The Seattle Seahawks find themselves in a nearly identical situation as last year; they were underdogs following a very competitive NFC Championship Game and playing against an AFC team that dominated its way to the Super Bowl. The oddsmakers originally opened the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks as small favorites again only to see the betting public turn on them in favor of the AFC champion New England Patriots, who have continued to gain steam despite the Deflategate controversy that has followed them ever since they routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 as 7-point home favorites in their conference title game.
Granted, Seattle needed a miraculous comeback to top the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime two weeks ago to advance to the Super Bowl after trailing by 16 points at halftime. Whatever the case might be, this team is the defending champ for a reason and has flexed its muscles and won eight consecutive games straight-up, going 6-1-1 against the spread during that stretch.
Whether bettors view the Seahawks as lucky or good or both, they have exactly what it takes to upset the Patriots because of their outstanding defense and ability to execute in the clutch. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson exemplifies the team’s resilience more than any other player, and the way he played against the Packers proves this point. Wilson was having arguably the worst game of his three-year NFL career before helping the Seahawks rally back with two touchdowns in less than a minute, rushing for a 1-yard touchdown and completing a key 2-point conversion that gave them a 22-19 lead and enabled them to get to OT. He then proceeded to throw the game-winning 35-yard TD pass in the extra session to send Seattle to Super Bowl XLIX.
Defensively, no team in the league has been better than the Seahawks over the past two years, and they have not allowed more than two TDs in any game during their winning streak. Of course they have given up a lot of field goals, but one more TD for Green Bay instead of one of the team’s five 3-pointers would have been the difference in sending the Pack to Glendale rather than Seattle.