Public Favors Cardinals

Tampa, FL - Betting on Super Bowl 43 has been open for several weeks now and as we close in on the big game, whom the public is betting on may be a surprise to some.

Despite the Steelers having the better regular season, the best record, the best defense and a better overall team by most accounts, the betting public appears to favor the underdog Cardinals for a Super Bowl XLIII point spread victory.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sports Interaction have made the Pittsburgh Steelers 7-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals.

A quick look at our public betting chart here at theSpread.com shows that of the 82,000-plus recorded bets on this year’s SUPER BOWL, 54% of wagers have been placed on Arizona +7 according to our NFL Public Betting Information stats.

What will be interesting to keep an eye on is whether or not Cardinal bettors will push the spread back down. (Super Bowl 43 opened with Pittsburgh being a 6.5-point favorite, but the spread rose quickly to –7 with early action being wagered on the Steelers.)

So, why the Cardinals? The Steelers have one of the best defensive teams in the NFL, allowing just 13.9 points per game during the regular season and limiting opposing offenses to just 105.3 rushing yards and 157 passing yards per game.

One notion is that the public loves the underdog story, which makes Arizona an attractive bet. The general public seems to think that the Cardinals are a “team of destiny” and therefore getting the 7 points with their bet is just a gift from oddsmakers. The public might have fallen in love with ‘Zona’s impressive offense, too, which is averaging 26.7 points per game and 292.1 passing yards per contest.

Heading into Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals are also 4-1 straight up in their lst five games and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games. They shut down excellent running teams in Atlanta and Carolina during the playoffs and were able to score 30-plus points on a solid defensive team in the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

Arizona also had a winning record against the spread this season, going 9-7 against the number, which is the same as their 9-7 regular season record. In 8 out of 9 occasions, if the Cardinals won the game, they also covered the spread. In 6 of 7 games this season, if they lost, they failed to cover as well. (The lone exception in each case was a 29-24 win over the 49ers when Arizona failed to cover the 10-point spread, and a 27-23 loss to the Panthers, in which they covered the 5-point spread.)

Another reason the public might be on the Cardinals is that the past five Super Bowls have all be won by a margin of 12 or less, with last year’s Super Bowl ending in a tightly-played 17-14 Giants’ victory. So in other words, the public feels as though the game will be close and therefore 7 points is too much to be given to one team. This line of thinking, of course, is based on assumption and not factual evidence. In fact, the last time a top rated defense played an offense that ranked in the top three in total yardage was in 2002, when the Buccaneers (a defensive team) crushed the Raiders (the No. 1 offense that year) 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Regardless of the reasoning, the general public looks steadfast on the Cardinals +7 over the Steelers in Super Bowl 43. Only time will tell if they’ll be right.

More Super Bowl XLIII Coverage

- Super Bowl XLIII Start Time and TV Viewing Guide

- Odds to win Super Bowl XLIII

- Super Bowl XLIII Matchup Report

- Who is The Public Betting in Super Bowl XLIII?

- Super Bowl Picks: Our Top Prop Bets

- Arizona Cardinals - what are the future odds?

- Super Bowl 43 Picks – Why the Cardinals won’ win the 2009 Super Bowl

- Super Bowl XLIII Official Game Preview: Cardinals vs. Steelers

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Posted: 1/29/09 11:15AM ET

Updated: 2/1/09 9:00AM ET

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