Denver’s Peyton Manning might be the best regular-season quarterback in NFL history. If the 37-year-old is able to play two more years, he should hold nearly every major NFL passing mark. Manning has won a record four MVP Awards and is a big favorite to add No. 5. So why, then, when deciding how to bet on the Super Bowl this season, could it be smart to lean against Manning on the Super Bowl betting odds?
No Cool-Hand Luke
The Broncos remain the SuperBowl online betting favorites in the AFC and could have home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Maybe that’s not a great thing as it gets rather cold in Denver in January and that’s Manning’s Achilles’ heel.
In Week 12 this season, Manning’s Broncos were favored at New England in the 14th career matchup with Tom Brady, but Manning had his worst game of the year and Denver blew a 24-0 halftime lead to lose 34-31 in overtime. That dropped Manning to 1-6 in the past 10 years when the game-time temperature is 32 degrees. Brady is 23-5 in those games. This year’s Super Bowl is outdoors in New Jersey, where it’s almost certain to be freezing on the night of February 2.
Manning is 10-12 all-time in games played in sub-40 temperatures, with four of those losses coming to Brady’s Patriots. Manning has reached two Super Bowls in his career, winning XLI 29-17 over Chicago with Indy a 7-point favorite on the Super Bowl lines. Manning lost to Drew Brees’ Saints in SB XLIV 31-17, with the Colts as -5 on the SuperBowl point spread. Manning had won just one outdoor game those two seasons. In the 2006 divisional playoffs the Colts won 15-6 at Baltimore, and it was 54 degrees. Manning didn’t play well, completing 15 of 30 for 170 yards and two interceptions.
Could it be that Manning has long been used to playing in favorable elements? He grew up in New Orleans and played his college football in the warm-weather SEC at Tennessee. Manning’s first 14 season were spent in Indianapolis and the comfort of a dome for home games. Brady played in the Big Ten at Michigan and has spent his career in the elements of New England.
Another reason could be that Manning has never had excellent arm strength to cut through the wind, rain or cold like another former Broncos great, John Elway. Manning’s passes tend to flutter.
Manning’s winning percentage in his regular-season career is .694. He completes on average 65.4 percent of his passes for 2.01 touchdowns and 0.92 interceptions per game. In those games at 40 degrees or less, Manning’s winning percentage is .454 with a completion percentage of 61.6, 1.55 TDs and 1.32 interceptions. To be fair, 20 of those 22 games have been on the road where it’s harder for quarterbacks to perform at a great level and home teams are usually favored on SuperBowl odds.
So among the Super Bowl betting tips to remember this season, it might be smart of Broncos backers to pray for a warm spell in Denver come January.