Gronk gets loose down the seam or on the outside will likely be the biggest variable to the Patriots success. We know Blount will get his, or at least run enough to open up play action. Brady being Brady will exploit this as he has his best statistical games against higher ranking defenses.
Patriots Run Defense vs. Beast Mode
If the Ravens had success running the rock with Forsett in a simple 1-Back Zone formation, then I don’t see how Lynch doesn’t run wild on Sunday. Lil’ Justin Forsett 129 yards on 24 carries, breaking tackles and gaining much of his yardage after first contact. The ‘Hawks are one of the better ‘zone-read’ running teams in football and Lynch is just as fast as Forsett, but carries about 60 extra pounds. The Patriots’ defense finished the regular season ranked 19th in the league allowing an average of 1.95 rush yards after contact, while Lynch led the league with 771 yards after contact and an average of 2.75 yards after contact per rush (minimum 6.25 rushes per team game). Net-net, the game will be won or lost in yards after contact.
Richard Sherman vs. Tom Brady:
To put it simply, Sherman has intercepted 2 of 10 passes thrown his way this post-season. Oh and by the way, he’s broken up three of the other 8. All said and done, he’s allowed four completions for just 56 yards and zero touchdowns. Shutdown corner personified. At the end of the day, none of this matters. The Patriots have so many formations, weapons and one Tom Brady to nullify anything Richard Sherman brings to the table. Brady performs far better against better competition. Sherman won’t get thrown to and none of it will matter.
Uncle Russ Wilson’s Running Game vs. Patriots Defense:
By my estimation, Wilson had better get his run game going because this resurgent Patriots pass defense is a force to be reckoned with. Holding the prolific Andrew Luck led Colts pass offense to 7 points is all I need to know when analyzing this game. Russell Wilson was the league’s leading rusher among quarterbacks this season, rushing for 100 yards three times for a total of 849. The next closest was Colin Kaepernick who finished 200 yards behind him.
Patriots EVEN 10 Units
1. Will both teams make a field goal of 33+ yards? Yes. +110 2 Units
2. Will there be a lead change in the 2nd half? Yes. +145 2 Units
3. Total number of field goals missed/ over 1. +260 2 Units
4. Russell Wilson longest rush over 17.5 yards. +120 2 Units
5. Marshawn Lynch longest pass reception over 15.5 +145 2 Units
6. Seattle -10.5 +355 2 Units (If in case this game goes totally awry)
7. 3 or more interceptions: Tom Brady +700 1 Unit
8. 3 or more interceptions: Russell Wilson +900 1 Unit
9. First coaches challenge gets overturned -115 2 Units
When Vegas released the original number on Sunday of 2.5/3 favoring the Seahawks in this year’s Super Bowl, 80% of the original action was laid on the Patriots. So much action, in fact that the line is now a “Pick-em,” giving many a 2.5/3 point advantage before kick off.
The original line was a curious one considering the ‘Hawks’ had to luck their way to the Superbowl on a freakish comeback late in their NFC Championship matchup with the Packers. The Patriots completely steam-rolled the Colts and with both games fresh on the betting publics’ mind, everyone; sharps and the public alike dumped their dough on the Pats.
Typically, early money is wagered by ‘Sharp’ bettors who bet the second they see value, as opposed to ‘Joe Public’ who wagers just before the game. That said, the ‘Sharps’ are also big money bettors, so we can surmise that big money at an 80% clip is riding on the Pats +2.5/3. The numbers are telling us that the ‘Sharp’ betting community saw great value right when the line came out and Vegas could be taking a big bath on the heaviest bet game of the year.
We’ll be backing the Patriots who are the superior team. Sadly, we didn’t see the +2.5 in time enough to get the extra points. Shouldn’t matter though. Back the Pats.