Super Bowl XLVIII Preview

Super Bowl XLVIII features a dream confrontation between the NFL’s best offence and the league’s best defence. This article looks at some of the numerous betting markets available and discusses the betting promotions for the event.

To compare bookmaker odds for the Super Bowl, check out our Odds Comparison section.

Denver Broncos

With the highly experienced Peyton Manning at quarterback, the Denver Broncos offense has dominated the league, scoring an average of 37.9 points per game. To put that number into context, the second highest scoring team during the regular season was Chicago, with 27.8 points per game. Most of the damage was inflicted by Denver’s passing game, which averaged 340.3 yards per fixture. Manning has a plethora of receiving talent at his disposal, notably DeMaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker. It’s also worth mentioning tight-end Julius Thomas, who has been a revelation for them this season. Their offence hasn’t been firing on all cylinders during the postseason, however, with 24 and 26 points scored against San Diego and New England, respectively.

The Broncos defence is ranked a respectable 7th in the country for fewest rushing yards conceded, however they are ranked 27th for passing yards conceded. Overall, their defence is rated (depending on where you look) as the 18th best in the country.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle are rated as having the 8th best offence in the league. Their strength is their running game, with their 136.8 rushing yards per fixture ranked the 4th best in the league. The key workhorse for them on that front is Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s performance is crucial, because a successful running game takes pressure off their young quarterback, Russell Wilson. In the passing game, Seattle are ranked 26th in the country, with 202.3 passing yards per game.

Seattle are rated as having the best defence in the league. Thanks to a fantastic secondary, they led the country in fewest passing yards conceded, with just 172.0 yards per game. Seattle were the 7th best in defending against the rush.

Head to Head

If I could have cherry-picked two sides to face each other in the Super Bowl I would have chosen the Broncos and Seahawks. In many ways both teams’ strengths collide with each other. The Broncos led the country in passing yards on offence, while Seattle led the country in fewest passing yards conceded. On the flip side, Seattle’s strength on offence is their running game, which happens to be the Bronco’s strength on defence.

Unfortunately, there’s not much to go on in head-to-head records between the two sides because both have changed quarterbacks since they last faced off in 2010 (Denver won 31-14). Also, they don’t face many common opponents during the regular season to work out relative strengths because they play in different conferences. Based on the experience of Peyton Manning compared to Russell Wilson, I agree with the market for installing the Broncos as the marginal favourite. At the time of writing the best place to back the Broncos is with Matchbook, with odds of 1.917 (minus 1% commission).

If you’re looking to back the Seahawks the best value at the time of writing is 2.10 with Sportsbet / IASbet.

Total Score

Most bookmakers have the over/under mark at 47.0 or 47.5. The total appears to be pretty much spot on, but if I had to wager, I would take the under 47.5, depending on the weather conditions at Metlife Stadium on Sunday.

MVP Betting

If the Denver Broncos were to win, the MVP will most likely come from their offence. Peyton Manning certainly is the most likely Broncos candidate for MVP. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some punters back him in the MVP market at 2.10 rather than take the Broncos in the head-to-head because if the Broncos are victorious, it will most likely be due to Manning’s performance. A rough outsider in this market is tight-end Julius Thomas, who has been Manning’s go-to man in recent games. At 51.00 odds he represents reasonable value.

For the Seattle Seahawks the first two names that come to mind are quarterback Russell Wilson (3.75) and running back Marshawn Lynch (5.00). Wilson is a touch risky because he hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks. Lynch is a beast but the small danger with him is that Denver are the 7th best defence in the league in rushing yards conceded. One outsider in this market is cornerback Richard Sherman (26.00). The defensive back has received a lot of media attention due to his post-game outburst a couple of weeks ago and a strong performance from him would not go unnoticed. Sherman was involved in the play that terminated San Francisco’s season in the NFC Championship Game and with the Broncos likely to rely on their passing game he will probably be a factor in this game.

First Touchdown

Marshawn Lynch at 6.00 odds immediately comes to mind. He has scored three times during the postseason. For the Broncos there are numerous receivers at Peyton Manning’s disposal, with Eric Decker arguably the best value at 13.00 compared to Wes Welker and Demariyus Thomas who are both at 8.00. Running back Knowshon Moreno at 11.00 is another definite chance.

Other Player Markets

Some bookmakers are offering line bets on total receiving/rushing yards by particular players. Given Wes Welker hasn’t been heavily used since his return from a concussion injury, you might want to consider the under 58.5 Total Gross Receiving Yards for him. He has averaged 38 yards receiving this postseason. At the time of writing the under odds are 1.91 with Sportingbet. For Julius Thomas (not to be confused with Demaryius Thomas) I would consider taking over 51.5 yards at 1.95 odds. He has averaged 80.5 yards per game this postseason.

Hedged Bet

Given Peyton Manning is the most likely candidate to win the MVP award should the Broncos win, one betting option is to back Manning in the MVP market at 2.10 with Sportingbet / Sportsbet / IASbet and then back the Seahawks in the head-to-head market at 2.10 Sportsbet / IASbet.

Bookmaker Promotions Money Back Special
Back either team to win Super Bowl XLVIII and if your selection scores 25 points or more but loses the game, will give you your money back. Promotion applies to your first bet only. Maximum bet is $100.

Centrebet 50% First Touchdown Bonus
Get a 50% bonus in the First Touchdown market in Super Bowl XLVIII. Maximum bonus amount payable for the 50% Winners Bonus is $200. The bonus funds must be turned over 1x (once) prior to funds being withdrawn. You must be an Australian Resident with AUD as your currency to qualify.

Ladbrokes Money Back Special
Back either team to win Super Bowl XLVIII and if your selection scores 25 points or more but loses the game, Ladbrokes will give you your money back. Promotion applies to your first bet only. Maximum bet is $100.

Luxbet MVP Bonus
Place a Super Bowl MVP bet and if it snows at any time during the match (as determined by AccuWeather’s, Luxbet will give you a Bonus bet equal to your stake up to $100.

Sportingbet MVP Money Back Special
Back a player in the Super Bowl XLVIII MVP market and if your player’s team loses the game, Sportingbet will refund your bet up to $100.

Sportsbet Money Back Special
Place a head to head bet on the Super Bowl. If your team leads at half time but loses the match, Sportsbet will refund your bet up to $100 per game. Learn more.

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