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Super Bowl Service Plays

Super Bowl Service Plays

Nick Parson

Game: New York Giants at New England Patriots
Prediction: Over

Reason: Having scored 35 points in their season-finale loss to New England, the Giants know they can move the ball on the Patriots. Moving the ball is not enough, though. Nor is kicking field goals. New York must reach the end zone several times. But, that should be a much easier task to accomplish right now as Eli Manning has been at his most accurate, playing the best football of his four-year career. His playoff numbers, particularly four touchdowns to no interceptions and a 99.2 rating, are worthy of brother Peyton, last year's Super Bowl MVP. RB’s Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are an almost impossible to stop 1, 2 punch and I expect more of the same on Super Sunday. Although they only scored 21 points in the AFC Championship game, obviously the Patriots are one of the best offensive teams in the history of the game. Relatively quiet in his first two-playoff games with New England, Randy Moss overwhelmed Giants cornerbacks and safeties in the last meeting. Moss had six receptions for 100 yards and two TDs as he broke Jerry Rice’s NFL mark with 23 touchdown catches. New England has had the total go ‘over’ the number in all four of their games vs. NFC East division opponents this season and the Giants have seen the total go above the number in three of four games they’ve played against AFC East Division opponents. With the added week of rest, I look for both teams to be firing on all cylinders as the defenses take the back seat to the offenses in this one; play on the OVER!

Bonus Side Play

New York simply doesn't lose on the road, and the Giants are the designated away team at University of Phoenix Stadium. They've won 10 straight away games, and they have outplayed all three opponents in the playoffs on both sides of the ball. Don't forget that they tested the Patriots on Dec. 29, even led by 12 points in the third quarter, and I believe all the pressure is on New England. It may come as a surprise to some when looking at these teams ATS trends over the last few weeks; New York is a perfect 5-0 ATS their last five games, while New England is 0-5 ATS their last five coming into Super Sunday. The Patriots are also just 2-4 ATS their last six vs. the Giants and I look for NEW YORK to apply just enough pressure on both sides of the ball to escape with another ATS victory!

Bonus Prop Plays

Manning vs. Brady-1st Half most passing: Eli Manning +30.5 passing yards –116
In my first proposition I am suggesting a play on Eli Manning, (getting +30.5 passing yards, -116) to throw more passing yards than Tom Brady in the 1st Half. Brady has said he’s set and ready to go, however his high ankle sprain can’t simply be overlooked. I expect the Giants awesome defensive play to continue, and look for Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Fred Robbins and Antonio Pierce to have massive games and put pressure on New England’s pivot all day. Eli Manning has been at his most accurate, playing the best football of his four-year career. His playoff numbers -- particularly four touchdowns to no interceptions and a 99.2 rating -- are worthy of brother Peyton, last year's Super Bowl MVP. The combination of Manning’s near perfect play, coupled with the Giants awesome defensive line makes me recommend a play on: ELI MANNING +30.5 PASSING YARDS –116, to out duel Brady in the 1st Half!

Total rushing yards made by Laurence Maroney: UNDER 81.5 rushing yards -121
In my second proposition wager I’m suggesting a play on Laurence Maroney to get: UNDER 81.5 total rushing yards –121 for the game. Maroney has gotten a lot of attention over the last few weeks, but I’m expecting Bellichick to use a more balanced attack between the two backs in this game. I also expect the Patriots to throw the ball a lot in this game as well, as the speedy defensive line for the Giants should be able to effectively stop New England’s running game; play on MARONEY TO GET UNDER 81.5 TOTAL RUSHING YARDS!

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I'm laying the points with NEW ENGLAND. Early money has come in on the underdog Giants. I feel that move is a mistake though and really like the additional value which has now been provided on the favorite. The Patriots have the more complete team and I believe that they are stronger on both sides of the ball. Note that the Patriots outscored opponents by a 35.7 to 17 margin this season while the Giants only outscored their opponents by a 23.2 to 21.2 margin. In addition to having a ton of "big game experience," the Patriots also have both a much better quarterback and a significantly better coach. I believe that the coaching factor becomes particularly relevant when teams are playing with an extra week of rest in between games. Note that the Patriots are a respectable 14-9 SU the last 23 times (4-0 the last four) that they played with two or more weeks of rest in between games. During the same stretch, the Giants have gone just 5-14 SU (6-12-1 ATS) when playing with two or more week's worth of rest between games. The Giants almost never see over/under lines this high. However, its worth mentioning that the Patriots are a perfect 11-0 SU the last 11 times that they played a game with an over/under line of 49.5 or greater, going a profitable 8-3 against the number. The Patriots, who have won 11 of their last 12 against teams from the NFC, are also a lucrative 52-30-7 ATS (63.4%) the past 15 years when playing a team with a winning record during the second half of the season. During the same stretch, the Giants were just 33-39-2 ATS when playing a team with a winning record during the second half of the season, going just 23-51 SU. The past two Super Bowls have both been decided by double-digits. I feel that this year's game is an even bigger mismatch than either of those matchups and I expect a convincing victory for the history-making Patriots.

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SUPER BOWL FACTS (In No Particular Order of Importance)

In the first 33 Super Bowls, the spread had come into play only 5 times, but the last 8 have seen 3 such instances: Tennessee (+7) losing 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV; Carolina (+7) losing 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVII, & Philadelphia (+7) losing 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX. The underdog has gone 6-4-2 ATS in the last 12 Super Bowls. A highly unusual aspect of this year's game, is the amount of common foes faced by both teams, with 11 of the Giants' 19 opponents also playing the Patriots, & with 10 of New England's 18 foes taking on New York.The Giants were 8-3 SU (7-4 ATS) against those squads, while the Patriots were obviously 10-0 SU (6-4 ATS). The Giants have won a record 10 straight road games, covering 9 of those 10, by 9.9 ppg ATS. The Pats covered their first 8 games by 15.7 ppg ATS, with the average spread being minus 10.9 pts. But since then, they stand at just 2-8 vs the pts, with a combined negative 56 pts. The average spread in those 10 games was minus 15.8 pts! Patriots selected for the Pro Bowl: QB Brady, WR Moss, OT Light, OG Mankins, C Koppen, DT Wilfork, LB Vrabel, CB Samuel. Giants in the Pro Bowl: DE Umenyiora. The Giants enter on a 5-0 spread run. The Patriots enter on an 0-5 spread slide. The team with the better spread record has gone 8-2 ATS in the playoffs, with the only misses coming by ½ pt in Jacksonville's win over Pittsburgh (with a 1½ pt line move the true culprit), & in New York's win over Green Bay in -20 degree wind chill weather. The Patriots rank 1st in 7 offensive categories, rank in the top 5 in 10 offensive categories, & in the top 10 in 13 offensive categories. The Giants rank in the top 5 in 2 offensive columns, & in the top 10 in 4 offensive columns. New England ranks in the top 5 in 7 defensive categories, & in the top 10 in 12 defensive categories. NY ranks in the top 5 in 5 defensive columns, & in the top 10 in 11 defensive columns. Brady set an NFL record the year with 50 TD passes during the regular season, with only 8 interceptions, as he compiled an NFL best 117.2 QB rating. He has thrown for 5 TDs in the playoffs, while setting a playoff record for completion percentage (92.9) with an incredible 26-of-28 display vs Jacksonville. But he threw 3 interceptions vs the Chargers, the most he has thrown since being picked off that many times, by San Diego in LY's playoff win.And his 1st quarter interception was the first of his career in the 1st quarter of a playoff game. Manning entered the regular season finale with 19 TD passes, along with 19 interceptions, with a QB rating of 71.0. But he has since thrown for 8 touchdowns, with just a single pick, & that vs the likes of the Pats, Bucs, Cowboys, & Packers. He is 53-of-85 (62.3%) for 602 yds, 4 TDs, & no interceptions in the playoffs. His 3-game stretch without a pick is his longest of the season, as he had gone 2 straight games without an INT just once. Patriot RB Maroney has four 100 RY efforts in his last 5 games, including the exact same 122 yds in each playoff game, after reaching the 100 RY plateau in only 1 of his first 10 games. The Giants' RB combo of Jacobs & Bradshaw have run for 318 yds in the playoffs, with 5.0 & 8.3 ypr, respectively, during the regular season. New England WR Moss set an NFL record with 23 TD catches during the regular season, along with 98 catches. During the playoffs, he has just 2 catches, for 14 &18 yds.But his teammate WR Welker has 18 catches in the playoffs (2 TDs), to go along with his NFL-best 112 receptions during the regular season. The Giant WR duo of Burress & Toomer combined for 129 catches in the regular season, for 15 TDs. In their 1st 2 playoff games, Toomer had 11 catches for 3 TDs, while Burress exploded vs the Packers, with a career high 11 catches for 154 yds. The Giants had a chance to derail the Patriots' shot at a perfect 16-0 regular season, coming up just 3 pts short on the final week of the season, as 13½ pt dogs. The Patriots had a 36:18-23:42 time edge in that one. The Giants fumbled it 5 times vs the Packers, but lost only 1. This year's Patriot edition is the highest scoring team in history (589 regular season pts). Brady is 14-2 SU in playoff games, but just 8-7-1 ATS. The Pats' 18 wins ties the '84 Niners, & '85 Bears for the most-ever in a season. Both head coaches (Coughlin of the Giants, & Belichick of the Patriots), coached under the legendary Bill Parcells. NY's 3 straight road wins in this year's playoffs has only been done twice previously: by the '85 Patriots, & by the '05 Steelers. The Pats were then routed, 46-10, by the Bears in the Super Bowl, while Pitt eased by the Seahawks, 21-10. The Patriots are on the verge of history, with their seemingly unstoppable offense, led by one of the elite QBs of all time in Brady. But their invincibility (25.4 ppg edge in their first 10 games), has been tested with 4 wins of 4 pts or less. And their recent ATS demise can be attributed to spreads bordering on the ridiculous. They are a majestic force, to be sure. But the Giants didn't back off in their first meeting,& have the pressure "D" to at least keep Manning in sight. And perhaps no one knows the Patriots as well as does Eli's brother Peyton. New England's 3-0 Super Bowl run has been by 3, 3, & 3 pts. So why not another? Points the play.


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You just won three straight NFL post-season Best Bets on the San DiegoChargers. Where are you going next? ‘’We’re going to the Super Bowl!” Not with the Chargers, but hey, that’s okay. They were a fun and profitable point-spread play while they lasted. What do we have here? It looks very similar to the situation described last week regarding New England. Bill Belichick is now the guy who Bill Belichick used to beat. He is the big favorite who, if he continues to play the same way that got him here,can be defended against in an opposing team’s effort to keep the game close and be in it with a chance to win it at the end. Belichick’s own reputation and upwardly mobile path was created that way 17 years ago in Super Bowl XXV against the Buffalo Bills, a landmark game frequently referenced by us for the ultimate in offensive/defensive mesh -- being able to control the clock with and without the ball, taking away what a cocky offensive opponent does best and forcing them to do something they wouldn’t necessarily choose to do in order to avoid losing. Hey, Belichick was the guy whose defense beat Bill Walsh-Joe Montana-Jerry Rice, and Jim Kelly-Thurman Thomas-Andre Reed within seven days that season, supported by a no-name offense. He was the guy whose Patriots were once 5-0 SU vs. Peyton Manning and the Colts, forcing Manning to become a more patient passer, (and prompting the NFL to alter rules against defensive players which now lead to cheap offensive gains via defensive penalties that have really cheapened this sport). He was the guy who, with the 2001 New England underdogs, took down the St. Louis Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf at +14. That’s the Belichick you look forward to betting on in the post-season: the big underdog who is forced to break with tendencies and come up with a different, creative package against a supremely talented but stubborn opponent, and who also has the ability to sell that package to a group of experienced players smart enough to buy into it.But that role is not available to him here. Belichick is now – irony of ironies -- Mike Martz.Lopsided early-season wins against a bunch of tomato cans and other teams in transitional states (like the Chargers, who fell 38-14 at New England in Week 2), have created not just a 18-0 SU record to be protected, but two-score point-spread differences.This is the NFL, where margins of that size are usually unsustainable by virtue of the very parity the NFL is designed to create. That axiom has been proven – or appears to have been proven – in the 1-7 ATS exploits of bandwagon jumpers laying points on New England in the last eight games played by the 18-0 SU Patriots. The spread failures and narrower victory margins began against the Philadelphia Eagles, whose defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is the guy who tutored current Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The Eagles did their best to take away the deep pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss, changed defensive alignments, and pressured Tom Brady. Because Philadelphia had some dynamic defensive personnel and was not a soft, lame-butt or transitioning defense like the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills or Miami Dolphins units that New England had feasted on earlier, they were able to play this way and come close to winning. That was the “13 catches by Wes Welker” game. If you’re playing against New England, you want Wes Welker to catch 13 passes because his yards per catch of 10.5 is 33% lower than Moss’ ypc, and Moss caught three times as many TD passes as Welker despite having 14 fewer receptions.If Belichick is the one who must change anything to adapt to what the opponent is doing – like running Laurence Maroney a season-high 22 to 26 times against the New York Jets, and in both playoff wins against Jacksonville and San Diego – then he is getting away from the big pass plays that powered the Patriots to the early blowout wins that earned them their inflated power rating. The Pats are 0-3 ATS in games with 22 or more carries by Maroney. Before the season, Tom Coughlin said that he wanted the Giants to play like the NBA’s champion San Antonio Spurs. Steady, unspectacular, fundamentally sound, accountable to themselves and their teammates, and with respect for the coaches. Luckily for them, The Man Who Loves Himself, Tiki Barber, quit after last season and Jeremy Shockey, The Most Overrated Tight End That Ever Lived, was injured and “lost” for the season in Week 15. Note that the Giants are 5-0 ATS in the five games Shockey has missed. It’s good to be doubly disease-free. Coughlin was on that 1990 New York Giants Super Bowl staff with Belichick. He was coaching the no-name wide receivers Baker, Ingram and Manuel. (Who?) He knows Belichick, he knows people who know Belichick. He knows that he has the option of playing like Belichick used to play, and that Belichick knows as well as anyone that if New York does play like Belichick used to play, then Belichick shouldn’t be a 14-point favorite in this game. Spagnuolo replaced Tim Lewis as Giants’ defensive coordinator after last season. The last “Lewis off” team was the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl after Lewis was canned after 2004 and replaced by Dick ******. Spagnuolo has two weeks to consider and possibly practice 5- and 6-defensive back alignments to disrupt Tom Brady’s timing. In other words, take a page from Belichick’s book. When Spagnuolo was a defensive assistant in Philadelphia four years ago, the Eagles were –3 in turnovers but lost by only 3 points to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. While Terrell Owens had the kind of monster receiving game that the Giants’ Plaxico Burress just had against the Packers,“New England handled frequent blitzes, Deion Branch caught four passes for 71 yardson a series…” and, according to Branch, “We did a great job of adjusting during thegame. It was physical. A lot of guys were bumped and bruised." So, is there really a major on-field difference between then, and now? The key to the whole game is for the Giants to not trail by two scores. Supported byreturn units that secure good starting field position, New York is usually well-balanced enough on offense to avoid that situation as long as turnovers are avoided, as they have been so far in the ’07 post-season. But if a two-score Giants deficit materializes, a savvy New England defense can gamble against and bait Eli Manning. Experienced gamblers with a lead, vs. a still-young quarterback, would probably press their advantage and win easily. So here’s hoping the Giants don’t get all “Packer proud” and expose their secondaryto excessive, stubborn man coverage that allows big plays or big, cheap gainsvia penalties. Make the Patriots work and sweat for their yards. New England averaged 24 first downs per game during the regular season, 24.5 in the two playoff wins. But ingames against opponents whose offenses averaged 22 first downs (Indianapolis), 20(Philadelphia), 20 (NY Giants) and 20 (Jacksonville), the Patriots did not cover the spread.Geez, if only Eli was capable of scrambling for a few first downs like Jeff Hostetler was,the Giants would win this game outright.


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Dr. Bob Super Bowl Analysis

New England (-12) 37 New York Giants 20

The line on this game opened with the Patriots as a 14 point favorite and quickly went down to 12 points. Apparently, New England ’s lack of recent pointspread success (5 straight spread losses and 2-8 ATS after starting the season 8-0 ATS), combined with the Giants’ 10 consecutive wins away from home, have generated a lot of interest in betting on the big underdog in this game. The question is if that interest in taking the surging Giants plus the 12 points is prudent. Let’s start by finding a fair line for this game.

New England Offense versus New York Defense
The Patriots’ offense is one of the best in NFL history, averaging 409 yards at 6.3 yards per play and 35.6 points per game. Running back Laurence Maroney leads a rushing attack that averaged a solid 4.4 ypr (against teams that would allow 4.2 ypr to an average team) and Tom Brady has averaged an incredible 7.7 yards per pass play despite facing a schedule of teams that would combine to allow only 5.8 yppp to an average quarterback. Overall, the Patriots averaged 6.3 yards per play with Brady in the game – against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl to an average offensive unit. Presented with the task of slowing that offense down is a Giants’ defense that has yielded just 4.8 yppl since week 2 and has been good against both the run (3.9 ypr allowed to teams that would averaged 4.3 ypr) and against the pass (5.5 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would average 6.4 yppp against an average defense). I excluded the Giants’ week 1 game against Dallas because Michael Strahan and cornerback Sam Madison did not start. Overall, the Giants stop unit rates at 0.7 yppl better than average (4.8 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average team), which is not as good as New England ’s +1.2 yppl offensive rating. New England’s attack looked unstoppable early in the season, but slowed down some as they faced tougher defenses and played in worse weather in the second half of the season and the playoffs. Having this game in a domed stadium will most likely bring out the best in Tom Brady, who has been 1.0 yards per pass play better in domed stadiums than he’s been overall in his career. Without wind and cold weather to affect Brady I expect the Patriots to move the ball easier than they did in their week 17 contest at New York in which they averaged 6.1 yppl and scored 38 points. New York ’s great pass rush (3.1 sacks per game since week 2) only got to Brady 1 time and the Giants’ questionable secondary simply doesn’t match up with the Patriots’ stable of great receivers. Brady averaged 8.1 yppp in that game and I expect New England ’s running attack to be better in this game than it was in the first meeting (just 48 yard at 2.2 ypr).

New York Offense versus New England Defense
The Giants’ offense and Eli Manning are getting a lot of praise heading into this game, but New York was only 0.1 yards per play better than average this season (5.2 yppl with Manning in the game, against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl to an average team) and that unit was no better at moving the ball in their 3 playoffs games. New York averaged only 4.9 yppl in road wins over Tampa Bay , Dallas , and Green Bay – teams that would combine to allow 4.8 yppl at home against an average team. The difference in the post-season for the Giants was the ZERO offensive turnovers in those 3 victories, which is more random good luck than anything else. It is not likely that the Giants will continue to avoid turnovers and they are likely to turn it over at a normal rate in this game despite their spotless turnover number in the playoffs (their one fumble was a fumble by a defensive player on an interception return). After all, fumbles are 90% random in the NFL and Eli Manning has been one of the most interception prone quarterbacks in the NFL in recent seasons and has thrown 20 picks this season. New York has a good rushing attack (4.6 ypr against teams that would allow 4.1 ypr) and the Giants should have success running the football against a Patriots’ defense that allowed 4.4 ypr this season to teams that would average 4.2 ypr against an average team. However, Manning’s season numbers (and his career numbers) are worse than average (5.7 yards per pass play this season against teams that would allow 5.9 yppp to an average QB) and New England is good defending the pass (5.4 yppp allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yppp against an average team), so Manning should struggle in this game despite his recent improved play. Manning did have a very good game in the Giants’ close 35-38 loss to the Patriots in week 17 (7.2 yppp) but one game does not outweigh a season of mediocrity and Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick has two weeks to prepare his defense and fix the problems that hurt them in the earlier meeting. Overall, New England’s defense (0.3 yppl better than average) has a slight edge over New York ’s offense (0.1 yppl better than average), but the Giants should move the ball at a decent clip in the perfect conditions inside the dome in Arizona .

Math Model Projection
Overall my math model projects New England to gain 374 yards at 6.0 yppl to New York ’s 317 yards at 5.3 yppl with Manning throwing 1.05 interceptions to Brady’s 0.72 picks. The stats projected for this game, which also include projected fumbles, penalties and special teams, would yield a line of New England by 5.9 points with a total score of 46.0 points under normal circumstances. However, New England is not a normal team. The Patriots turn yards into points much better than any other team because they’re so good when they get in scoring territory. If New England were a normal team their stats (i.e. yardage, yards per play, turnovers, penalties, special teams, etc) would equate to a scoring margin of +12.8 points per game but the Patriots out-scored their opponents by 18.6 points per game (35.6 to 17.0) this season. Most of the time the difference between a teams actual scoring margin and their projected scoring margin based on their stats is nothing more than random variance, but that is not the case with a few teams (Indianapolis is another team that out-plays their stats) and I believe that New England’s better than forecasted scoring margin is due to Tom Brady’s efficiency in the red-zone rather than random variance (New England has always out-played their stats with Brady at quarterback). If New England is indeed 5.8 points per game better than what their stats suggest (and New York continues to be 0.1 points better than their stats) then we get Patriots by 11.6 points instead of by 5.9 points. Most of the Patriots additional scoring margin comes from the offensive side of the football and comparing both teams total points per game with what is expected from their stats shows that this game should be 5.4 points higher scoring than my math model projects – which gives us a projected total of 51.4 points instead of 46.0 points. So, my math prediction is New England by 11.6 points with a total of 51.4 points.

Super Bowl Math
The Super Bowl cannot be looked at the same as other games. Unlike the regular season, when teams in control often relax, teams on the verge of a Super Bowl championship tend to maintain their high intensity level. At the same time, the spirits of the trailing team diminish as their hopes of a championship are dashed. The past Super Bowls, and the NFL and AFL Championship games that preceded the first Super Bowl, have long had a history of blowout wins. The winning team in the Super Bowl has won by 14 points or more 21 times in 41 games and there were 7 blowout wins of 14 points or more in the 12 NFL Championship games prior to the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967. The oddsmakers are aware of that trend and usually make the line on the Super Bowl higher than it would be under normal circumstances to adjust for the blowout phenomenon, which is why they opened the line on this game at 14 points. Blowouts haven’t been as prevalent in recent years (due to more competitive match-ups), but the lines have still had a tendency to be higher than they would be in a regular season match-up between the same teams.

Each year I calculate an equation based on the fair line for each Super Bowl and the actual Super Bowl margin of victory and I use that equation to forecast a “Super Bowl margin of victory” that is based on what the line on each Super Bowl game would be under normal circumstances. I use the mathematically fair line for all Super Bowls since 1987 (based on my math projections on the game) and I use the actual pointspread for all Super Bowls from the AFL-NFL merger in Super Bowl 4 through Super Bowl 21 in 1987 (the adjusting of the Super Bowl spreads to higher numbers didn’t actually start until the 90’s so using the actual lines in earlier games is fair). The equation I come up with certainly suggests that teams that are clearly better should certainly be favored by more points in the Super Bowl than they would be favored by under normal circumstances and the higher the fair line is the more the adjustment should be. If the fair line on this game under normal circumstances is New England by 11.6 points then the equation forecasts an average win of 21.6 points if the Patriots win the game. The same equation predicts an average win of just 3.6 points if the Giants happen to win. The next step is to calculate the chance that each team has of winning straight up, which depends on more than simply what the fair line is since every team has a different variance in their results (i.e. some or more consistent in their performance than others).

New England was unbeaten, but they got away with a few mediocre performances that would lead to a loss if the Giants played one of their better games. To incorporate variance into finding a fair line and the chance that each team has of winning straight up I use a matrix of game ratings for each team. For each team I assign a game rating that is based on each team’s statistics, the level of opponent they faced and whether the game was home, road or neutral (in the case of New York’s game against Miami in London). I used all 18 games for New England and I disregarded New York ’s game rating from their week 1 loss at Dallas when two defensive starters didn’t start. I now have 18 game ratings for each team and I can use those individual game ratings to form an 18 by 18 matrix with 324 cells that correspond to potential results for this game. I can find the median cell value to find what the pointspread should be and also calculate the percentage of cells that have New York with a higher game rating than New England , which would represent the Giants’ chance of an upset. The median cell was 12 ½ points and New York had a higher game rating in 18.2% of the cells. That number is in line with the posted odds for the Giants to win this game, as an 18.2% chance of winning corresponds to odds of 4.50 to 1 and the current line at Pinnacle is -4.65 for the Pats to win and +4.25 for the Giants.

New England has an 81.8% chance of winning this game and their average margin of victory if they win is 21.6 points based on the Super Bowl margin of victory formula I discussed above. The Giants have an 18.2% chance of winning and they’d be expected to win by only 3.6 points if they win. The resulting math projects an average margin of New England by 17 points (.818 x 21.6 - .182 x 3.6 = 17.0).

Based on the 37 past Super Bowls since the NFL-AFL merger a team that would be favored by 11.6 points in a regular season game should be favored to win by 17 points in the Super Bowl if the distribution of past Super Bowl margins is representative of future Super Bowl games. Of course, having a sample size of just 37 Super Bowls does not give us a big enough sample size to make the assumption that future Super Bowls will have the same distribution of margins of victory as past Super Bowls have had. With a limited sample size the projection of a 17 point win is likely too high, although it is certainly possible that future Super Bowl margins will have a similar distribution as in the past (especially given that NFL Championship games prior to the Super Bowl had a similar pattern). The other extreme is that the phenomenon of blowout wins in the Super Bowl is due simply to chance and that the distribution of Super Bowl results is actually the same as in the regular season. If that were the case then New England by 11 ½ points would be the fair line on this game, which still gives the Patriots close to a 50% chance of covering even if the pattern of blowouts in Super Bowls is simply random variance (and the median cell of the matrix makes them a 12 ½ point choice with a slightly better than 50% chance of covering). There is enough statistical evidence to suggest that Super Bowls do have a somewhat higher variance of margin of victory than regular season games do but not enough evidence to suggest that future Super Bowls will have the same distribution as past Super Bowls. The true answer of what the line should be lies somewhere in between the two extremes and I have come up with a realistic equation for converting regular season margins into Super Bowl margins. I will not describe that process in detail for you, but a team that would be favored by 11 ½ points in the regular season should be favored by 14 points in the Super Bowl – which is where this line opened in the first place.

My analysis suggests that the opening line of New England by 14 points is a fair line for a Super Bowl meeting between these two teams even though 11 ½ points would be a fair line in a regular season game. If the fair line is 14 points then New England is a profitable 54.5% play at -12 points (56.3% at -11 ½) and I’ll lean with New England a -13 ½ points or less, consider New England a Strong Opinion at -11 or less and a 2-Star Best Bet if the line gets down to -10. I’m inclined to believe that the tendency of blowouts by superior teams in past Super Bowls and Championship games is real and will continue. If that is the case then Patriots by 17 points would be the most likely outcome.

Super Bowl Angles
Super Bowl favorites of more than 7 points are 7-3-1 ATS and teams with a win-loss percentage that is at least .080 higher than their opponent (i.e. more than 1 game better in regular season win-loss record) are 12-5-1 ATS since the AFL-NFL merger, which coincides with the past tendency of clearly superior teams to win by big margins.

Favoring the Giants is the fact that teams on a 3 game or more pointspread win streak are 10-3-2 ATS since 1981 when not facing a team that is also on a 3 game or more spread win streak.

My math projected a total score of 51 ½ points for this game but Super Bowls tend to be higher scoring, especially when the teams had an extra week off to game plan. Since 1981 there have been 7 Super Bowls that were played the week following the conference championship games and those 7 games averaged 43.1 points while the 20 Super Bowls since 1981 in which the game was played two weeks after the championship games averaged 53.0 points. I also have calculated an equation that takes a predicted total and turns it into a Super Bowl total based on the tendency for higher scoring games in the Super Bowl. A game that would total 51 ½ points if it were a regular season game would result in a Super Bowl total of 59 points if past Super Bowl totals are representative of future Super Bowl totals. Once again, there is certainly a good chance that high scoring games in past Super Bowls are just a fluke but with this game being played indoors in perfect conditions I expect a high scoring game. I will lean with the Over in this game at 55 points or less.

Super Bowl Props
There were no Super Bowl Props that grabbed my attention, but I'll email everyone later in the week if I find any that do.

NFL Math Model Predictions

Percent chance of covering based only on math only and does not include any situational analysis.

Listed alphabetically by home team


NY Giants
27.5-136, 4.95
32.6-181, 5.54
60.1-317, 5.27

New England
26.0-106, 4.08
36.8-268, 7.28
62.8-374, 5.96

Key to Math System Predictions:
Rushing = Run Plays - Rushing Yards, Yards Per Rush (ypr)
Passing = Pass Plays - Passing Yards, Yards Per Pass Play (ypp, includes sacks)
Total = Total Plays - Total Yards, Yards Per Play
Pts = Predicted Points Scored
Line = Point Spread
% = Chance to Cover Spread

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Brandon Lang - Super Bowl

100 DIME


Free Pick - OVER

Final Score: 30-27 Patriots

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Teddy Covers

NE over 54
NE -12

Brady over 35.5 attempts
Welker over 7 receptions
K Faulk over 32.5 receiving yards
Over 6.5 different Patriots to catch balls
Jacobs +23.5 vs. Maroney rushing yards
Maroney under 20.5 carries
Giants +12.5 rushing yards vs. Patriots
Giants more penalty yards
Giants longer kickoff return
Pats longer punt return

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Docs NFL

4 Unit Play.Take New York +12 over New England 
It is the Super Bowl and not much information is keep from the public and one could write two pages of analysis about why each team could win. But like everything in sports gambling it comes down to the execution of the players and we feel these teams are much closer in talent then what a double digit spread would indicate. The talk all week has been about the foot injury of Tom Brady. I don’t put too much stock into that but do feel he will not be 100%. One thing that I do put a lot of stock into is that these teams have already met once this season and the Giants gave them all they could handle despite it not meaning a thing for them with regards to playoff seeding. This scenario happened to the Patriots in 2001 when the Rams beat them in Foxboro and New England entered the Super Bowl as a double-digit underdog. Very few gave them a chance and they heard about that for two straight weeks. Does this sound familiar?

Now Bill Belichick is not Mike Martz and will not let his team become complacent like the Rams did, but that being said, New England has everything to lose and the Giants have everything to gain. QB Manning has been playing the best football of his career and the Giants have a better defense then New England. They will not be able to shutdown Brady and company but they will not let them too far out in front either. New York comes ready to play and this one will go down to the wire giving us the cash with whomever comes out on top. The Giants are a public play, but one must remember the public is usually on the right side when it comes to Super Bowl betting. East Rutherford Giants 31, Boston Patriots 27.

1 Unit Play. #132 First Score of the game will be FG/Safety +180
We all remember that Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed two field goals in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay and nearly kicked himself out of the league. That was in terrible conditions, something that will be nowhere to be found in the desert on Sunday. Both teams have solid defenses and I truly believe the Patriots will not be able to score at will, something they have failed to due recently. This prop presents great value and expect the first score of the game to be a field goal.

1 Unit Play. #175 Take Over 4 ½ in Total Receptions by Plaxico Burress
We all saw how dominating Burress was in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay, who had a Pro Bowl CB in Al Harris. Without Shockey the Giants don’t have much at the receiver position and expect Burress to come up big again propelling his team to a victory.

1 Unit Play. #212 Take Brandon Jacobs +1000 to score the first touchdown in the game. He is a big hoarse and if we can get first and goal deep in Patriot territory expect to see a healthy does of Jacobs. Hopefully he can break through one early and give the Giants a 10-0 lead.

The majority of these props favor the Giants and if the Patriots blow them out, we could very easily lose all three of them. We like the Giants plus the points the best and do not go overboard betting props, as they are sucker bets that greatly favor the house.

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GAME OVERVIEW - Bill Belichick's Patriots were written in as the AFC's Super Bowl team on draft day & are the only 18-0 team in NFL history. Already loaded with talent the Patriots used the Spygate scandal to deliver a scorched earth campaign vs the NFL & a win here labels them as the best team in NFL history. They are now tied with the 1984 49ers & 1985 Bears for most victories in a season as both finished with 18-1 records. The Giants are 2007's Cinderella team being the 1st ever to win 10 straight road games. The only thing that has slowed NE has been poor weather. In the 10 games before Thanksgiving avg'd 41.1 ppg with an avg margin of victory of 25 ppg & over the L8 the margin dropped to 10. NE could to lose several key players in the offseason including Moss, Stallworth, Seau, Bruschi & Asante Samuel. NYG Coughlin began the season on the hot seat & needed a playoff victory to return in 2008. Things started poorly as the defense gave up 80 pts in the 1st 2 games but since then the Giants are 13-4 SU & ATS & the 4th team ever to start 0-2 & make the Super Bowl. For the 2nd year in a row the Super Bowl will feature a Manning at QB as Eli appears to have turned the corner in the post season & made this his team. By doing so he & Coughlin have taken big steps to quiet the critics including former Giant RB Tiki Barber. The Giants success hasn't gone unnoticed in NFL front offices as 1st year DC Steve Spagnuolo is a strong candidate for the Falcons head coaching job. The AFC is now 6-1 SU & 4-3 ATS in the Super Bowl & in a touch of irony this is the biggest SB line since Super Bowl XXXVI when the Rams were -14 vs the Patriots.

PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE - Super Bowl XLII will be the 1st SB for the Giants since they were blasted by the Ravens 34-7 as a 3 pt dog to end the 2000 season. The only remaining players from that team are Michael Strahan & Amani Toomer. NE brings in 15 players from the AFC Championship game who were with the team for the 2003 & 2004 SB's. Tedy Bruschi & Troy Brown have been to 4 Super Bowls with the Patriots including the 1996 loss to Green Bay. Brady is now 14-2 SU & 8-7-1 ATS in the playoffs with a 100-26 SU record as a starter. Manning is 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in the playoffs. Both teams are stocked with playoff veterans but NE has the most SB & media experience in the NFL & that gets them the edge here. LARGE EDGE: PATRIOTS

RECORD VS THE SPREAD - The Patriots historic run started off with an 8 game ATS winning streak as they dominated opponents winning by an average of 26 ppg. Vegas continued to overcompensate & lines became extremely inflated. They finished the regular season covering just 1 of 6 & then went 0-2 ATS in the Playoffs. The Giants are currently on an 11-4 ATS run & are the first playoff team to win 3 straight road games as an underdog adding to their NFL record 10 game road win streak. The Giants did drop their last 4 home games & were the only playoff team to lose 2 games by 20+ points as well as being outgained in 9 games TY. NE has won 13 games this year by DD with 11 games won by 12+points. The Giants meanwhile have dropped 5 of their 6 losses by DD with 3 of those being by 12+points. When comparing performances against winning teams NE has a large edge as they finished the regular season 8-0 SU & 6-2 ATS while NY was just 1-5 SU & 2-4 ATS. Since 1995 there have been 4 DD favorites in the SB with the dog going 3-0-1 ATS & winning outright twice (NE '01 & Den '97) but it hasn't occurred since the NE upset. The Patriots have played the tougher "marquee" schedule & have been under the spotlight all season giving them the edge here. SLIGHT EDGE: PATRIOTS

TURF/SITE - This will be the 2nd ever Super Bowl in Arizona with the 1st being SB XXX. University of Phoenix Stadium opened in August of 2006 & has been named the top NFL venue the L2Y beating out Lambeau Field. It will be expanded to 73,000 seats for this event & has a retractable roof with a 234 x 430 foot grass field that is rolled outdoors for 350 days a year & indoors for NFL events. The NFL installs its own grass field called Princess 77 for the SB costing $500,000. Both teams are allotted 12,250 tickets (16.3%) to their fans (season ticket holders) with 5% of the tickets going to the team hosting the event, 30% shared by the other 30 NFL teams, & 30% is retained by the NFL for sponsors & special promotions. Neither team has played here & both are FieldTurf teams. Both have fans that travel well & distance is equal for both teams so this is a true neutral site. EDGE: NONE

GIANTS #16 OFFENSE VS PATRIOTS #4 DEFENSE - It's addition by subtraction for the Giants offense in 2007. Tiki Barber's retirement was supposed to be a big blow to the run game but the Giants avg'd 130 ypg (4.4) with 19 rush TD's vs 135 ypg (4.7) & 14 rush TD's LY. The Giants went with a RB by committee approach for 2007 with Brandon Jacobs being the primary back & while he earned 1164 yds rushing (4.7) he missed 5 games with right knee & hamstring injuries. Derrick Ward did a solid job in relief with 602 yds (4.8) but an ankle injury saw him land on IR. Reuben Droughns (275 yds. 3.2) is similar in style to Jacobs but he's now a special teams player with the rise of Ahmad Bradshaw who's success on special teams (23.9 KR avg) got him more time as the 3rd Dn RB. Jacobs & Bradshaw combined to avg 106 ypg (3.7) in the 3 playoff games. Eli Manning is still a developing QB & his leadership style & supporting cast is very different from his brother's which because of the NY market draws a lot of criticism. Prior to the MIN game he only had 2 games with a 100+ QBR & he had 4 int vs the Vikings with 3 returned for TD's in the loss. He gained a reputation for struggling in cold weather highlighted by a 32.2 QBR at BUF which was his 1st game without Shockey who landed on IR with a broken leg vs WAS. The loss of Shockey actually has freed up Manning from forcing the ball to him & over his L4 games he has avg'd 213 ypg (64%) with an 8-1 ratio (105.1 QBR) with 3 straight 100+ QBR games (prior to GB) for the 1st time in his career. Plaxico Burress comes into this one with 86 rec (14.2) despite playing with torn ankle ligaments & had an outstanding game vs GB with 154 yds (14.0). Amani Toomer (74, 12.9) rebounded from a torn Achilles & is Manning's prime target on 3rd Dn. Rookie TE Kevin Boss (13, 12.5) has done a solid job stepping in for Shockey & while WR Steve Smith has stepped up in the playoffs with 9 rec (11.3) he's still inconsistent. The OL started all 80 together TY but is dinged up a bit as Ctr O'Hara is playing with a knee sprain. They allowed 28 sacks in the regular season & 6 in the playoffs & have stood up well vs some of the top DE/OLB tandems over the L3W. They will be key in getting the #4 rush offense going vs NE's #9 rush defense. NE has allowed 7 games of 100+ yds rushing TY (98 ypg 4.3 on yr) & while they do struggle vs North/South RB's like Jacobs they held him to 67 yds (4.5) in the 1st meeting & held the Jags to 80 yds (3.6). DE Richard Seymour (1.5 sacks) had a down year starting out on the PUP but he is still one of the premier DE's in the NFL & Ty Warren (5 sacks) is opposite him. NT Vince Wilfork (2 sacks) made his 1st Pro Bowl & is one of the top three 3-4 NT's in the NFL now. While NE has some of the slowest LB's in the NFL their experience & knowledge of the scheme has them at the right place at the right time & they remain very effective in sealing the perimeter. Mike Vrabel had a career year (12.5 sacks) & the addition of Adalius Thomas (6.5 sacks) allowed him to bump to OLB where he is at his best. Tedy Bruschi (2 sacks) & Junior Seau (4.5 sacks) are the ILB's & both may retire after this game. Asante Samuel (7 int) has established himself as the NFL's best cover CB behind Champ Bailey & will be charged with covering Burress. Ellis Hobbs (2 int) is the other starting CB & with Samuel playing at a high level he's been thrown at more TY. SS Rodney Harrison (2 int) is the heart & soul of the secondary & the FS spot has been split between James Sanders (2 int) & Eugene Wilson (1 int) who has been slowed by an ankle injury. NE is at a bit of a disadvantage as their top 3 CB's are all 5-11 or smaller while Burress & Toomer are 6-5 & 6-3 respectively. While Manning will no doubt get advice from his brother & there some familiarity here the ability of the defense to confuse opposing QB's & experience gets the nod here especially with an extra week of game planning. SLIGHT EDGE: PATRIOTS

PATRIOTS #1 OFFENSE VS GIANTS #8 DEFENSE - This is potentially where the best matchup & possibly biggest mismatch of the game will be. The best matchup will be the Patriots OL which allowed 21 sacks (5th) or one every 27.6 pass attempts in the regular season (3 in the playoffs) vs the Giants DL which tallied an NFL best 53 sacks (1 every 9.9 pass att's) in the regular season but only 3 in the playoffs. The Giants use a 3 DE rotation of Strahan (10 sacks), Umenyiora (13 sacks) & Tuck (10 sacks) to get to the QB & the 3 have more sacks than 14 NFL teams. The DT's are Fred Robbins (5.5 sacks) & Barry Cofield (1 sack) who comes out when Tuck is shifted inside. The Giants pass rush is better than their ranking as the pressure they bring masks a very beaten up DB unit. If they fail to get to Brady than the biggest mismatch will be the NFL's best QB in 2007 vs the NY secondary.Brady finished 3rd or better in 10 of the 11 major categories for a QB (tied 7th in int) including TD's (55), ypa (8.31) & QBR (117.2). Only 4 WR's have caught a pass from Brady TY with Wes Welker finishing tied for the NFL lead in rec's with 112 in the reg season. Donte' Stallworth started strong but only had 20 rec & 0 TD in the 2H of the year while Jabar Gaffney had 24 of his 36 rec in the 2H of the season. Moss lead the NFL with 23 rec TD's & finished 2nd with 1493 yds but has been shutdown in the playoffs with only 2 rec (16.0). Welker, Stallworth & Gaffney have combined for 25 rec (9.1) in the playoffs & Kevin Faulk (13 rec, 9.1) has shined as a 3rd Dn RB in the playoffs. TE Ben Watson has been hurt much of the season but Kyle Brady has made up for it as an outstanding blocking TE.The success of the passing attack has left Laurence Maroney as an afterthought for most of the year (reg ssn 835 yds, 4.5) but he has four of his five 100 yd rushing games in his L5 & has avg'd 110 ypg (5.2) in that span. The Giants #8 rush defense has allowed ten 100 yd rush games (98 ypg 4.3) TY & Maroney's fresh legs (26th in rush att's) could be a factor. The Giants LB's are very underrated being balanced vs run & in pass coverage with MLB Antonio Pierce (1 sack) & WLB Kawika Mitchell (3.5 sk) starting all 16 games. SLB Reggie Torbor was promoted after Kiwanuka broke his leg & the DL pressure allows them to focus on protecting the 2nd level. The secondary is a concern as CB's Aaron Ross (dislocated shoulder) & Sam Madison (abdomen) are playing hurt & none of the Giants DB's have started all 16 games TY. RW McQuarters (3 int) is a good #3 CB but the Giants have struggled with Corey Webster (3 int) & Kevin Dockery (0 int) providing depth. SS Gibril Wilson (4 int) has done a good job while FS James Butler (1 int) has been serviceable. The key to the game will be in how NE stands up to the Giants formidable pass rush. Brady was photographed walking in an air cast after the SD game but will have 2 weeks to heal here. He is very adept at reading defenses & making the quick pass to defuse the pass rush. Playing in a controlled environment gives NE the edge in the pass attack but the Giants pass rush shouldn't be underestimated here. EDGE: PATRIOTS

SPECIAL TEAMS - This is a fairly even matchup as the Giants have our #22 special teams unit while the Patriots have our #19 unit. In terms of hidden yards NE has the edge as they avg'd 9.6 (11th) & 24.1 (4th) on PR's & KR's vs 7.7 (27th) & 23.8 (7th) for the Giants. NE also has slightly better coverage units allowing 5.4 (2nd) on PR's & 21.6 (11th) on KR's (22nd) vs 5.5 (5th) & 22.8 (22nd) by the Giants. Much of this is due to NE having a core group of special teamers like LB Izzo supplemented by a roster with players who could start elsewhere. Neither has a standout Punter as Jeff Feagles 36.0 net avg is tied for 30th & Chris Hanson's 36.1 net avg is tied for 28th as Brady has more TD passes (55) than Hanson has punts (49).NE K Gostkowski finished as our #29 rated K TY hitting 84.6% of FG's & wasn't needed much due to the offensive success. NYG K Tynes overcame 2 bad misses vs GB with the longest FG in Lambeau in the playoffs for the win LW. He is our #25 rated K for 2007 hitting 84% of FG's. SLIGHT EDGE: PATRIOTS

COACHING - Both coaches are members of the Bill Parcells coaching tree and spent the 1988-1990 seasons together. Coughlin was the WR's coach & Belichick was the DC on the staff of the 1990 Giants team that won SB XXV. Belichick was also the DC of the 1986 Giants team that won SB XXI vs DEN & has his own lineage of assistants who have gone off to other HC jobs. Josh McDaniels is in his 7th season with NE & his 2nd as the OC & turned down 2 offers to interview for HC jobs. DC Dean Pees has been with NE since 2004 & is also in his 2nd year as a coordinator. Giants' OC Kevin Gilbride is a long time OC in the NFL & the only NFL QB coach Manning has had. DC Spagnuolo was the Eagles LB coach for 3 years before coming to the Giants & his version of the Eagles scheme is more protective of his depleted DB corps. NE has more familiarity on the staff & in marquee games & get the nod here & it remains to be seen if Spagnuolo isn't a 1 year wonder. EDGE: PATRIOTS

PAST HISTORY MATCHUP & INTANGIBLES - This will actually be the 3rd meeting between these teams as NE beat the Giants 27-20 as a 3.5 pt HF in the last preseason game & 38-35 in the reg season finale as a 13 pt AF. The Giants had nothing to play for in the season finale but decided to go all in vs a NE team under pressure for a perfect season. NE scored 22 straight points after being down by 12 in the middle of the 3Q & scored on 7 of 9 drives discounting kneel downs. The Giants pulled to within 3 with 1:04 left but NE recovered the onside kick & ran out the clock. NE had 27-19 FD, 390-316 yd & 36:18-23:42 TOP edges in the game. Manning was very crisp with 251 yds passing (69%) with a 4-1 ratio (118.6 QBR). Brady had 356 yds passing (76%) with a 2-0 ratio. The tandem of Moss & Welker combined for 17 rec (13.1) & Moss broke Rice's record for TD rec's in a season. The Giants used the momentum of playing NE tough to push past TB, DAL & GB on the road during their playoff run despite injuries to Ctr O'Hara & CB Madison. NE is under much more pressure here as they go for their place in the history books. The Giants will be playing the disrespect card as much of the media will be talking about NE's dominant season. Their previous performance vs NE gives them a confidence boost that they can do so again but it is mitigated by Belichick's coaching prowess as he's 7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS & 3-6 O/U in the playoffs vs a team he's faced in the regular season. SLIGHT EDGE:GIANTS

CONCLUSION - Let us begin with a handicapping lesson. The Super Bowl is an ISOLATED GAME & THERE IS LITTLE LINE VALUE!! Many amateurs put their biggest play of the year on the Super Bowl hence the reason they are amateurs. The best plays you can find are during the regular season when Vegas posts numbers on 35-40 college games, NFL sides & NFL totals each week. With roughly 70 games to choose from, you can find plenty of solid line value. This week, everyone in the country will know EVERYTHING about this game & the line will be very sharp. Do not fall into the trap of putting your biggest play of the year (or even close to it) on the most isolated game of all. Bill Belichick is a history buff & the Patriots are well aware of what this game means in terms of their place in the NFL record books & how a win will essentially make Spygate meaningless. Brady has a chance to join the likes of Bradshaw & Montana as the only QB's to win 4 Super Bowls in their careers & is just entering his prime. NE is 13-5 O/U, 7-2 O/U vs teams with a winning record, 4-0 O/U vs the NFC East & 6-2 O/U on the road TY. The Giants are only 9-9-1 O/U TY, 5-3 O/U vs teams with a winning record, 3-1 O/U vs the AFC East and 3-7-1 O/U on the road with most of the games played in poor weather. The Super Bowl has seen inflated Totals lines in recent years as Vegas has overcompensated for casual fans rooting for scoring & there has been 3 straight Unders. This is an advantage here as the public will perceive the Giants to be a "run to control the clock team." The Giants have avg'd 28 ppg the L5 & can use the run game to open up the pass attack for Manning. The Giants have also faced the NE defense just 4 games ago & Manning will be able to recognize tendencies to attack. Brady gets to face a depleted Giants secondary that will have to gamble to keep up with the WR's & Maroney's 122 yds rushing in each of the L2 games will keep them honest. These teams posted 73 points in the season finale & should have similar success in ideal conditions.


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Vegas Vic's selection

Please indulge me for a few sentences, because this is one season that Double V wishes would roll on and on . . .

No matter what happens with the Super Sunday selection, I'll finish at least a dozen games over .500, and the playoff run (8-1-1) has been making it very tough to fit my wallet - and I hope yours - in my back pocket. Alas, the season must end, but not before we pick the Super Bowl. So, for those who have been riding Vic and all the playoff underdogs to the winner's circle, you can start barking right now.

How can you possibly ignore New York's numbers, both as a 'dog and, even more impressive, on the road? The Giants have ripped off an NFL single-season record 10 straight road wins and have covered nine of those. They are working on a 5-0 spread run, as well.

We also remember the regular-season finale, when New York went toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow with New England, and came up three points short. Despite what Plaxico Burress said, the Pats should score more than 17 points (that could be a first-quarter total) and should dance off the field with their fourth Super Bowl title in the last 7 years. As for the final score, 31-24 sounds about right

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We’ve seen enough playoff rematches of regular-season meetings to realize
that the result of earlier matchups are hardly foolproof indicators of what’s to
come. Which was confirmed by the Giants’ 23-20 overtime NFC title game win
at Green Bay that reversed the Packers’ convincing regular-season triumph at
the Meadowlands. Nonetheless, we believe a quick revisit of the regularseason
meeting between New England and New York is in order, especially
since it took place rather recently (December 29, during the final week of the
regular season).

Of course, that Saturday night battle was a memorable affair because of the
uncommon hype it received, being that it was the last hurdle for the Patriots to
clear in their quest for an unbeaten regular season, an achievement New
England was hellbent on accomplishing. And the Patriots indeed got it done,
but it wasn’t easy. The Giants, already locked into the fifth NFC playoff seed
before kickoff and with little to play for, still made New England sweat. New
York showed no fear and plenty of versatility, surging to a 28-16 lead in the third
quarter before Tom Brady began to chip away. The big play of the game turned
out to be Brady’s 65-yard TD pass to Randy Moss early in the 4th Q that not only
gave Brady an NFL record 50 TD passes and Moss a record 23 TD receptions,
but also put the Patriots up for good. Still, the outcome wasn’t decided until New
England recovered an onside kick in the last minute, preserving the 38-35 win,
and the Giants exited the game feeling pretty good about themselves (“I never
saw a locker room so upbeat after a loss because we played so well,” said Eli
Manning). Indeed, the Patriots needed a big night from Brady (356 YP) to
compensate for their inability to establish the run (just 44 YR) and to counteract
the suddenly confident Eli, who threw 4 TD passes. New England’s special
teams were also burned by Domenik Hixon’s 74-yard kick return TD. Indeed,
the Patriots had dodged the proverbial bullet.

And we don’t see any reason why the rematch shouldn’t be just as, if not even
more, competitive.

Besides that close call at the Meadowlands, there is plenty to indicate from
other recent performances that not much separates these teams right now. The
Patriots’ string of blowout wins ended before Thanksgiving. Though still
winning, New England appeared to peak at midseason, and a series of
struggles down the stretch (including that aforementioned struggle vs. the
Giants, plus narrow escapes vs. marginal Eagles and Ravens squads, not to
mention only one pointspread cover in their last 8 games) suggests as much.
Brady, perhaps compromised by that mild ankle sprain, was not nearly his best
in the AFC title game vs. San Diego, tossing an uncharacteristic three picks. If
anything, Eli has been the sharper QB in the postseason, with 4 TDP and no
picks in three difficult road assignments.

Let’s also not forget Bill Belichick’s history in Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Three wins in as many tries, but no easy ones in the bunch. In fact, each of the
triumphs was recorded by a mere three points, and the clutch PK (Adam Vinatieri)
who won two of those games at the final gun is now employed by the Colts.
Indeed, a valid argument could be made that the Giants are playing better
football going into the game than New England. New York has won
impressively on the road in postseason at difficult Tampa Bay, Dallas, and
Green Bay venues. The “good Eli” has been on display throughout the playoffs,
eliminating the mistakes that plagued him earlier in his career. Belichick is
unlikely to pull any tricks on old cohort Coughlin, another product of the Bill
Parcells coaching tree. The Giants are riding a Banzai Pipeline-sized wave of
confidence, having won ten straight on the road. And they have absolutely no
fear of the Patriots, especially after pushing them to the limit in the regularseason
finale. Besides, all streaks end; we remember a UCLA basketball win
streak almost five times as long as New England’s ending in dramatic fashion
once upon a time at Notre Dame, too.

New England might get to the magic 19-0, but if it does so, we don’t think it’s
going to be easy. In fact, we’re not sure the Patriots will get there at all. That’s
because the better team right now might be the one getting all of those bobonus
points from the oddsmakers.

Predicted score: NY GIANTS 31 - New England 30

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Sportsmemo’s Super Bowl Picks

Handicapper Side Total

Tim Trushel Giants +12 Under 53.5
Teddy Cover Giants +12 Over 53.5
Fairway Jay Patriots -12 Under 53.5
Erin Rynning Giants +12 Under 53.5
Brent Crow Giants +12 Over 53.5
Rob Veno Giants +12 Over 53.5
Ed Cash Giants +12 Over 53.5
Sonny Palermo Patriots -12 Over 53.5
David Jones Giants +12 Over 53.5
Marty Otto Giants +12 Under 53.5
Jared Klein Giants +12 Over 53.5
Donnie Black Giants +12 Under 53.5


Brent Crow L. Maroney total rush attempts (CRIS)
Over 18.5 -150

The Patriots have been working Maroney into the game plan more
and more lately, as he had 104 yards or more in four of their last
five games. The only time he failed to have 100 yards, was in week
17 at the Giants, but he did carry 19 times for 46 yards in that game.
I expect Maroney to be a big part of the plan this week, as Belichick
always seems to come up with exotic plans. A big Patriot lead
would also add to Maroney’s attempts as they run out the clock.

Ed Cash Giants longest touchdown (CRIS)

Under 42.5 -115
Without a long fluke score, this means the Giants’ offense will have to
come up with a big play for me to lose this prop. The Giants don’t really
have a speed receiver to get behind the New England secondary,
and the running game hasn’t broken many big plays this season either.
The biggest threat would be a jump ball type of pass play to Plaxico
Burress, but I am counting on Bill Belichick to have a plan in place to stop
that. I just don’t see New York being able to spring for such a big play.

Fairway Jay R. Moss catches/T. Wood final round birdies (LV Hilton)
Moss catches -110

Woods won the 2006 Dubai Desert Classic with a final round 69 (3-under
par), and has averaged 4.3 birdies per round the past six years. Randy
Moss averaged over six catches per game this season. While the better
defenses of Jacksonville and San Diego both denied him the ball with
double and triple teams, the Giants’ secondary is more vulnerable. Moss
had six catches for 100 yards against the Giants in the season finale
in tougher weather conditions. Expect at least that in the Super Bowl.

Tim Trushel P. Burress first catch yardage (LV Hilton)
Over 9.5 -110

In his last four games Plaxico Burress has caught 20 passes and
racked up 278 yards. Of his catches in that time frame, only five
have gone for less than 10 yards. The other 15 show yardage between
the shortest (10) and longest (52) and reflect his seasonal average
of nearly 15 ypc. Now yards after catch is also figured into
those numbers. But if you take those yards you see Plax with an average
catch of 10.3, still higher than the number we’ll play against.

Rob Veno B. Watson receiving yards (BoDog)
Over 22.5 -120

The yardage price tag on this proposition is set in a spot that neither
reflects Ben Watson’s 32.4 receiving yards per game average
or the New York Giants propensity to allow tight ends plenty of open
space in the seams of their defense. Tight ends have gone over this
number in seven of the last eight games against the Giants. In the
earlier meeting between these teams, Watson caught four passes for
35 yards and figure him to get at least that on Super Bowl Sunday.

Jared Klein Total game sacks/Jaromir Jagr shots on goal (LV Hilton)

Jagr shots +110
The Giants and the Patriots’ offensive lines have been very good this
season. Tom Brady’s average sacks per game breaks down to 1.26,
while Eli Manning’s is 1.65. In their recent matchup, both the Giants
and the Patriots gave up one sack for a total of two over the course of
the entire game. Jaromir Jagr has averaged 3.6 shots per game over
the month of January and the last time he faced the Canadiens he
fired seven shots on net. The Jagr side of this prop has value at +110.

Sonny Palermo E. Manning passing yards (Olympic)
Over 232.5 +115

Start with the premise that NY is gonna lose. In six losses in ‘07
Manning threw 312, 211, 236, 273, 184 and 251. The two losses he
didn’t get 232’? One he had a shoulder injury, one he was victimized
by eight drops. Week 17 against NE, Manning had 251 yards and
that was when NY was ahead for much of the game! With the championship/
undefeated season theirs for the taking, Beli will go for the
kill. NY will be behind this time and Eli will be passing. Take the Over.

Donnie Black Will there be a scoreless quarter (LV Hilton)
No -350

These two teams met in late December and played a wildly exciting
game that featured 73 total points, including at least 10 in each quarter.
Including the playoffs the Giants have played 19 games, the Patriots
have played 18. That means the two have played a combined 148 quarters
along the way. Of those 148 quarters of play only seven (four from
New York and three from New England) have gone scoreless. That is less
than five percent! Lay the chalk and play the “No” on scoreless quarters.

Teddy Covers A. Bradshaw longest rush (LV Hilton)

Under 11.5 -110
At first glance, this number looks rather short. Bradshaw, after all, is
the ‘lightning’ to Brandon Jacobs ‘thunder’ in the Giants backfield. And
we all remember the big plays that Bradshaw has made for the Giants
during their impressive late season run, including his highlight reel 88
yard touchdown run at Buffalo in Week 16. But Bradshaw’s emerging
reputation has exceeded his actual production levels. His 88-yarder
against the Bills was his only run longer than eleven yards all season!

Erin Rynning E. Manning pass attempts (Greek)
Over 34.5 -130

In my opinion and in the market’s the New York Giants are obviously
the heavy underdogs. With this thinking, that means it’s important to
look at games in which they were down and forced to try and make
up ground quick. In these games, Manning averaged over 40 pass attempts
dating back the last couple of years. In this contest, the Giant’s
most likely will have no choice other than to throw the football
if they want to win this game, leaving us with good value on the over.

Marty Otto Most penalty yards (LV Hilton)
Giants -110

The Patriots finished the regular season with 78 infractions and were penalized
690 yards. The Giants were penalized 77 times for 652 yards. But in the
playoffs no team has had more accepted penalties than the Giants (14 for 116
yards). The Pats, although they played one less game, were flagged just eight
times for 93 yards. Poise certainly weighs into this discussion and with New
England having played in three Super Bowls, they will be the team that responds
well to the pressure and keeps their poise while avoiding penalties.

David Jones Total Team Rushing Yards (Carib Sports)
Giants +10.5 -115

New York ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing offense during the regular
season with an average of 134 ypg. In contrast, the Pats offense relies
more on its air game to attack opposing defenses. New England ran for an
average of 114 ypg to rank 13th in the league. These stat rankings played
out in the week 17 matchup between the two clubs as the Giants outgained
the Pats by 35 yards on the ground despite having seven fewer rushing
attempts. Look for NY to be more aggressive and try to establish the run.

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Robert Ferringo's Picks For Football

3-Unit Play. Take #101 New York Giants (+12) over New England Patriots
This is just too many points to pass up. The Giants played with the Patriots in the Meadowlands when they had much less to play for than New England. New York matched them physically and emotionally and I think they will do the same on Super Sunday. Trends are out the window at this point, so this is just a play for pride. This entire bet – and this entire game – really comes down to something that, as I’ve learned over and over again, you just can’t handicap: turnovers. If the Giants turn the ball over less than two times we’re going to cover this bet and they have a very strong chance to win this game. Same goes for if they win the turnover battle overall. If the G-Men turn the ball over twice, it’s a 50-50 bet, and if they turn the ball over more than twice it’s going to be a bloodbath. I see New York taking care of the ball, rushing and playing good, aggressive defense, and I think that while the Patriots will win this will be a fourth-quarter game and an entertaining one at that.

2-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 54.0 New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
1-Unit Play. First Quarter: Take ‘Under’ 10.5 New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
The first quarter play is kind of obvious. I expect each team to come out and dance around the ring for about 15 minutes. No one wants to be the first team to allow a big play or be the first team to commit a turnover so I expect each club to play it close to the vest. Sam Madison is the only guy who may blow this one for us.

As for the game total, it’s my default setting to play ‘under’ in any game where the total is 50 points or below. Over the past three years there have been 25 games with a total posted at 50 or above and the ‘under’ is 18-6-1. We may miss here but the value is against the public, which expects a high-scoring affair or a New England blowout. The 'under' is 4-1 in New York's last five playoff games and 13-5-1 in New England's last 19 postseason outings. The total points should settle somewhere between 43-49 with a late score making it seem closer than it was.

Super Bowl Props
1-Unit Play
Team To Have The Most Penalty Yards Against Them – Giants (-115)

0.5-Unit Plays
Tame To Score The Shortest Field Goal Of The Game – Giants (-120)
Brandon Jacobs Total Receiving Yards – ‘Over’ 12.5
First Score Of The Game Will Be – Field Goal or Safety (+180)

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Allen Eastman's Picks For Football

4-Unit Play Take #101 New York Giants and New England Patriots UNDER 53.5.
Consider some numbers. In the 41 previous Super Bowls, there have been 1525 points scored. That's an average of 37.195 per game. Only 8 times in Super Bowl history has a game exceeded the 60-point mark. Just looking at the season statistics for these two teams would indicate a game well below the total. New England is averaging 32.7 ppg and allowing 13.5. That's 46.2 more than a touchdown BELOW the posted total. And those numbers came with a healthy Tom Brady. The Giants are averaging 24.9 while allowing 18.3. Add it up and it's still well below 53.5. History shows that DEFENSE wins Super Bowls. New York gave up 80 combined points in its first two games of the season, both of which, not surprisingly, ended up as straight up and ATS losses. Since then, the Giants have held 14 of their last 17 opponents to 24 points or fewer with only Dallas, Minnesota and New England topping that total. The Giants lost all three of those games, covering only against New England in Week 17’s 38-35 loss. Those teams wont come close to matching the numbers from Week 17.

3-Unit Play (TEASER) Take #102 New England Patriots -5 and UNDER 60.5.

My reasons for the under are listed above. As far as the side is concerned, I don't think the Patriots are going to be denied in their pursuit of history. The Pats have too many weapons and a huge coaching advantage to boot. The 5-point side should be an easy cover.


Will Tom Brady throw at least one interception? -115 (Yes). The Giants will get at least one pick that will help keep the score down. Look for a Patriots fumble as well.

Total rushing yards for Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw 40 1/2 -120. Play the OVER.

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Vegas Sports Informer


3 Unit Play. #102 Take New England –12 over NY Giants

The Patriots stand 60 minutes from the first 19-0 season in NFL history! The New York Giants are seeking to play spoiler to this NFL History mark. Will the Giants do this? NO! New England has had two weeks to prepare and giving this Patriots offense and defense two weeks could be a bad thing for the Giants. If New England scores first this game could get ugly and I feel the Patriots win this game by double digits. New England is 40-19-3 when playing on grass.

4 Unit Play. #101 Take Under 54 New England and NY Giants

Plaxico predicted a low scoring game and now I will predict a low scoring game. But not too low! New England will score over 24 points but will the Giants be able to score. New England is 5-14 O/U in their last 19 playoff games. The Giants are 1-4 O/U in their last 5 playoff games. Here is my predicted score New England 31 and NY Giants 14.

4 Unit Play. Take Under 14 ½ 4th Quarter Wagering

My SB Prop Play of the Day! This game could be out of reach by the 4th quarter so I’m hoping for a lot of rushing and the clock moving. I’m hoping New England has this game in the bag by 4th so I can just watch Tom Brady taking a knee.

6 Unit Play. Take Kobe Bryant (LAL) PTS, Rebounds, and Assists +9 ½ over Total Points scored by the Patriots/Giants.

Kobe Bryant is playing the Washington Wizards on the road on Sunday and I’m looking at an Over/Under around the low 200’s. Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.8ppg, 6.2 rebs, and 5.3 assists and I’m getting +9 ½. In 2006 on a NFL Playoff weekend Kobe threw up 81 points. Hey Kobe! Do it again and try to overshadow the Super Bowl.

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Bob Balfe

New England -12 over NY Giants

The New England Patriots are one win away from not only a Super Bowl Victory, but bragging rights as the best team in NFL history. There is no denying that this Patriots team is one of the best teams ever put together and you just have to ask yourself one thing. Do the Giants, who were 10-6 on the year and just 7-5 in the weak NFC, have a shot? It is obvious that their success lies on Eli Manning's back. The media bashes Manning due to the fact he plays in the biggest media market in the country, but he has played excellent in the playoffs and is becoming a good QB. I still do not think it will be enough. Plaxico Burress opened his mouth and predicted a Giants win. If there was one guy that really could be a factor in the success of this offense I would have say it would be him. Now that he fired up the Patriots I expect them to play him even tighter in coverage. Burress still has not yet practiced this week and it will be interesting to see how he performs.

The betting public, as of Friday, are betting more on the Giants. This shocks me because you have the greatest team to ever step on the field playing in the Super Bowl and still the bets do not favor them heavily. The Patriots have been awful against the spread in the last two months while the Giants have cashed the ticket. A lot of people will come out of the woodwork to bet this game and they all remember the Patriots failing to cover the previous two super bowls they played in. This New England team is truly America's team, but unlike the Cowboys of the 90's the general public can’t stand this team other than the fans in the Boston area. Most think Randy Moss is a thug, most think they are cheaters from the spy games on the Jets and most people out of pure jealousy just hate Tom Brady because he has it all on and off the football field. Bill Belichick is a miserable looking dude with a personality as tasteless as his beat up sweatshirt that he never changes. With all of this negative press does it really matter? Not to me it doesn't. Belichick is the best football coach in the last 20+ years and Tom Brady with another Super Bowl win will go down as the best QB ever in the playoffs.

The Giants have a lot of young rookies that had a big impact on their success this year, but they are just rookies and have a lot of maturing to do. Eli Manning has never faced this kind of pressure and although I think he can handle it, I don't think he will be at his best. The Giants kicker has the flu. I am sure he is going to play, but it takes a good week to fully recover from something like that. The Super Bowl is not a game but more of an event. The Patriots have been on this stage before and know how to handle it. New York has a lot of injuries and young guys in their secondary and it will probably be too much to handle New England's great receivers in Welker and Moss. Lawrence Maroney has been running the ball with power and to be honest I can’t find one flaw in the New England offense at all. Sure, they give up a few points on defense, but they have a bend but don't break mentality and always seem to come up with a key turnover at the right time.

This week reports came out about a woman charging Moss with assault and we all have seen pictures of Brady in his leg brace hoping around. This is all media driven hype that has people liking the Giants chances even more. There is nothing wrong with Brady and that leg will only be a problem if somehow the Giants win this game. I believe the linemakers did an excellent job at getting money off of New England and onto New York. A few things that I don't think the Giants will be able to do is consistently pressure Brady with Maroney running as well as he is doing and with the threat of their receivers. One blitz gone bad and the Patriots put up a touchdown in a flash. What are the Giants going to do when New England goes with five wide receivers? The Giants are thin enough in their coverage. Who do you put on Mike Vrabel when the Pats get in the redzone? So many things will have to go wrong for the Patriots and right for the Giants for New York to win this game. There is much talk about the Giants Defense line dominating this game. They are excellent, but Matt Light and the rest of the New England offensive line give Brady all the protection he needs. The Giants are the hottest team in the NFL right now, but the two week layoff is the worst thing that can happen to a team that is on a roll. A rule of thumb in big games like this is to bet on the team you think is going to win. If New England gets backdoored with a minute or two left then that is just the price you pay for gambling and obviously there is no way to predict something like that happening.

I am going with the Patriots and in my own personal opinion I don't think the Giants make this a close game. If New England gets a big lead you can shutoff the lights. We have not had a Super Bowl blowout in a long time and to be honest it doesn't matter to me if the Patriots win by two touchdowns or five, but New York could be in for a long night. I do not see anyone on the Giants offense capable of really beating them with speed like Steve Smith of the Panthers and LJ Smith of the Eagles did in the last two Super Bowls they played in. The whole world will be tuned in and all of the other 18 victories mean nothing if the Patriots do not win this game. This team has the experience and talent to beat the Giants by this 12 point number. The stage is set for the Patriots to go down in history and judging by their perfect season so far I cannot go against them. Brady and Belichick will go down as two of the most influential people in NFL history on Sunday. Take the Patriots.

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Brian Smith

NY Giants (+12) over New England - 3 units

The New York “Road Warrior” Giants travel to Phoenix, Arizona this upcoming Sunday in a rematch of Week 17 versus the New England Patriots to compete for the ultimate prize, The Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLII (42).

The Giants have overcome many obstacles this season beginning with an 0-2 start, critics questioning the leadership and maturity of their QB Eli Manning who throughout the course of the season was at times inconsistent, and working in several rookies in and out of starting positions throughout the season.

With that being said, it truly is amazing that the Giants are representing the NFC in this years Super Bowl, in a place where they feel comfortable though, THE ROAD! The Giants are the first team in NFL history to win 10 straight road games within a single season, and number 11 would be even better. While many analysts point out ridiculous factors why a team is not playing well, such as the weather, no veteran leadership, etc, etc. This years Giants team is pretty easy to analyze as they finally learned how to play together as a team, more so, like one cohesive unit. Giants HC Tom Coughlin realized at the beginning of this season that he HAD to make some changes, as he was losing the respect of the team, therefore creating a “Leadership Council” which simply provided a means of communication from the Head Coach down to the Council representatives, then down to the remaining players, and vice versa back to the head coach.

You can sit here and analyze all the X’s and O’s you want but in my opinion, the ONLY WAY a team gets to the Super Bowl is because obviously they are well coached, talented, etc, etc, but primarily because they RESPCECT one another, BELIEVE in one another, and ultimately TRUST one another. Again, it’s a big achievement especially for a young team comprised of many rookies, such as Giants are, because it takes time for a team to gel, and also to trust the primary TEAM PHILOSOPHY that the HC is trying to get across.

NEW ENGLAND on the other hand is going for their 19th straight win as we all know because this subject has been beaten to death this year, but the difference in New England’s squad is that they have many veterans leading the way, not to mention the fact that they not only believe in their teams philosophy, etc, but they are almost brainwashed it seems at times, they have played like a well oiled machine and every single player on the team, not only starters, but down to the 3rd stringers, are in sync. And I mean in SYNC! Its almost scary.


New England played many games throughout the course of the season, as we all know , where they were DESTROYING their opponents, almost to the point where it was almost humorous. They were covering spreads of more than 20+ week in and week out. But just when you thought you knew this NE team, they turn around and play an entirely different gameplan in beating teams pretty handily by passing less and rushing for 100 yards or more in a game, where before they would only maybe attempt ten rushes. Many my not realize that NE has actually NOT COVERED in 7 of their last 8 games. Granted, part of the reason is due to obviously larger double digit spreads but still case in point is..

I will take my chances playing on a team (Giants) that has:
*#1 Pass rush in the NFL
*won 10 straight road games
*that after starting off season 0-2, finished up 10-6 , but as a wild card ran the playoff table winning @ Tampa Bay, @ Dallas, and @ Green Bay. That is almost impossible in itself. Not to mention the fact that Green Bay and Dallas just happen to be the same 2 teams that gave the giants their first 2 losses. (shows how giants have grown)
* and FINALLY…GETTING double digits to boot at +12, some actually may have +12.5 or +13 even better.

Again, nobody knows what New England is going to do. Just hope that they rush for over 100 yards. Yes, sounds crazy but that would almost guarantee a cover at +12, you don’t want Tom Brady coming out passing like crazy. I am aware that this New England team may be one of , if not, THE BEST team of all time, but that has little to do with the fact that I feel it will be a close competitive game.

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Stryker Mid-week writeup


NEW ENGLAND (-12) over NY Giants by 21

Respect is certainly given to New York and the run the Giants have put together to reach the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, it's not going to be enough to keep me off New England in Super Bowl XLII.

Back on December 29th, in the final week of the regular season, these two teams met at the Meadowlands and put on quite a show. New England escaped with a 38-35 victory and finished 2007 with a perfect 16-0 SU record. The G-Men get another shot to erase that goose egg from Patriots loss column. Unfortunately, this rematch won't be anywhere near as close.

According to my NFL database, Super Bowl favorites priced at -7' or more are a profitable 6-3-1 ATS dating back to the 1980 season. That's not a huge sample but certainly noteworthy considering the Pats are almost two-touchdown favorites!

There are other technical reasons to like "The Brady Bunch" here too. Since 1982, non-division road (or neutral) teams are a wallet-breaking 2-11 SU and ATS provided they enter off three (or more) straight up underdog wins. If our "play against" side owns a won/loss percentage greater than .500, this technical situation crashes to a shocking 0-10 SU and ATS. New York is locked into this nasty set.

The fact that New England has failed to cover the pointspread five consecutive times is appealing too. Off those ATS losses, the general public will shy away from laying this large number with the Patriots. That, to me, sounds like the perfect time to get on board.

One thing the Boys from Boston have done is played well when matched up against an opponent that enters with momentum. In fact, when battling a foe that arrives off two or more straight up victories, the Pats are a solid 43-14 SU and 32-22-2 ATS including a superb 25-13-1 ATS in this set coming off a non-division affair.

Since the start of the 2002 season, the AFC has been in control of the NFC. In fact, AFC favorites priced at -7' or more are a profitable 21-9 ATS provided they're matched up against an NFC foe that owns a won/loss percentage greater than .333. The Patriots have been the NFL's best all year long. They'll prove that one last time with an awesome performance in Super Bowl XXLII. Take New England.

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Players of America
(5-2 this year on 5* rated plays)

New England Patriots -12 (5* / 50 Units)


The New York Giants are officially the NFC Conference Champions for this season after capping off an incredible end with a huge win in Green Bay in freezing cold weather almost two weeks ago on Sunday. I know right off the bat that everyone is going to jump on the Giants in this game because of their 38-35 loss to these same Patriots in the final regular season game of the year but betting based on that would be a huge mistake because how many times do you see return matches be as close or as blowout-ish as the first ones? Almost never. The Giants are in incredible form ever since their come from behind win over the Bills late in the season and I don't think anyone thought that they could walk into Tampa Bay to steal a win, walk into Dallas to steal a win and walk into Green Bay and steal a win. I don't think any of those teams had more than 2-3 home losses all season. So the Giants are now an incredible 10-1 AWAY FROM HOME THIS SEASON and they have gone 10-1 ATS in those very same games. So you must wonder how one can fade this team under these circumstances but its not tough because looking back on their season, the Giants (prior to the playoffs), played on the road and beat Buffalo (non playoff team), Philadelphia (non playoff team), Chicago (non playoff team), Detroit (non playoff team), Miami (non playoff team), Atlanta (non playoff team) and last but not least Washington (playoff team). So before coming into the playoffs the Giants had beat only playoff team on the road. I have a feeling some of their momentum is gone and that's going to be a huge issue for this team. The Giants come into this game averaging 23.2 points per game this season and they have managed to do that by also averaging 325.8 total yards of offense per game and 5.2 yards per play in those games. What people tend to underestimate is how well the Patriots have played on the defensive side of things this season having allowed only 17.0 points per game this season and having allowed only 293.0 total yards of offense per game on the year and 5.3 yards per play in those games. On the ground, the Giants are going to need both RB Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to be at their best in this game as the team has average 130.2 rushing yards per game this season on 4.4 yards per carry in those games. We all know that New England has had problems stopping the run but if the Giants go down early I don't see how running the ball is going to get them anywhere. New England has allowed only 97.6 rushing yards per game this season and allowed 4.4 yards carry in those games. In the air, QB Eli Manning has waited for this for quite some time and you can bet your bottom dollar he is going to be nervous. Manning has completed 56.3% of his passes this season for 6.3 yards per pass attempt, 3336 total passing yards, 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. He is going up against this New England defense that has allowed opposing QB's to complete 59.6% of their passes on the season for 5.9 yards per pass attempt and that is exactly what they need to keep it at. The Patriots are just as good as the Giants when it comes to the pass rush as they average 2.7 sacks per game this season and are facing an offensive line that has allowed 1.8 sacks per game on the season. I also like the fact that the Pats have a bunch of playmaking aggressive guys in their secondary as they have picked off 1.2 passes this season which could be a huge problem for Eli when he faces them for the second time this season after looking brilliant the first time out. I would love to say that the Giants have gone without too many fumbling problems this season but they have fumbled the ball 1.6 times per game and any type of mistake like that is really going to be a big problem in this game because the Super Bowl is all about who can make the bigger plays. The Giants have not exactly been all that good when it comes to third down conversions this season as they have managed to convert only 41.6% of their chances on the year and that is going to be a problem again this Patriots defense that has allowed their opponents to complete only 33.5% of their third down chances on the season. If you are going to win the biggest game of them all you need to be good in the Red Zone and the Giants have now scored touchdowns in 56.1% of their Red Zone entries this season which doesn't bode well for them seeing how New England has allowed opponents to score touchdowns 55.3% of the time once entering the Red Zone. The key to this game for this offense is going to be how fast they can get back into the groove that they had at the end of the season. Its never easy starting from scratch after two weeks off and getting back into the motions is very difficult. Eli Manning is no Peyton Manning and that has me concerned because he lacks the big game experience that guys like Brady and Manning have playing in AFC Championship Games or Super Bowl Games. I think the offense is going to stutter terribly if the Patriots come out swinging and if the Patriots take a big lead by the half they lights are just not coming back on. The Patriots have played decent defense all season and that's all that really matter.

The New England Patriots thought they had it all, they have the perfect 16-0 record on the season, they are now the best team to ever play the game of American Football but you and me and everyone all know that this season will not be complete if this team does not bring home the Super Bowl on Sunday. Nothing matters unless you bring home that ring and nothing matters unless you win the one game that actually means something for once. Now the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl did not come without event as it was announced that QB Tom Brady could possibly have some kind of broken foot or broken bone in his foot as he was seen walking around with a cast boot on his foot but it has not been confirmed as nothing more than precautionary measures for his ankle problem that has been coming on and off all season. This injury should not hamper the teams chances at all and I don't see why Brady would be affected by this. Now looking back on how the Pats did on the road compared to how they did at home (ATS wise that is), it seems like they played with a lot less pressure away from home this season where they went 5-3 ATS on the year and where odds makers never really gave them enough credit in those games. I know its really tough for some of you to back a team that is now 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall and that has not even covered the spread one single time this post-season but I'm telling you that the two weeks off are going to have made all the difference in the world with this Patriots team and if the Giants are not ready for what is coming, this game is going to be done by the time we hit the half, I'm sure you've heard me say that before. New England comes into this game averaging a whopping 35.6 points per game this season and no matter what they have done this post season , there is no doubt in my mind that the Patriots are going to match this average and they are going to probably score more than that. In those games, the Pats also managed to average a whopping 407.2 total yards of offense per game and 6.3 yards per play which is good enough if their defense can hold off the G-Men, unlike the final week of the season. The Giants are actually a lot better than people assume on the defensive side of things as they have allowed only 21.2 points per game this season and have allowed 303.2 total yards of offense per game in those games for 5.2 yards per play which is pretty damn good. The Patriots running game is important but its not key to the win and cover here as they average only 119.1 rushing yards per game this season on 4.2 yards per carry while the Giants have managed to hold teams to only 95.1 rushing yards per game on the season and 3.8 yards per carry in those games. In the air, QB Tom Brady is the master of Super Bowl Games having never actually lost in the Super Bowl and although that is not about to change this time around, I would like to point out that experience of playing in more than one of these games is priceless. Brady has completed an impressive 68.9% of his passes this season for 4806 passing yards, 8.3 yards per pass attempt, 50 TOUCHDOWN PASSES and only 8 INTERCEPTIONS!!!. Now that is some incredible stuff for a QB who also had a QB Rating of 117.2 on the season. The Giants secondary needs to show up for this game or it will get ugly in a hurry as they have allowed opposing QB's to complete 57.8% of their passes this season for 6.2 yards per pass attempt which is plenty of space and time for Tom Brady to get the job done. Brady has been well protected all season as the offensive line has been great and they have allowed only 1.3 sacks per game. That's the best news Patriots backers could hear is that the O-Line is well rested because they are going to have their hands full with a Giants pass rush that is the best by far in the NFL (by at least 10 sacks) and that is averaging a whopping 2.9 sacks per game on the season. I would not say that it has been easy for Giants opponents to move the ball through the air because it hasn't but the opportunities are there and I am sure that Tom Brady is going to take full advantage of the situation. Unlike the Giants, the Patriots have not had and do no have a problem holding onto the fumble as they have lost only 15 fumbles all season and that is probably one of the lowest margins or amounts in the NFL. We all know how aggressive the pass rush is and how aggressive some of these defenders are but the Patriots just plain and simply don't make big mistakes and that's not changing here. What makes the Patriots once again the more enticing wager in this game is the fact that they are converting a whopping 49.1% of their third down chances this season and going up against a Giants team that has now allowed opponents to convert 37.1% of the time. Moving onto the Red Zone attack, the Patriots have the best Red Zone offense in the NFL as they have scored touchdown in a crazy 69.5% of the times they have entered the Red Zone. That is definitely not a good sign for the Giants who have allowed their opponents to score touchdowns in 60.0% of their Red Zone entries this season. You know there is really not much else to be said about this team other than they are amazing, they have the best offense in all of football, this is the biggest game of most of their careers. The offense should have no problems moving the ball and picking apart the Giants and as long as there are no significant injuries, I say this game is going to be a blowout. This is a team that is going to score close to 40 points every single time you see them and if they can get that going in this game, there is no chance that the Giants are going to pull the office stung that got us our doc killed. LMAO! I expect this offense to be pure Bill Bellichik and his mastermind stuff which is why I am betting on the guys and the coaches who have already won Super Bowl wins with this game. New England is here because they mean business and the Giants just don't have the defense to keep up in this game. I say blowout in this game and I say yet another boring super bowl.

This is the way I look at this game guys. If you watched TV the last two weeks, if you followed experts on message boards, if you read the newspapers, if you bought some analysis online, if you filled out your Super Bowl props and picks sheet and if you are watching this football game on Sunday, the odds are that everyone is on the Giants assuming that they can do exactly what they did the first time against the Patriots in that season ending game that allowed New England to go a perfect 16-0 on the season. However, what you have to understand about that first meeting was that the Giants had absolutely nothing to lose, they were loose, they were having fun and they were hoping for the best to come out of that game and it did. The Patriots on the other hand had been fighting week in and week out the entire season to keep their perfect record and we know how banged up they were and they were most definitely very vulnerable the first time against these Giants. Now...they are coming off a full two weeks of rest, preparation and practice where they most definitely went over tons and tons of game tape from the first meeting and I don't think there is much more to argue about here other than the fact that the Patriots have more experience, they are the better team, they are not going to have a perfect season and lose this game. I love that everyone is on the Giants and that the Giants are the flavor of the month because its rare that Super Bowl Games are close and this one should be no different this year. You cannot possibly think that the Pats are going to revert to the close type of games they played in the second half of the season and if you ask me this game is going to be out of hand by the time we hit the half and the Patriots are going to sail to the best overall season in professional sports history. They deserve it and betting on the Giants to keep things close is a huge mistake in this game.

Trend of the Game: New England is 40-19-3 ATS in their last 62 games played on natural grass.

New England 42, NY Giants 13

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