Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 2:00 PM
Earlier this week I assigned you some homework regarding past Super Bowls. Now, it’s time for you regular students in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping to think more specifically about this Sunday’s game between the AFC champion New England Patriots and the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.
I can’t tell you who I’m picking here in the coursework. That wouldn’t be fair to my paying customers. I can outline the questions I’ve been answering myself as I’ve worked through the process of finalizing my Sunday slate.
*Will we have a “grinder,” or a “shootout?”
I think this particular issue will go a long way toward helping you understand the best expectations. Both teams can win either way. Obviously answering this correctly gives you an Over/Under selection. The grinders these teams play have ended 16-13 or lower (particularly when Seattle is in ultra-conservative mode). Potential shootouts could soar into the 50’s if New England is moving the ball and Seattle has to keep up. The market is currently projecting a coin flip. But, there’s not a real sense of whether it’s going to be a low scoring or high scoring shootout. The posted Over/Under splits the difference of the extremes.
I strongly encourage you to review what each of these teams has done the last two seasons when facing playoff caliber opponents, particularly when those games were away from their home field.
*Can either team pull away from the other?
The market is expecting a coin flip…but we do have blowout potential if either team is taken out of its comfort zone and has to play catch-up. Seattle needed to have a miracle handed to them last week to rally from a deficit. New England is prone to become interception prone after falling behind good teams because Tom Brady tends to force things. If you try to force things against this great Seattle defense, you’re going to be in big trouble!
I want to be clear here. We all know that BOTH of these teams can pull away from most anyone in the league. Each has won a lot of blowouts with these coaches and quarterbacks. This specific question is about this matchup. Which team is better able (if either) to pull away from the other when New England is facing Seattle? What will it take for that to happen? Really think about that last one…WHAT will it take for THAT to happen? Most important question of the week if you’re hoping to make a big play on the team side. You can’t make a big bet on a “coin flip” unless you’re confident it’s not actually a coin flip.
*Who’s more likely to win the “end game?”
This result will either come down to the final possessions…or the ability of one team to protect a lead in the fourth quarter. Who’s better suited to win the end game? Is it the experience of New England? Heck, they haven’t won a Super Bowl in 10 years…maybe experience won’t help! Or, is it a Seattle team that didn’t have to sweat the second half last year against Denver…but has a tendency to make mistakes when the other team doesn’t blink?
Think about who’s going to have the ball in their hands…what gameplans they’ll be executing…and what the opposing defenses will be trying to do. It wouldn’t hurt to research stats at the league’s website about how these quarterbacks have performed late in close games…or late vs. quality defenses.
I’m not going to talk about prop betting. Any individual prop has its own set of questions that need to be answered. I would actually advise most of you AGAINST betting props unless you’ve really been hitting the books to find advantages. Props make the house money because too many casual wagerers just bet for fun or play hunches. Those of you who regularly attend these classes are more serious, and hopefully have more respect for the amount of work that needs to be done to beat the market. Be sure you have a meaningful edge if you’re betting a prop.
If you’d like some help making your final choices this weekend, you can purchase my game day assessment right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. I hope you keep building your bankrolls between now and kickoff with nightly basketball.
This is our last class get-together before the Super Bowl. I’ll be back with you on Monday to either talk basketball or review the big game. I’ll let the sports headlines make that call for me. We’ll definitely be focusing very heavily on college basketball from next week through March Madness. I know many of you wait until football is over before really jumping in. It’s time to jump in!
As always, the Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attention and attendance. For you “football only” students, thanks for working so hard over the past season. I trust that work paid off! See you again in August. For everyone else…we’ll talk again on Monday. See you then.
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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
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