Championship Weekend Numbers & Picks

Published on Tuesday, 1/14/14, at 5:49 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

5Dimes has Seattle as the +182 ‘chalk’ to win the Super Bowl (risk $100 to win $182). Denver has the next-shortest odds (+218), followed by the 49ers (+320) and Patriots (+565).

The website is also offering odds for which matchup will materialize at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The number for Seattle vs. Denver is the shortest (+132, risk $100 to win $132). The other matchups are as follows: Broncos-49ers (+273), Patriots-Seahawks (+349) and 49ers-Patriots (+622).

As of late Tuesday afternoon, most books had Seattle installed as a 3.5-point home favorite vs. San Francisco. The total is 39.5 at most spots. Gamblers can back the 49ers to win outright for a +160 payout (risk $100 to win $160).

Most spots have Denver favored by 4.5 over New England. The total is in the 55-56 range. The Patriots are +185 on the money line.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have squared off against each other 14 times, with the Patriots prevailing in 10 of those games. Brady has taken New England to five Super Bowls, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy three times.

Manning has one Super Bowl ring and another runner-up performance. Manning’s pick-six at crunch time to New Orleans CB Tracy Porter put the game on ice and ruined a potential go-ahead scoring drive in his second Super Bowl appearance.

With last week’s win over San Diego, Manning’s career postseason record improved to 10-11. Nevertheless, he remains the biggest superstar in the history of sports to consistently play below his norm in the biggest games of his career. Manning remains 0-for-LIFE against the Gators, who beat Tennessee four times during his college career in a game that basically decided the SEC East in mid-September every year.

Even when the Colts won the Super Bowl with Manning, that team was more about the defense of Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders, in addition to the running of Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai. Manning had a 3/7 TD-INT ratio in that postseason.

With all that said, Manning can do a lot to absolve him of previous failures if he can beat Brady and the Pats this weekend en route to collecting a second Super Bowl ring. Needless to say, Sunday’s events in the Mile High City will be interesting to watch.

I’m on a 30-17 run (64%) in the NFL after going 4-1 this past weekend. I cashed winners on New Orleans, the Pats-Colts ‘over,’ San Francisco and San Diego. You can purchase both of my side selections for this weekend by clicking here.

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