Oskeim Sports Super Bowl Analysis & Sports Pick: Seattle vs. Denver

Feb 2, 2014

Here is the analysis my private clients received earlier today on the Super Bowl:

Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) (-110) over Denver Broncos

Investment Advice: The Seahawks are a 3* investment at +2.5 or more and become a 2* investment as an underdog of less than 2.5 points. As indicated in a previous email, I strongly recommend buying a q/2-point to +3 (at -135 odds or better).

Analysis: Seattle possesses the best defense in the NFL, which is significant in that the teams with the better defense have won 39 of the previous 47 Super Bowls. I should also note in the previous four occasions that the #1 defense has faced the #1 offense in the Super Bowl, the defense has won three of those games. The NFC has dominated the last 32 Super Bowls with a 21-11 SU and 20-10-3 ATS record, including 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five years. Here are a few additional pieces of technical data that support Seattle on Sunday:

  • Since 1982, NFL teams who lost as a favorite in the playoffs the previous season are 4-9 SU and ATS the following year in the Super Bowl, including 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS as a favorite;
  • In the history of the Super Bowl, teams that have the best defense in the league are 13-5 SU;
  • Denver head coach John Fox is 11-22 SU and 12-20-1 ATS in his NFL career versus .769 or greater opposition;
  • Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is 36-24-4 ATS as an underdog in his NFL career and 6-3 ATS in the playoffs;
  • Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is 27-9 SU and 25-11 ATS as a starter with the Seahawks, including 8-1 ATS as an underdog.

Seattle is allowing just 14.6 points per game at 4.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yards per play against a mediocre defensive squad. Seattle’s defense has been just as strong away from home where they are limited opponents to a mere 15.1 points per game at 4.8 yards per play. Overall, Seattle is 0.1 yards per rush play, 1.2 yards per pass attempt and 0.7 yards per play better than average defensively this season, which is good enough to contain a prolific Denver attack. I also like the fact that Seattle is allowing just 19.3 yards per point to teams that would combine to average 15.0 yards per point, which indicates that the Seahawks’ defense does not give up big plays (4.3 yards per point better than average).

Seattle’s defense is also known for its ball-hawking tendencies as the Seahawks are +22 in turnover differential, which is mainly the product of its secondary (30 interceptions overall; 28 during the regular season; 2 in the playoffs). Seattle’s secondary is known as being one of the most physical in the league, and I expect the Seahawks to remain physical with Denver’s arsenal of wide receivers. The good news for Seattle’s defense is the fact that there have only been ten defensive interference calls this postseason, which is an average of one per game. Overall, Seattle possesses a 0.1 yards per pass play and 0.1 yards per play advantage defensively over the Broncos’s attack.

What most sports bettors are forgetting about is how efficient Seattle’s offense is. Indeed, the Seahawks are averaging 25.7 points per game at 4.3 yards per rush play, 7.6 yards per pass play and 5.8 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 4.1 yards per rush play. 6.6 yards per pass attempt and 5.5 yards per play. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is 1.0 yards per pass play better than average, which is good enough to exploit a poor Denver secondary that is 0.1 yards per pass play worse than average (6.7 yards per pass play to teams that would combine to average 6.6 yards per pass play).

However, that projection is not entirely accurate now that Denver is without star linebacker Von Miller, who tore the ACL in his right knee against Houston on December 22. Without Miller roaming the middle of the field, the Broncos are yielding 6.7 yards per pass attempt to teams that would combine to average just 6.2 yards per pass play. Being conservative would give Seattle’s aerial attack a significant 1.3 yards per pass play advantage over the Broncos’ defense. Let’s also note that Denver will be without cornerback Chris Harris, who tore the ACL in his left knee against the Chargers in the playoffs. Overall, five Denver players who combined for 2,545 defensive snaps this season are on the injured reserve and were not permitted to travel with the team to New Jersey. Along with Miller and Harris, defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson (11 starts each) and safety Rahim Moore (10 starts) will not be on the field Sunday.

My math model actually favors Seattle by one point, and the oddsmakers continue to underestimate Pete Carroll’s squad as the Seahawks are 15-5 ATS versus teams with a winning record, including a perfect 6-0 ATS versus .750 or greater opposition. Moreover, Seattle is a profitable 15-3-3 ATS as an underdog, 7-1 ATS following a home win, 18-8 ATS off one or more consecutive wins and 22-11 ATS after covering the point spread in one of more consecutive games. Seattle also applies to 92-45 ATS, 55-21 ATS and 37-14 ATS situations of mine that invest on certain postseason underdogs with an outstanding defense, together with an above-average offense. The return of wide receiver Percy Harvin only serves to enhance the foregoing systems.

Finally, it has been well documented over the last two weeks that Denver has been attracting the vast majority of the bets placed in Las Vegas. “Right now, we’re at a two-and-a-half-to-one ratio in ticket counts on Denver, and the actual cash coming through is 3-to-1 in favor of Denver,” South Point sports book director Bert Osborne said. In short, the sports books will be huge Seattle fans on Super Bowl Sunday, and I always prefer to be on the side of the books when it comes to prime time games. Savvy sports bettors will also take note of the fact that the “public” or “square” sports books (like Bovada) are dealing Seattle at +3, whereas the “professional” or “sharp” outlets are dealing Seattle at +2. The wrong team is favored and the books who cater to professional gamblers know it, which is why they are refraining from moving Seattle to 2.5 or even 3. Take Seattle and invest with confidence.