Both teams booked their ticket to MetLife Stadium with wins over the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. Manning and the Broncos had a far easier time disposing of the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, opening up a 20-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter before finishing the game with a 26-20 victory.
The Seahawks, though, had to claw back from a 17-10 deficit late in the third quarter by scoring the last 13 points of the game and preserving the team’s second SuperBowl appearance by intercepting what would have been a San Francisco game-tying touchdown in its own end zone with 22 seconds.
So with two weeks to prepare before the big game, the opening lines for SuperBowl XLVIII have been set…and the Broncos have been tapped as short favorites, giving 1.5-points against the Seahawks with the over/under set at 48 points.
The initial reaction to the opening lines are somewhat muted in large part because you have two teams that have two stylistically different strengths. The Broncos ride Peyton Manning’s record-setting arm that has turned in a pretty incredible offensive video game season while the Seahawks feature the league’s best defense anchored by the Legion of Boom secondary featuring cornerback Richard Sherman and Richard Sherman’s hair.
Expect the line to fluctuate leading up to the game, especially if the weather becomes wonky in New Jersey next week. Since it’s being played outdoors, temperatures leading up to the game could have a direct impact on line movement, so that’s another thing to keep a close eye on.
At the moment, 48 points on the over/under seems high given the combination of Seattle’s defense and that-always-debated-topic of Manning’s play declining in the cold. That number could still go down and if snow comes into the picture, which is entirely possible in New Jersey at that time, then you can look at that totals number going down even more.
Fortunately, we have all of two weeks to dissect and discuss this Broncos-Seahawks matchup. In the meantime, we can also prepare ourselves for two weeks of Richard Sherman’s awesomeness.