NFL Betting: Championship Sunday Recap
The Super Bowl matchup is set and not surprisingly – at least to the oddsmakers – it’s the two teams that have been favored to meet in the big game all season long. Fans and bettors will get what they want as the two No. 1 seeds from each conference will square off for the Lombardi Trophy on February 2. In case you’re wondering, the Broncos are an early 1-point favorite.
Before we shift our focus to that game, here’s a recap of what happened on Championship Sunday:
Why the Broncos Advanced: Peyton’s Passing
The Broncos started the week as a 4.5-point favorite on the NFL betting odds and the main reason they were able to easily cover and win was Peyton Manning. After throwing for a season-low 150 yards in the Week 12 matchup with New England, Manning stepped up his game. He was on-point on Sunday, finishing 32-of-43 for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Combined with over 107 yards rushing the Broncos hung more than 500 yards of offense on the Patriots. The media, experts and those giving out NFL betting tips were ready to blame Manning if he were to fall short to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick again but instead, Manning put the team on his back and he’s the reason they’re going to the Super Bowl.
Why the Patriots Lost: No Running Game
All week long, NFL online betting cappers heard how balanced the New England Patriots had become with a running game that was supposed to be a big factor in Tom Brady topping Peyton Manning once again. However, that never came to fruition.
Those who bet on the NFL saw the Broncos come out on a mission to cut off the Patriots ground game and they succeeded. The Patriots finished the day with just 64 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown –a far cry from the 234 yards and six touchdowns they piled up the week before.
That made the Broncos defensive effort much easier as the play-action passes were not a factor and the game was put on Brady’s shoulders. He did his best but with limited receiving weapons, the Patriots just couldn’t keep up.
Why the Seahawks Advanced: Clutch Plays
The Seahawks advanced because of team-wide effort that included some fairly clutch plays. A number of them come to mind, such as Marshawn Lynch’s 40-yard touchdown run on third-and-one in the third quarter when Seattle needed a way to get back in the game. Or Jermaine Kearse’s incredible 35-yard touchdown grab on fourth-and-seven in the fourth quarter. And of course, Richard Sherman’s amazing tipped pass that Seattle intercepted, which also stopped a potential game-winning touchdown with 22 seconds remaining.
A lot of handicappers had San Francisco in their NFL betting picks this week to not only cover the 3-point spread but win outright, but because the Seahawks executed a bit better, they’re going to the Super Bowl and the 49ers have fallen short for a third consecutive year.
Why the 49ers Lost: Kaepernick’s Fourth Quarter Turnovers
NFL football betting fans that took the 49ers with the points were probably thrilled when they saw the 49ers took an early 10-0 lead in Seattle. Given how their defense had played the last few weeks, a 10-point lead – and a 13-point lead on the spread for those betting on the NFL – figured to be safe.
However, the 49ers were not the same team after halftime as they were outscored 20-7 in the second half.
What will be most remembered is quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s three turnovers, all of which came in the fourth quarter. He fumbled after getting sacked in the 49ers’ first possession in the fourth quarter, which gave the Seahawks the ball on the 49ers’ six-yard line, then he threw an inexplicable interception on his own 40 the next possession and eventually sealed the game by under-throwing Michael Crabtree in the end zone on what amounted to be the final significant play of the game.
Any way you cut it – whether you want to blame Kaepernick or not – the reality is that you can’t expect to win a championship game on the road in hostile territory while turning the ball over three times in the fourth quarter.