By now I have made, and changed, my 2015 Super Bowl predictions many times this year. Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty, with just a few days
left until the season ends for another year. I already made some predictions about the game last week in terms of winners and losers. This week I want to
focus my Super Bowl predictions more towards the total. Can we find some insights that will allow us to lean towards the ďoverĒ or the ďunderĒ with
confidence? Letís take a look:
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The Seahawks have gone over the total in both of their playoff games, but they were 8-8 against the total in the regular season. Letís dig deeper to see
what can be learned:
- The team went under the total in five of their last six games. The only one that was an over was against Arizona, and in scoring 35 points against a
total of 36.5 they basically did all of the work themselves. Those six games represented six of the seven lowest opponent scoring totals of the season, so
their defense drives the success when they go under.
- Seattle played six games against playoff teams in the regular season and performed exactly as they did against non-playoff squads as they went over three
times in six games.
- New England had the ninth-best passing offense in the league during the regular season. Seattle played four games against teams that ranked higher, and
they covered the spread twice ó again, consistent with their overall regular season performance, Itís worth noting, though, that they came out ahead on the
scoreboard against all four squads.
- Seattle gets knocked, justifiably, for not being the same team on the road that they are at home. That isnít the case against the total, though. They
went over four times in eight regular-season road games ó just as they did at home.
New England Patriots
- New England was only slightly better at going over the total than Seattle. They have gone over in both playoff games and also in nine of 16
regular-season contests. Eerily similar to Seattle, though, they also went under in five of their final six regular season games.
- The Pats played five playoff teams during the regular season. They went over in the first three games and then went under in the final two.
- New Englandís average total during the regular season was 48.9. By contrast, Seattleís was much lower at 44.3.
- Like the Seahawks, the Patriots do not offer any easy insights about their comfort playing on the road ó they went over in four of eight road games.
- Despite some big offensive games, the Patriots did not actually ever cover a total by themselves. They did come within a touchdown of doing so four
different times, though, including last time out against the Colts. Seattle managed the same feat only twice.
- As I write this, the Super Bowl total sits at 47.5. New England faced a total that high or higher 11 times this season and went over seven times.
Seattle, on the other hand, only saw a total higher twice ó both times it was 48 ó and they stayed under the total both times.
The bottom line
So, what is going to happen in the Super Bowl when it comes to the total? Your guess is probably as good as mine at this point. I am willing, though, to
make these two predictions when it comes to the total.
- The team that wins will dictate the game. I am not sure yet who I think will win the game, but I canít shake the feeling that whoever does win it is
going to win it handily. I donít think the game will be close, and the winning team will be able to assert their preferred style ó stifling defense or
free-flowing offense. So, if you like the Seahawks I would take the under, and if you like the Patriots Iíd go over.
- The bulk of the work will be done in the first half. By the time Katy Perry goes on stage the total wonít be resolved, but there is a very good chance
that what is going to happen will seem clear. Either it will be a game that is setting up to be a defensive battle, and the under seems most likely, or it
is going to be a free-flowing offensive game, and they will be much of the way to the total already.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham