Super Bowl XLIX: Moneyline too tight to mention

The moneyline has rarely been as tight as this

The betting on Super Bowl XLIX is just about as close as can be with Seattle nominal favourites at 1.9720/21 to New England's 2.021/1. With the market so fine we asked our three NFL contributors to give us their thoughts on the Moneyline... 

"Here's the cherry on the cake. Defense wins games. The NFL's top-ranked defense has won 13 times out of 16 when playing in the Superbowl, including seven of the last eight. Seattle never ease up when leading, so I expect them to win and do so confortably."

Luca Bercelli - Even Money Patriots is too good to resist...

Who's going to win the Super Bowl? Well, let's face it you don't have to be Stephen Hawking to work that one out. One look at the form book will tell you all you need to know. Seattle were hopeless against the Packers two weeks ago, until late in the third quarter, and even then they defied odds of a squillion to one to win. Take away their freak plays, trick plays and lucky breaks and they were pretty much dominated for the whole ballgame.

Admittedly they were helped by some lame game calling by Green Bay (something we don't have to worry about in this one), but overall I thought it was a performance of miniscule proportions. The Pats, on the other hand, bossed the Colts from start to finish, and that's no easy feat against the league's best QB. 

The Moneyline has this game as a pick, or 2.021/1 a Patriots win and 1.9720/21 for the Seahawks to be precise. Some Even Money shots are a confusing headscratcher. This one is a contented ballscratcher; at least that's what I'll be doing as I tot up my winnings after my Yankee banquet of hot dogs, pizza and potato chips, all washed down with lashings of craft American Pale Ale.

There's plenty of room on the Brady bus, come aboard.

My Bet: Back New England @ 2.021/1

Neil Harvey - Seahawks to sneak it...  

I think Seattle will win it. The biggest factor for me is how both teams will approach this game. The Seahawks will what they always do - play aggressive, in your face defense and focus on running the ball with Marshawn Lynch. Seattle's approach is well practiced and doesn't change.
The Patriots though have been changing their approach from week to week. Coach Bill Belichick identifies his opponent's biggest weakness and then targets it again and again and again. In the Conference game against Indianapolis that meant running the ball, repeatedly. And it worked, as Legarrette Blount rushed for 148 hundred yards and three touchdowns. The week before that, against Baltimore, New England were obsessed with throwing the ball. But which defensive weakness will Belichick target against Seattle? They don't have one. And that leaves New England with an identity crisis.
And here's the cherry on the cake. Defense wins games. The NFL's top-ranked defense has won 13 times out of 16 when playing in the Superbowl, including seven of the last eight. Seattle never ease up when leading, so I expect them to win and do so confortably.
My Bet: Seattle (-3.5) to win @ 29/20 (Sportsbook)

Romilly Evans - Super Seattle can beat a big handicap...

On recent performance there's not a lot to separate the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks on paper. And flip-flopping favourites has been the result in the run-up to Sunday's Super Bowl. Tier-two receiving, premier running backs, formidable front-fours and shored-up secondaries...there's not a lot in it.

So perhaps this will all boil down to the men under starting center and pulling the levers of power. While this match-up has been billed in some quarters as the past versus the future of quarterbacking, that's lazy journalism. To call Tom Brady the last vestige of an antiquated imperialist system and Russell Wilson a fledgling upstart would be doing both a disservice.

For sport, like life, can only be played in the present tense. And the here and now suggests that Wilson is improving and making the required alterations when he errs, while Brady is feeling increasing stress to book his place in the pantheon after two successive Super Bowl defeats to the New York Giants. DeflateGate pressure (pun intended) will only add to the Pats' collective concerns. 

So view this encounter as this game as where each team's strengths essentially cancel each other out all over the park. However, Seattle, with Russell's pacy paws, have two "beast" rushers to New England's one. And that fact alone, trading off Wilson's inherent and elusive variety, can comfortably put them over the top in this end game. The Hawks could even get home by more then a touchdown and, at over 3.02/1 to back, I'll take a chance that they will -6.5pts on the handicap. 

My Bet: Back Seattle -6.5pts @ 3.1511/5

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