Super Bowl XLVIII has the potential to be one of the best contests in the game’s 47-year history. The Denver Broncos, who boast a high-scoring offense, will face the defensive-minded Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
The Super Bowl is popular every year, in large part because of all the money that is wagered on it. Other than the point spread and prop bets, the public can bet on the over/under. The number for Sunday stands at 48.5.
The outcome for the 2014 Super Bowl is not easy to predict. Not only does it feature the teams that tied for the best record this season, but it’s a matchup unlike any the NFL has seen in over two decades. For the first time since the New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills in 1991, the No.1 offensive team will go up against the No.1 defensive team from the regular season.
Denver put up the best offensive numbers in league history in 2013. Led by Peyton Manning, who broke several records of his own, the Broncos set the all-time mark by scoring 37 points per game. If they can come close to matching their usual production, the over is likely to hit.
Seattle, however, will look to make sure that Denver doesn’t come close to reaching their average. They allowed fewer points and yards than any other team. The Seahawks surrendered 14.4 points per game, and let opponents surpass the 20-point mark three times in 18 games.
Looking at the final scores of the regular season games for both Denver and Seattle indicates that betting over 48.5 points might be the correct play. The Seahawks may have a great defense, but their offense isn’t bad. The average total score of their contests is 40.5 points. While Seattle’s games conclude with an average of eight points less than the Super Bowl over/under, the average points scored in a Denver game is more than 14 points higher at 62.8.
In the playoffs, Denver’s offensive production has decreased. They scored 24 and 26 points, respectively, in their two postseason games. Meanwhile, Seattle’s defense has remained dominant. They gave up 15 points to the New Orleans Saints and 17 points to the San Francisco 49ers.
Recent history shows that the Super Bowl doesn’t feature typically high scores. Since 2000, the Super Bowl teams total 46.9 points on average. Six of the last nine games would’ve fallen short of this year’s over/under.
The weather could also affect the final score. The cold temperatures might make it more difficult for teams to get into the end zone. However, no precipitation is expected during the game.