On February 2, 2014, the NFL will play it’s first-ever cold-weather Super Bowl. The host venue will be MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is an outdoor stadium. Typically, the site doesn’t come into play for the NFL’s championship game as the contests have either been indoors or outside in warm climates. However, with the big game here, you’ll have to factor in the weather, wind and elements as you evaluate the Super Bowl betting odds for 2014.
We’ve rounded up three SuperBowl betting tips to keep in mind as you handicap the big game:
There’s just no two ways about it: there are certain teams and players that can handle the cold weather and there are others that are quite bothered by it. Super Bowl online betting handicappers know that regardless of what anyone says, this will be the underlying theme of Super Bowl XLVIII. For example: Peyton Manning is just 4-7 in games played where the temperature is at 32 degrees or below at kickoff. Those who bet on the SuperBowl simply can’t discount that statistic – especially after seeing how sluggish he looked in the cold in New England during Week 12’s loss. Bettors might have been surprised to hear it but a number of NFL players said they had neither played in snow nor even seen snow (in person) following the Week 14 snowstorms that blasted the country.
Once the weather gets cold, the ground feels like concrete, the pigskin turns into a rock and it can be hard to throw, catch and run routes. That benefits teams who can run the ball. Bettors should keep that in mind when evaluating the Super Bowl lines.
Benefits: Teams who run the ball, teams who play in the cold
Wind can often be a bigger factor than the cold. We saw this in Week 14 in two separate games. The Chicago Bears hosted the Dallas Cowboys in frigid temperatures but Josh McCown had no problem slinging it around for 348 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, that same week in Philadelphia, the Eagles hosted the Detroit Lions and not only was there lots of snow, there was a ton of wind. Poor visibility contributed but the wind held quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Nick Foles to a combined 21-of-47 for 327 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Those are horrible numbers.
It’s just the thermometer that you’ll want to keep an eye on. Check the wind gauges – particularly in MetLife Stadium, which has a tendency to be gusty – and factor that into how it will affect the Super Bowl point spread.
Obviously, if passing ability is limited, it’s an advantage to teams who rely more on their running game.
Benefits: Teams who run the balL
Special teams are going to be critical in the Super Bowl – as they typically are – but it could be even more critical this year. With the cold weather and the potential of wind, snow and ice, points could very be at a premium.
Going back to the Week 14 games, we saw some very different strategies employed. The Eagles didn’t bother with field goals or extra points while they played through the snowy conditions, while the Lions tried just one extra point and it was blocked. In Baltimore, Minnesota wasn’t scared off by the snow/sleet and kicked two field goals with Blair Walsh. Meanwhile, the Ravens passed on a field goal attempt from the Vikings 21, 36 and the 40 (this ended the first half, which is a time they’d normally just take a shot). Instead, they elected to go for it each time.
Different teams have different strategies when it comes to their kicking games and without question, the weather will bring that into play. Teams with better kicking units are more likely to cover the SuperBowl odds for you.
Benefits: Teams with excellent kickers