Overlooked Factors in Super Bowl Handicapping

ERF-544_BOS_NFL Futures_January 24 2014The Super Bowl odds are set and there’s been plenty of action on the lines since the end of the championship games. The Seahawks opened as a 1.5-point favorite but the action has been steady on the Broncos, bumping the line up to Denver -3.
Before you place your bet on the Super Bowl, we’ve got three often-overlooked factors that you should keep in mind.

No. 1 – Bye Weeks

Those who bet on the Super Bowl must remember that there are two weeks in between championship Sunday and the big game. That means each team gets a bye week, an additional week to rest up any lingering injuries and an extra week to prepare. That’s a crucial factor that’s often overlooked by many SuperBowl online betting handicappers.
In the case of Super Bowl XLVIII, there are some very important stats to keep in mind in regards to the bye. The Denver Broncos have won 17 of their last 18 games when they’ve had two weeks or more of rest. They’ve covered the spread in 15 of their last 17 in that same scenario. As for the Seahawks, they are just 6-17 in their last 23 ATS with two weeks or more of preparation and 7-17 straight up.
File this along with your other SuperBowl betting tips: the numbers show the bye should be a big benefit to the Broncos.
How Teams Fare Against Other Elite Team
The Kansas City Chiefs were a great example of a good team that was strong enough to pummel the weak teams but wasn’t good enough to beat the elite teams. That’s why when you’re evaluating the Super Bowl lines, you have to take into account how both teams played against teams with a winning record. After all, the Super Bowl is a matchup of the two best teams left standing.
This year, Denver was 4-2 against teams above .500 and 3-3 against the spread. Digging further back, they are just 11-8 straight up against winning teams over the last three seasons. As for Seattle, they seem to rise to the level of the competition a bit better. They’ve covered the spread in 11 of their last 13 games against winning teams, while winning nine of their last 13 outright.
That’s an important factor to keep in mind as you’re looking at the Super Bowl betting odds. Remember, the Broncos entered the 2013 season with the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL while the Seahawks were pegged with the 11th-toughest schedule.

Non-Conference Games

Although the difference between conference in the NFL isn’t what it is in baseball, there are subtle nuances to each side and it’s worth taking into consideration how each team fared when playing interleague games.
The Seahawks were just 2-2 ATS in their four non-conference games this season while winning three of the four games outright. They’ve won seven of their last 12 games against the AFC. As for the Broncos, they have had more success in this realm, going 3-1 ATS and 4-0 SU against the NFC. They’ve won nine of their last 12 non-conference games. The oddsmakers have likely factored this into the Super Bowl point spread along with other reasons to give the Broncos the slight edge.