The Super Bowl is almost upon us and the Denver Broncos are still favored when it comes to the betting lines. But what do the experts around the Internet say? We've found that there is no real consensus at this point. The Seattle Seahawks can certainly beat the Broncos on paper, and vice versa. Peyton Manning is so, so good ... but so is Richard Sherman.
Louis Bien took a look at the expert picks on Wednesday and found that the top sites weren't able to come to much of a conclusion. Over at CBS Sports, the experts were split, 4-4, between the two teams. At ESPN, nine members of the panel of 14 experts sided with the Broncos, so there's at least a definitive split in that direction.
SB Nation posted its own expert picks last week, too. That further clouds things, as the six experts actually favored the Seahawks. Ryan Van Bibber, Joel Thorman, Jason Chilton and Matt Ufford all picked Seattle to win, with Stephen White and David Fucillo banking on the Broncos to win it. Interesting!
On Sunday, every player on each team will be focused on one goal: winning the Super Bowl. That much is absolutely guaranteed. But there are multiple players in this game that are playing on expiring contracts, and those players could certainly benefit from a big game. Putting up a huge performance when you need to be clutch the most -- the Super Bowl, if you're not paying attention -- can be a thoroughly effective bargaining chip. Eric Decker, Golden Tate and Michael Bennett are among those players.
Super Bowl tickets are ridiculously expensive. Are you poor like me? Then it would probably take you several months of saving to go, and in my case, I don't ever do it because I'd consider that hubris and bad luck for my team. Because I'm a sports fan and that's what I do. But had I saved up, I'd be delighted to see that tickets can be purchased for as "little" as $1,643 per stub -- at least at the time of the article linked above -- which is roughly 40 percent lower than what the price was immediately following the AFC and NFC Championship games.
Knowshon Moreno has been very effective for the Broncos this season. Of course, you won't hear too much about him because this is a team with Peyton Manning at the helm, but Moreno was a big part of the offense and helped move the chains in big situations. Moreno had 1,038 rushing yards and 548 receiving yards to go with his 13 total touchdowns on the season. On Wednesday, reports indicated that it was likely Moreno would hit the free agent market this offseason, at which point he'd likely sign with another team.
As usual, there's plenty of prop bets to talk about. First, check out the video where Dan Rubenstein talks about the prop bets that are worth your time and money (or ... not?). When it comes to individual yards, one of the big bets is the over/under for Russell Wilson's passing yards. While Peyton Manning is nearing 300 yards on his over/under, Wilson's is set at 199.5, meaning you're basically betting on whether or not he makes it to 200 yards. Then, there's whether or not there will be a lead change in the second half -- with no favored at -160.
For the Seattle Seahawks, running back Marshawn Lynch did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Don't worry though, Lynch has been sitting out of Wednesday sessions for much of the season. He's got no injury concerns at this point and will be good to go for Sunday. Aside from Lynch, the Seahawks didn't even have anybody limited on Wednesday. That includes wide receiver Percy Harvin, who is on track to play in just his third game for the Seahawks.
Denver is in similar health. They did have 10 players listed on the injury report last week, with both Matt Prater and Knowshon Moreno drawing questionable designations, but they're both expected to play. Defensive tackle Sione Fua drew a doubtful tag last week, but he's not a big part of the defense, and he may still play. Prater is recovering from an illness and word Wednesday is that he's doing much better and is expected to play. Moreno had a rib injury and will probably be limited in practice again this week, but he should still play as well.