Posted: Thu January 30, 2014 9:18AM; Updated: Thu January 30, 2014 12:24PM

Super Bowl XLVIII picks, predictions

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Russell Wilson has completed 25-of-43 passes with one touchdown and no interceptions this postseason.
Russell Wilson has completed 25-of-43 passes with one touchdown and no interceptions this postseason.
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Denver Broncos will face the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in the NFL's first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl.

The game will be a study of contrasts. The Broncos are coming off a season in which Peyton Manning rewrote the record books, breaking the NFL record for passing touchdowns and yards. Overall, the Broncos, with an attack headlined by Manning and a multifaceted receiving corps, finished as the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense. On the other side is the Seahawks, the No. 1 scoring defense. Led by the Legion of Boom -- the nickname for the Seahawks' suffocating secondary -- Seattle finished first in total takeaways and yards allowed.

Who will ultimately hoist the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl XLVIII? experts Don Banks, Chris Burke, Doug Farrar, Tom Mantzouranis, Austin Murphy and Jim Trotter make their picks below.

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Why the Broncos will win: Elite defense usually trumps elite offense in Super Bowl showdowns of this ilk, and sometimes in blowout fashion (think Tampa Bay over Oakland from 11 years ago). But not this time. I can't shake the feeling that it's Peyton Manning's year and the rest of us are just along for the ride. Even the much-discussed weather will wind up breaking right for the Denver passing game on Sunday in the Meadowlands.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Peyton Manning
27 24
Why the Broncos will win: I've gone back and forth on these teams all year -- picked Seattle to win it all before the year, then Denver at the start of the playoffs. I'm going to roll with the Broncos because I think that offense will find a way to score, and I'm not positive the Seahawks have enough firepower to respond should it come to that. Peyton's pals are rolling on both sides of the football right now.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Peyton Manning
26 24
Why the Seahawks will win: The Broncos have one of the greatest offenses I've ever seen, but it's more true today than ever before -- great defenses are more rare and valuable in the NFL. Seattle has just such a defense -- and atypically, it's built from the secondary in. Thus, it's the perfect antidote to Peyton Manning's aerial circus, no matter how effective it's been against other defenses. Peyton will get his shots in, but Seattle can match him blow for blow ... and perhaps just a couple points more.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Earl Thomas
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Why the Seahawks will win: It's easy to predict a good night for the Seahawks D. But I don't think the Seattle stoppers will be in a position to carry the load Sunday night, because the offense is going to keep the Broncos' high-octane offense on the sideline for long stretches. The Seattle attack is just so frustrating for defenses to contend with; they're brilliant at rescuing plays thought to be dead at the last second, led most especially on that front by Russell Wilson. The Broncos defense has been almost shockingly good in the playoffs, but San Diego and even New England don't compare with the problems the Seahawks present.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Russell Wilson
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Why the Seahawks will win: With Marshawn Lynch effective early, Seattle will be able to sustain drives, keeping Peyton Manning off the field. When the Broncos come up to stop Beast Mode, Russell Wilson will hurt them with play action. On defense, the Legion of Boom can remain uncharacteristically patient, keeping Denver's receivers in front of them, keeping its cool when Manning does hit them for inevitable chunk plays. The Seahawks can get heat on the 37-year-old Manning like no other team this season. The game will turn on a fourth quarter turnover -- in Seattle's favor.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Russell Wilson
27 24
Why the Broncos will win: Seattle's defense plays a lot of single high safety and press coverage on the outside. It works because the unit has a stable of pass rushers that's as deep as it is talented. Still, that type of scheme is susceptible to big pass plays if an offense can block it up right, and I believe Denver will do just that for several game-altering plays, one of which will lift the Broncos to victory. Peyton Manning will rope-a-dope the Seahawks with quick passes, then strike deep once, twice and, finally, a third time.
The Super Bowl MVP will be ... Peyton Manning
Broncos' wideouts find strength in numbers
Source: SI
When it comes to supporting a future Hall of Fame quarterback, the Broncos receiving corps has learned that quality options are key.
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