The consensus line for Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks is a pick ’em, which means neither team is favored, at least initially. However, there is a lot of money being bet on New England.
It’s a smart play, because the Patriots should be the favorite.
According to Pro-Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, which is expressed in points and cares more about about margin of victory than win-loss records, New England is 10.3 points per game better than average this season. The Seahawks are 8.4 points per game better, which means that on a neutral field, like the one we will find in the Super Bowl, the Patriots should be favored by 1.9 points.
The game charters at Pro Football Focus have also rated New England as the better team on both offense and defense.
The Patriots are also superior to the Seahawks after you adjust their true talent for winning (Pythagenpat) for strength of schedule.
Seattle has a great defense, and has done a great job of keeping the opposing team from scoring points, however, Bill Belichik and Tom Brady lead the better overall team.