The focus on Super Bowl XLVIII has been on the matchup between Seattle's No. 1 defense and Denver's No. 1 offense. The Seahawks also have an offense, of course, and it is led by running back Marshawn Lynch. The man known as "Beast Mode" typically paces the Seahawks offense, and his success could prove to be a deciding factor in the game. Oddsmakers are expecting a solid, if not spectacular game with the over/under for his rushing total set at 90.5 yards.
On first glance, that number might seem low. Lynch is, afterall, averaging 124.5 rushing yards in the playoffs. So why isn't the number higher? Well, it likely has something to do with the Denver defense. Denver has the No. 8 rush defense in the NFL, allowing 101.6 rushing yards per game. Including the playoffs, Denver is allowing just 3.9 yards per rush attempt, the seventh-best mark in the league. In 18 games this season, only San Diego's Ryan Mathews rushed for more than 100 yards in a game against Denver. Only three players, Mathews, Jamaal Charles and Alfred Morris, rushed for more than 80 yards in a game.
Lynch rushed for 91 yards or more in nine of 18 games this season, including each of the last three. Despite the impressive numbers, it's been a case of feast or famine with Lynch this season. He's topped 90 yards nine times, but failed to hit 75 yards in eight of the other nine games. Those issues were especially noticeable during a late-season stretch when he averaged 57.8 rushing yards per game from Week 12 to Week 16.
Whether or not you bet the over/under could depend on how many carries you think Lynch will get. If he is the focal point of the offense and receives 25 or more carries, he's likely to top 90.5 yards, even with a limited yards per carry average. If Lynch finishes with fewer than 20 carries, as he did nine times this season, the under may be the better option.
Marshawn Lynch's rushing total via Bovada
Over/Under 90.5 rushing yards.