As Super Bowl XLIX draws nearer, NFL fans could be in for the tightest game in decades.
According to the latest betting odds from Vegas Insider and its compilation of the point spreads for every title game in the Super Bowl era, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks matchup is the tightest in more than 30 years.
After opening with Seattle as one-point favorites, then shifting to New England at 2.5 points, the current line is now the Patriots at -1. That’s the closest spread since the San Francisco 49ers faced the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI in 1982.
Only Super Bowl Super Bowl VII, which saw the undefeated Miami Dolphins best the Washington Redskins 14-7, has another championship spread been one point.
Las Vegas bookmakers at Bovada.lv have the Patriots at -2, currently, but most sites have set the over/under set at 47.5 points.
This year’s matchup is so close because both sides seemingly have an answer for each other’s strengths. The Patriots owned the No.9 passing offense in the league this season, with quarterback Tom Brady completing 64.1 percent of his attempts for 4,109 yards and 33 touchdowns to nine interceptions, but the Seahawks counter with the league’s best pass defense and top defensive backs like Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.
Seattle, led by a combined 2,155 yards and 19 touchdowns from quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch, boast the league’s best rushing attack. But New England ranked No. 9 in the NFL, allowing 104.3 rushing yards per game. New England allowed only six rushing touchdowns all season, and only three in their last 10 games, including the postseason.
As far as the game’s prop bets go, according to Bovada the favorites for MVP have remained largely the same. Brady still leads the pack at 2/1, and Wilson is right behind at 7/2, followed by Lynch at 5/1, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski at 10/1, and New England running back LeGarrette Blount at 12/1.
And even though the award has typically gone to the winning side’s quarterback, a defensive player could surpass the rest of the pack, just like Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith did in last year’s big game.
Seattle’s fearsome trio of defensive backs in Kam Chancellor (16/1), Richard Sherman (25/1) and Earl Thomas (40/1) could be in line for the award as well. Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis is at 33/1 and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner comes in at 50/1.
There’s also a ton of prop bets to place on scores, rushing and passing touchdowns, yardage, attempts, receptions, interceptions, fumbles, interceptions, etc. Check out Bovada.lv’s full list of prop bets here.