Honestly, I haven't really paid much attention to all the pre-Superbowl stuff going on the last two weeks. I made up my mind a while back that the Patriots are my Superbowl pick, and I think the deflate-gate thing is beyond stupid.
For me, any single game team sporting event where both sides are given enough time to prepare will always come down to matchups. While Seattle's defense matched up perfectly against Denver's passing game last year, the Patriots' tight end dominated short passing game will neutralize much of Seattle's advantage on defense. On the other side of the ball, I think the Patriots will commit to stacking the box against the Seattle running game, and let Seattle try to beat them one-on-one in the passing game against Revis Island. I just don't see Seattle sustaining drives against that kind of defense.
While there are plenty of well known names and personalities on display in this Superbowl, I believe the players to watch are the ones whom many casual fans haven't heard much about.
Tim Wright (TE, Pats)
Unless you're a Patriots fan or an avid daily fantasy football player, chances are you haven't heard of Tim Wright. Furthering that anonymity is the fact that he has played just 8 snaps so far in the postseason. In fact, according to an NBCSports article, some casino in Las Vegas is offering a Tim Wright receiving yards prop bet with a line set at half a yard. This line is so ridiculous in my view that I suggest anyone within driving distance of said casino to go down and put some money on that over.
Seattle has been weak against tight ends all season, especially in comparison to their performance against wide receivers in general. Add to that Belichick's willingness to play multiple TE sets, the short passing game, and the need for extra blocking bodies, I think Tim Wright will definitely have a role in this game, and it wouldn't surprise me if he scored a TD with Gronk getting all the attention.
Robert Turbin (RB, Seahawks)
The only real household names on that Seahawk offense are Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, and both will be key points of focus for the Patriot's defense. Turbin will be important in offering a change of pace option in the running game. While Doug Baldwin is probably better than most people give him credit for in the passing game, Seattle will need to execute dump offs to Turbin and Lynch and hope for good YAC from both to sustain drives.
Overall, I think the Patriots win in a game where points will be hard to come by for both teams. According to the sportsbook director at the Wynn, it appears most of the money is coming in on the Patriots too.
The over on all Robert Turbin props, especially yardage ones. And on the off chance this game becomes a blowout in either direction, he'll benefit from garbage time too.
Lines per 5dimes:
R. Turbin rush attempts Over 4.5 +135
R. Turbin rushing yards Over 13.5 -120
R. Turbin receiving yards Over 8.5 +155
R. Turbin rush+receiving yds Ov 23 -120
R. Turbin has a reception YES -140
Good luck and enjoy the game everyone!