NFL Picks Against the Spread: Super Bowl 49

sb49

Super Bowl 49 is fast approaching with a compelling matchup that has many football fans excited. The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will meet in Glendale, Arizona to win the NFL’s ultimate prize.

The Seattle Seahawks are looking to win for the second season in a row. It will be the first back to back winner in a decade. The New England Patriots did it in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. It would provide some irony if the Seahawks are able beat the team that won back to back titles.

The Patriots on the other hand are looking to book end a 15 year run of excellence. They have played in 9 of the last 12 AFC Championships. This will also be their 6th Super Bowl appearance in that span. The Tom Brady and Bill Belichick run has been tremendous and is the pantheon of greatest coach/quarterback duos in NFL history.

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Richard Sherman and Tom Brady (Elaine Thompson/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Seattle Seahawks +2 vs New England Patriots

The Seattle Seahawks head into this game after a seemingly improbable comeback against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game. While the Packers did make a few questionable decisions like settling for a field goal on two separate fourth and goals from inside the one yard line and the inexplicable slide by Morgan Burnett around the 5 minute mark when a return would have at least assured field goal range and likely a touchdown. Russell Wilson’s four interceptions definitely helped the Seahawks sluggish start. The odds of Wilson imploding again is low, especially with experience in this spot.

The New England Patriots come into Arizona after dismantling the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. Despite what you may believe about the footballs, the Patriots would have steamed rolled the Colts with a Frisbee or tennis ball. The Patriots have owned the Colts over the past couple season. Heading into University of Phoenix Stadium brings back memories for Patriots players and fans. It was the home of the 2008 Super Bowl that featured the David Tyree helmet catch.

Going into this match up the Seahawks are the side to be on. They do a few things that will allow them to win this game, although it will be very tough to do so. Their secondary, the Legion of Boom, has the ability to do a few things that will be key. They feature a pair of safeties that have the ability to cover Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots biggest offensive weapon. Not only do Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas have the size to match up with Gronk but also the speed most NFL safeties do not feature. The cornerbacks for the Seahawks are able to cover the Patriots receivers in single coverage, allowing the Seahawks front seven to get pressure on the Tom Brady and slow the running game.

Tom  Brady and Rob  Gronkowski

(Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

The Patriots will need to slow the Marshawn Lynch if they want to win this game. Lynch has an effect on defenses as the game goes along. He continually gets extra yards after initial contact and utilizes a physical style. By the second half Lynch will turn runs that were getting 3-5 yards into huge chunk plays for first downs.

This game will be tightly contested as both the Patriots and Seahawks are teams that typically don’t get blown out. It likely will be decided by a late score. I’m taking the points and the better defense in this game. The Seahawks win in a lower scoring game.

The total for this game has been floating between 47 and 48 points. This number feels like its right in the sweet spot. If forced to make a pick i would lean towards the under. Waiting till closer to kick off would be advantageous for those that consider the under may be able to grab a higher total as most people tend to bet the over.

Want a few more betting options that can add increased excitement? Check out my NFL Props column.

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