The Super Bowl is two days away, which means it is time I got some picks together! We'll have the full staff picks for Sunday morning, but I wanted to put together a rundown of my own picks for winner and MVP, with some reasons why. Given how some of my predictions have gone this month, I have a hunch 49ers fans will be excited about my Super Bowl picks.
I am picking the Seattle Seahawks winning this game, and I think we see Russell Wilson named the MVP. After the conference championship games, the Seahawks opened as a two-point favorite over the New England Patriots. However, money quickly poured in on the Patriots. New England now sits as either a one- or two-point favorite depending on your sportsbook of choice. At one point, Bovada saw 70 percent of money coming in on the Patriots. Since moving the line to Patriots -2, that has come down to 60 percent of the money.
I can actually see a few reasons to pick the Patriots to win this game. The first is that they are incredibly balanced, with Football Outsiders ranking them sixth on offense and 11th on defense. The second is that I think Bill Belichick is the superior coach. Pete Carroll has proven to be a great coach, but from a strategic perspective, I'd rather have the hoodie. The third is Rob Gronkowski. Marshawn Lynch is viewed as the unstoppable force, but Gronk is a similar force for the Patriots. The key is that he is healthy, and that could be what helps put the Patriots over the top. This could be a very good game, and Gronk vs. the Seahawks secondary will be one of my favorite matchups.
All that being said, I still think the Seahawks win this game. While the Patriots are balanced, the Seahawks have their own balance. Football Outsiders ranks their defense No. 1, and their offense No. 5. Their offense ranks No. 1 on the ground, and No. 10 through the air. Russell Wilson was awful for most of the NFC title game before turning it around later. If first three quarters Wilson shows up, the Seahawks are going to be in trouble. But he really only needs to be the proverbial game manager. I think Marshawn Lynch will be too much for the Patriots, and the Seahawks defense will win the battles against Tom Brady and company.
In considering who will win MVP, I think many people would predict Marshawn Lynch if the Seahawks win. That being said, the media votes on this award. I have no doubt in my mind that barring a historical performance from Lynch, the media will look to give the award to somebody else. The staff predictions (coming Sunday) include an interesting names like Kam Chancellor. I was tempted to snipe that one, but I won't do that to James! I could see Wilson putting together a solid enough performance that the ever slobbering media decides is enough to be worthy of MVP.
Speaking of that, given that I think it will be Wilson, I should probably bet on who he will thank first. I can get teammates at 3/2 and then God at 5/1. If I put $10 on each, I kind of like my chances at making a slim profit.