Public Cashes In

Super Bowl XLIII turned out to be an absolute thriller with multiple lead changes in the fourth quarter and plenty of big plays.

With their 27-23 win, the Pittsburgh Steelers are Super Bowl Champions, but they failed to cover the 7-point spread over the Arizona Cardinals set by oddsmakers.

Of the 100,000-plus wagers placed on Super Bowl XLIII, over 50% of public bettors favored the Cardinals +7. Since 1982, the public has done well in Super Bowls when taking the favorite and the over, winning over 52% of the time. But apparently the public thought that the 7-point spread was too much in Super Bowl 43 and they cashed in. The over 47 also hit.

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Neither the Cardinals nor the over looked strong for most of the game. After James Harrison intercepted a Kurt Warner pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown right before half, Pittsburgh took a 17-7 lead and complete control of the game. They extended their lead to 20-7 in the third quarter after a Jeff Reed 21-yard field goal and appeared to be running away with the Super Bowl.

But the Arizona bettors took a sigh of relief after the Cardinals answered Pittsburgh’s field goal with a Larry Fitzgerald 1-yard touchdown reception. Arizona’s defense then produced a safety two possessions later to cut the Steelers’ lead to 20-16.

When Fitzgerald then caught a 64-yard touchdown pass to give the Cardinals the lead at 23-20, the public was a shoe-in for victory with less than three minutes remaining on the clock. Pittsburgh eventually won on Santonio Holmes’ six-yard touchdown reception, but those that jumped on the underdog Cards were rewarded. All of the late scoring also pushed the total up over 47 points so those that had the under were skunked in the game’s final quarter.

This is the second year in a row that the underdog has covered in the Super Bowl. The Giants shocked the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl, after being heavy dogs entering the game. Maybe with parity in the NFL, bettors should start leaning more towards the underdog in the Super Bowl because the action has evened out.

When looking back on things, the public had a right to be optimistic about the Cardinals’ chances to cover. They were 4-1 against the spread entering the game and their defense had played well throughout the playoffs. Considering Pittsburgh’s lack of an explosive offense, as long as Arizona wasn’t completely shut down by the Steelers’ stingy defense, the game was probably going to be close – which it was.

All in all, the public nailed this one with the Cardinals +7. It just goes to show that betting underdogs usually pays off in the end, but of course the risk involved always seems a bit higher.

Check out more of our Super Bowl coverage below.

Odds to Win Super Bowl XLIII

It all starts here with Super Bowl XLIII betting odds. Oddsmakers from online sportsbook Sportsbook.com have made the Pittsburgh Steelers 7-point favorites and the over/under total has been established at 47.

Super Bowl Picks: Our Top Prop Bets

There are plenty of prop odds to bet on the Super Bowl every year, from betting on the coin toss and length of the national anthem, to which player will win the MVP award. We hand out our picks on some of the top props for Super Bowl XLIII.

Arizona Cardinals - What Are The Odds?

Throughout the season, the Arizona Cardinals were long shots to appear in Super Bowl XLIII. Here’s a look at how the 2008 regular season unfolded for the Cardinals and what their future odds were from the start of the year, to now.

Why the Cardinals Won't Win Super Bowl 43

The public loves the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, but we detail how a stingy Pittsburgh Steeler defense will fluster Kurt Warner and come out victorious for the Lombardi Trophy this year.

Super Bowl 43 Preview: Steelers vs. Cardinals

The official Associated Press Super Bowl XLIII Preview is out between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, so make sure to check out player and coach quotes, as well as an overall look at the big game.

Public Favors Cardinals in Super Bowl 43

The Steelers are a touchdown favorite over the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, but public bettors love Kurt Warner and Arizona for the big game. Check out all the public betting information on Super Bowl XLIII.

2009 Super Bowl 43 MVP Betting Odds

So which positions have the best chance to take home the MVP trophy? Read this article to find out and while you’re at it, check out some of the MVP candidates for Super Bowl XLIII, including Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and a possibly sleeper in Troy Polamalu.

Super Bowl Betting Trends

Find trends on not only Super Bowl XLIII, but also trends on Super Bowls over the last couple years to help make your wager between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

Keys to a Cardinals Cover

So what do the Arizona Cardinals have to do to cover? We’re glad you asked. We highlighted some of the keys to a Cards’ victory, including protecting Kurt Warner, keeping balanced on offense and creating turnovers defensively.

Super Bowl 43 Picks and Predictions – Our 5 Best Picks for Super Bowl XLIII

The Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers have finally reached the pinnacle of their season: Super Bowl XLIII. So, will we give our Super Bowl 43 Pick to the surprising, Cinderella Cardinals or go with the defensive-juggernaut in the Steelers?

Steelers vs. Cardinals: the key matchups

Matchups for the Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium.

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Posted: 2/2/09 2:25PM ET

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