Super Bowl odds 2014: Broncos favored, but not by much

Kevin C. Cox

Denver opens as a one-point favorite over Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Super Bowl XLVIII will pit the top-ranked offense of the Denver Broncos against the No. 1 defense of the Seattle Seahawks, and Vegas expects a nail-biting result.

A mere point separates the two teams as Oddshark.com lists the Broncos as a one-point favorite to open. The Broncos have been good against the spread (ATS) during the postseason, with their 10-point win over the New England Patriots on Sunday improving them to 2-1. They've gone 11-7 ATS overall this season.

While Peyton Manning's record-breaking offense has been unstoppable, Seattle's dominant defensive unit has given oddsmakers pause. They badgered Colin Kaepernick into three turnovers during their NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers and limited him to just 147 yards through the air. Led by All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, Seattle's "Legion of Doom" secondary has held opponents to a league-best 172 passing yards per game.

Weather undoubtedly played a factor in the point spread as well. Rather than the typical warm-weather location or domed stadium, this year's Super Bowl will be played in the open-air MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where freezing temperatures and snow are expected on Feb. 2.

Manning has gone 2-8 in games played in 30 degrees or below, though his last sub-freezing game a Week 14 matchup against the Tennessee Titans where the temperature was 18 degrees at kickoff resulted in a Denver win. The Seahawks' ground-and-pound running offense is certainly better suited for bad weather than Denver's pass-happy attack.

That being said, neither defenses nor weather have been successful at slowing down the Broncos so far this season.

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