Archive for February, 2012

2012 Team-By-Team All-Star Break NBA Report Cards

February 24th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on 2012 Team-By-Team All-Star Break NBA Report Cards
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With the All-Star Break upon us, we are going to take a look at all 30 teams in the NBA and issue our team-by-team basketball report cards to show which teams are on their way and which ones floundered in the first half of the season.

Eastern Conference NBA Report Cards

Miami Heat (27-7): A – The Heat are easy. They survived Dwyane Wade’s injury. They have survived all of the people that thought that LeBron James’ heart was really back in Cleveland. They’ve done it all. Simply put, this is the best team in the league, and as long as the Heat stay healthy, their fast paced style of play is certainly going to put this team in better shape come the playoffs.

Chicago Bulls (27-8): A – There were a ton of road games at the start of the year for the Bulls, and they were clearly out to do well right away. In spite of the fact the Derrick Rose has missed his share of games, Chicago has been solid this year, and there is no reason to think that this team is going to do anything less than at least make the Eastern Conference Finals this year.

Indiana Pacers (21-12): A – Be honest. You didn’t even know that the Pacers had the third best record in the East, did you? Indiana is absolutely a playoff team this year, and the addition of David West is just what the doctor ordered. The win over the Bulls at the United Center, which is still one of just the two Chicago losses at home this year, was one of the biggest victories that any team has had this year.

Orlando Magic (22-13): B- – We’re going to be rough on the Magic because we think that they have been kidding themselves. They really need to trade Dwight Howard and do it right now, or they are going to end up losing him at season’s end. At times, this team just looks downright pitiful, but at others, it looks like a bunch of world beaters. Until the Magic figure it out, they aren’t going anywhere.

Atlanta Hawks (20-14): A- – Atlanta hasn’t had Al Horford in the fold for basically the whole season, and yet the team is still firmly in the playoffs. The Hawks have big wins over the Magic and Heat this year, and those are good marks when you’re considering the fact that this team just doesn’t seem to be all that talented, especially without Horford out there.

Philadelphia 76ers (20-14): A+ – There is no team in the East that we are more impressed with than the Sixers. They have basically been leading the Atlantic Division from wire to wire, and Andre Iguodala is still not really recognized as the fantastic leader and player on both sides of the court that he is. Head Coach Doug Collins might be Coach of the Year right now.

New York Knicks (17-18): C- – Jeremy Lin is great, and he was a fantastic find, but in the end, this is still a team that just doesn’t look great. Tyson Chandler doesn’t seem to fit in, Amare Stoudemire doesn’t seem to be as athletic as he used to be, and Carmelo Anthony has had some issues meshing with Lin as well. New York just isn’t that great this year, even with Linsanity, and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni might pay the price at the end of the season for it.

Boston Celtics (15-17): F – Sorry, Beantown. Your team has been the biggest underachiever in the East this year. The C’s have some good wins, but they only have 15 victories in spite of the fact that they have already played 19 home games. This is a team that is past its prime, and GM Danny Ainge needs to make a big move, and soon or this team might not even make the playoffs.

Cleveland Cavaliers (13-18): B – We like what Cleveland has done this year. Kyrie Irving is a real ball player and it is showing, and he has helped transform a team that was a living train wreck last year into one that is going to probably get into the bottom end of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks (13-20): C – Everything is average about this Milwaukee team. So what if there are two wins over the Heat? There are only 11 wins against the rest of basketball. Without Andrew Bogut, this team just isn’t really all that great.

Detroit Pistons (11-24): D – It’s amazing how fast this team fell from one of the best in the league to one of the worst in the league. Ben Gordon was a terrible signing, and really save for the way that Greg Monroe has really quietly evolved into one of the best men in the league, there is nothing to write home about in Motown.

Toronto Raptors (10-23): C – The truth of the matter is that the Raptors have virtually no talent whatsoever. They still come out and compete on a nightly basis even without all of that talent in place, and they are still in the push for the back end of the playoffs.

New Jersey Nets (10-25): D – Sure, Brook Lopez has been hurt, but we just don’t know what this team is going to end up doing at the trade deadline. Getting Dwight Howard seems like a longshot at the deadline with Lopez still injured, and the squad can’t go into the offseason without getting anything back for Deron Williams. This could get messy in a hurry.

Washington Wizards (7-26): D- – The only reason that the Wizards don’t get an F is because they somehow have a victory over Oklahoma City.

Charlotte Bobcats (4-28): F – This is the worst team in the league both offensively and defensively. How in the heck could we give any other rating than that? Michael Jordan’s tenure with this team has been a horror, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better any time soon.

Western Conference NBA Report Cards

Oklahoma City Thunder (27-7): A – Duh. Any time that you can feature Kevin Durant scoring 50, Russell Westbrook scoring 41, and Serge Ibaka putting together a triple-double all in the same game, you know that you are doing something right. The Thunder might be the best team in the league right now, and they are a whopping 15-1 this year at home.

San Antonio Spurs (24-10): A – We knew that the Spurs could play at home, as they left for their Rodeo Road Trip at 13-1 in San Antonio. That being said, they were an awful road team until they left for the longest road trip in basketball, and they came back as three-game leaders in the Southwest Division. Tim Duncan and the Spurs are primed for another great run this year.

Los Angeles Clippers (20-11): B- – Okay, so maybe we’re being a tad harsh on the Clips. They haven’t been good in years, and now, they are sitting atop the Pacific Division. Still, we expected more than this from this team. Chris Paul will really miss Chauncey Billups’ presence in the fold for the rest of the season, but with CP3, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan sharing the court together, this is a team that should be doing better than this.

Dallas Mavericks (21-13): B – Dirk Nowitzki was out of the lineup for some time this year, and players like Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, and Lamar Odom haven’t meshed well together. Still, at 21-13, Dallas is a team to watch out for, because when it figures out how to put this all together, just as it did last year in the playoffs, it is one of the deeper teams in the league.

Houston Rockets (20-14): A – We give Head Coach Kevin McHale all of the credit in the world. The Rockets looked terrible at the outset of the year, and the trade that never did happen that would have brought Pau Gasol to town threatened to kill the team. Houston is the one team of the three that were involved in the offseason in the deal that was voided that truly lived to tell about it.

Los Angeles Lakers (20-14): D – The Lakers traded Lamar Odom for squat just before the season started, and now, they are scrambling to try to figure out what their team is going to look like. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Kobe Bryant are all that the Lakers have, and if that’s the case, they probably aren’t winning the NBA title this year. This has been a brutal disappointment of a season to date.

Memphis Grizzlies (19-15): B- – The Grizz haven’t played fantastic ball all season long, but they are definitely showing some promise, especially at home. Memphis will get Zach Randolph back for the second half of the season, and that’s when we’ll see just how good this team really has the ability to be.

Portland Trail Blazers (18-16): B – The Blazers have lost Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, yet they still continue to hang around in the West. They are getting great contributions from their top seven players, and though the team doesn’t have an outstanding bench, it is a bench that is good enough to make some noise in the postseason.

Denver Nuggets (18-17): C – Denver’s depth was supposed to carry it this year, but it feels like losing Danilo Gallinari has really cost the team in a big way. There just isn’t that one scorer that is going to step up and knock down that big time shot, and it is going to really cost the Nuggets dearly if that doesn’t change in the second half of the year.

Minnesota Timberwolves (17-17): A – The T’Wolves are at .500? Really? Ricky Rubio has become a legend already in Minnesota, and Kevin Love just keeps doing his thing. This is a fun team to watch, and it will continue to be that way, and if the Timberwolves can get into the playoffs, it will be a real accomplishment, especially in the stacked West.

Utah Jazz (15-17): C – This is pretty much what we thought that we were going to get out of the Jazz this year. They’re a deep team that can play with the big boys, but the talent isn’t all that fantastic outside of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

Golden State Warriors (13-17): B- – Head Coach Mark Jackson has his team playing hard, but again, what we are seeing is that there are plenty of scorers, but no real defenders for the Warriors. The time is here that Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry really need to be split up, as they are the exact same player.

Phoenix Suns (14-20): C – Even though the Suns aren’t very good, they have some good things to look at. Marcin Gortat is rounding into the big man that they thought that they were going to get with the big trade last year with the Magic, and Steve Nash is still seemingly happy. Phoenix owes it to Nash to send him to a contender this year, and it would probably help rebuild the team a bit as well if it were to happen.

Sacramento Kings (11-22): D – The Kings have done alright since Head Coach Paul Westphal was dumped, but we can’t give this team that much more credit than this because of the whole DeMarcus Cousins problem.

New Orleans Hornets (8-25): F – But then again, what did you really expect out of the Hornets this year after having to dismantle the team to get rid of Chris Paul?

Linsanity! Jeremy Lin New York Knicks NBA Prop Picks

February 17th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Linsanity! Jeremy Lin New York Knicks NBA Prop Picks
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(Exclusive Bonus – Use This Link or Above Link & Promo Code; BANKROLL) has a plethora of NBA props posted about the phenom that is Jeremy Lin with the New York Knicks. Today, we join in the fun of Linsanity and make our Jeremy Lin predictions for the rest of the 2012 season.

Of course, we know that the first prop that is offered by Bovada Sportsbook is a bit absurd. Lin is listed at +3000 to win the MVP Award this year. Sure, if the Knicks continue to win virtually every single game that they play with the Harvard grad running the point guard spot, Lin would all of a sudden become an MVP candidate. In the end though, this is still a team in which at best, he is going to finish third in scoring behind Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Linsanity is big… but it’s not quite that big.

More realistic is the prop that asks the question whether Lin will hit another game-winning shot with all zeroes on the clock like he did against the Toronto Raptors earlier this week. The odds of +350 aren’t all that great, but we definitely could see it happening. It is clear that Lin, assuming that he can keep this up, is going to have the ball in his hands in some crucial situations. There is a big question though, as to where Melo falls into place in this situation. It’s obvious to say that there aren’t that many games that come down to the wire that require a last shot to win a game. Anthony is one of the best closers that the game has had over the course of the last decade though, and if he wants the ball in his hands, he is probably going to get it. We could see this happening, but in the end, it would take a lot more luck than anything else just to get Lin in that situation for a second time this year with the ball in his hands to win a game at the gun.

And of course, the question still exists as to whether or not the Knicks are going to make the playoffs. They clearly weren’t all that great of a team before Lin came into the fold, and they haven’t lost since that point. Bovada is offering -500 on the fact that the Knicks are going to make the postseason, and we actually think that those are tremendous NBA odds.

Look at the East. The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are obviously fantastic teams. The Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, and Atlanta Hawks have gotten off to great starts. The Boston Celtics should at least be a competent team the rest of the way. That still leaves one more spot to be filled by the rest of the garbage that is the Eastern Conference. It is clear that the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons are going absolutely nowhere, which really just leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks to contend with the Knicks. We really don’t even need to factor in the fact that the Sixers are playing above their means, as are the Hawks, and the Magic are clearly going to be trading Dwight Howard before the end of the season as long as GM Otis Smith doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. The Knicks virtually have to make the playoffs, and it really doesn’t even have all that much to do with Lin calling the shots. They are too talented with Melo and Amare Stoudemire to not make the postseason as long as both of these men stay healthy.

Top 10 Super Bowl Ads: Best 2012 Superbowl Commercials

February 6th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Top 10 Super Bowl Ads: Best 2012 Superbowl Commercials
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2012 Super Bowl Volkswagon Commercial

We were huge fans of the Volkswagon 2012 Super Bowl commercial, as we really thought that the VW dog was one of the highlights of an otherwise sometimes gloomy set of commercials.

2012 Superbowl Audi Twilight Commercial

Okay, so maybe the Twilight theme was a little odd for a Super Bowl commercial this year, but the truth of the matter is that it worked. We’re still not so sure what Audi has to do with Twilight, but hey, it worked and was good enough to get in our list of the Top 10 2012 Super Bowl ads.

2012 Coke Superstition Superbowl Ad

Get used to seeing the Coca-Cola bears on the list of the 10 best Super Bowl ads. Coke’s use of these bears was just great, as we can all relate to this one, who believed in all sorts of superstitions when watching his team. C’mon… admit it. You know that you’ve been there, too.

2012 M&M LMFAO Super Bowl Advertisement

LMFAO was a dud in our eyes in the Super Bowl halftime show, but we were a fan of their commercial seen early in the game. It wasn’t the best commercial of the bunch, but M&M definitely got its point across with a Super Bowl commercial that had to leave you chuckling like it did for us.

2012 Super Bowl Volkswagon Commercial Teaser

VW is back again on our list of the Top 10 2012 Super Bowl commercials with its rendition of dogs barking a popular tune from Star Wars. Again, props to Volkswagon for coming up with a great theme for their Superbowl commercials, which were clearly a huge hit.

2012 Super Bowl Commercial For Chevy

Think that anyone has told this kid yet that his present for graduating had nothing to do with the awesome yellow car in the background? Because of the joy of the graduate, we have to include the Chevrolet commercial at the Super Bowl as one of the best of the bunch.

2012 Toyota Superbowl Commercial

Reinventing the Toyota Camry wasn’t the only thing that the Japanese car makers were advertising during the Super Bowl. Apparently, the theme of this year’s Super Bowl was “sex sells,” as there were a number of companies that took that road in their Super Bowl ads this year. We’re not complaining.

2012 Fiat 500 Sexy Italian Super Bowl Commercial

We were a bit off guard over the course of this whole commercial until the very end, as we weren’t really all that sure what a hot Italian chick was advertising. Props to Fiat for its Super Bowl ad, though we tend to think that few are going to remember what the ad was about, and instead will be left thinking about the hot girl in the dress.

2012 Coke “The Catch” Super Bowl Advertisement

Mario Manningham and David Tyree are both known for their remarkable catches that helped the Giants win their last two Super Bowls, but those two have absolutely nothing on the Coke bear. Check out this catch over the course of a full commercial, though we aren’t so sure that the best part of all of this wasn’t the wreckage that he left behind him while making the snare.

Sexy Super Bowl Commercial

Sorry to the rest of the companies that tried their best to sell sex during their Super Bowl ads. Once again, is the head of the class. Danica Patrick once again was used as the star of the show, but brought in any and every sexy woman that they could find for this one, and in the end, it was clearly our top choice for the best Super Bowl ad in 2012.

Can the Giants Repeat? New York Giants 2013 Super Bowl 47 Odds

February 6th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Can the Giants Repeat? New York Giants 2013 Super Bowl 47 Odds
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The New York Giants just won the Super Bowl for the second time under QB Eli Manning. But do the Giants 2013 Super Bowl odds justify backing them again? Check out the answer to the question: Will the Giants repeat as Super Bowl champions?

2012 New York Giants Offense
The biggest thing that the G-Men have going for them this coming season is that Manning has clearly jumped into that elite status of NFL quarterbacks. He has probably surpassed his brother, and really with the exception of perhaps Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees, there probably isn’t another quarterback that you would put on the list ahead of the younger Manning. He threw for 4,933 yards this year with 29 TDs against 16 INTs. Sure, the pick total was high, but Manning made up for it by having a knack for winning games at the end when all looked lost.

The emergence of WR Victor Cruz was key this year. That gave Manning a solid set of receivers to throw the pigskin to. He had 1,536 yards, while WR Hakeem Nicks had 1,192 yards, and WR Mario Manningham had 523 yards. TE Jake Ballard suffered a knee injury during the Super Bowl, but assuming that he is okay, he is going to one of the sneakier tight ends in the league next year. Ballard averaged 15.9 yards per catch and had 604 yards.

RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were both hurt for pieces of the season, and the two only ended up rushing for a total of 1,230 yards with 16 scores. Both averaged under 4.0 yards per carry, and that shows that the offensive line is clearly going to need some work going forward.

2012 New York Giants Defense
Defensively, it is all about the pass rush. The play of rookie DB Prince Amukamara improved as the season went on, but he will look like a great starter next year as long as the trio of DEs, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul continue to be dominating. The questions that are to be asked of this defense, which ranked No. 27 in the league at 376.4 yards per game and No. 25 in scoring at 25.0 points per game in the regular season, are going to be at linebacker, where the team just isn’t all that great.

2012 New York Giants Contracts & Free Agents
Free agency shouldn’t be all that bad on the Giants this year. Ballard is a free agent, as is Manningham, and they will probably be the top priorities on offense to resign. OLs Stacy Andrews and Kareem McKenzie are both free agents to be. On the other side of the ball, DB Aaron Ross is sure to be in for a big payday from someone, while S Deon Grant is free as well. LB Chase Blackburn is likely in line for a new contract, and the team is also going to have to address the situation with at punter and backup quarterback if QB David Carr and P Steve Weatherford are not resigned.

2012 New York Giants Schedule
The schedule next year for the Giants is going to be brutal. The team is obviously going to have to play a first place schedule, meaning the Green Bay Packers will once again be on the slate. The other non-divisional home games are against the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The non-divisional road games are against the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Raven, and Cincinnati Bengals. Needless to say, it is going to be a heck of a lot different now that the Giants have to play against the NFC South instead of the NFC West, and those games against the teams in the AFC North are certainly not going to be easy.

2012-2013 New York Giants Super Bowl Odds
The Giants Super Bowl odds are 15 to 1 at, making them the eighth favorite. They were never really the favorites at any point over the course of this season either, especially with the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles in the same division with them. In the end, this is a brutal schedule for New York to have to play, especially if it isn’t going to win games like the two against the Washington Redskins that it was defeated in this past year. We aren’t even all that sure that the Giants are going to make the playoffs next year, and at this point, we wouldn’t want to back a team at these types of 2013 Super Bowl odds, especially when the team was brutally inconsistent all season long.

New York Giants 2012 Super Bowl Keys To The Game

February 5th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on New York Giants 2012 Super Bowl Keys To The Game
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It was four years ago that the New York Giants were lifting the Lombardi Trophy at the expense of the New England Patriots. This year, they are back in the big one once again, and if they are going to beat the Super Bowl betting lines in Super Bowl 46, these are the Giants keys to winning the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Matchup: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
Super Bowl Location: Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, IN
Super Bowl Date/Time: Sunday, February 5th, 6:30 p.m.
Super Bowl Television Coverage: NBC

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012 NFL Playoff Bracket And Other NFL Playoff Previews

Key #1: Eli Manning has to continue to get the job done in the clutch
Call it whatever you want to call it. Eli has guts. The younger Manning brother was sacked six times and nailed countless others by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, but even though he was in a position where he was absolutely brutalized, when his back was against the wall, he got the job done. In fact, that “back against the wall” mentality is what brought the G-Men their first Super Bowl in the Manning era, and it will be what has to happen again this year. It is clear that QB Tom Brady has the better passing game in our eyes with the flexibility at the tight end spot. However, in the end, when the going gets tough, it is Eli that is going to have a shot with the ball in his hands to make something special happen. It might be to lead a comeback. It might be to preserve a lead. It might be to make the big throw in a seemingly impossible position. Yet at some point, Manning is going to need to make a play, and regardless of how well or not well he has played in the game to that point, he is going to have to find some way, against all odds, to make the play that helps New York win this game.

Super Bowl 46 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
New York Giants +3.5
New England Patriots -3.5
Over/Under 55.5
Click Here to Bet Your Super Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The ground game cannot be stuck in neutral
The first time that these two teams played this year, 25 carries combined from RBs Brandon Jacobs and Danny Ware needed 95 yards on the ground. It wasn’t enough to consider the New York offense even remotely balanced, as the team threw it 39 times on the day, but it was just enough to win the time of possession battle and give Manning the ability to throw the ball around the field. RB Ahmad Bradshaw was out of the lineup in that first meeting of the year, as was WR Hakeem Nicks. The addition of these two is crucial to say the least, but if Bradshaw and Jacobs can’t get the ball going on the ground, these three fantastic wide receivers that Manning has at his disposal could effectively be taken out of the game. These two had a combined 23 carries for 87 yards in the Super Bowl four years ago, but there was a lot more pressure on them to carry the offense with the very young Manning under the gun.


Key #3: Blitz, blitz, and blitz some more
Actually, we probably don’t have the right terminology for this. The Giants don’t necessarily need to blitz, but they absolutely have to get in the backfield on defense and get the ball out of QB Tom Brady’s hands in a heartbeat. If Brady can hold onto the football in the backfield for long periods of time, TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will have plenty of time to get open and find seams in the defense. That just isn’t going to cut it to say the least. All of a sudden over the course of the last few weeks, men like DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Osi Umenyiora are finding ways to get around the corner and into the backfield in a hurry. Penetration is going to have to come straight at Brady as well, as it was when the pass rush was in his face that he made mistakes all season long against some of the best defenses in the game. Sure, generating that pass rush with just four or five guys will make life a lot easier on some suspect corners, but running bump and run and getting guys in the backfield in a hurry will do wonders as well. If the Giants can’t dial up some blitz packages and knock down Brady, they aren’t going to have success in this game.

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New England Patriots 2012 Super Bowl Keys To The Game

February 5th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on New England Patriots 2012 Super Bowl Keys To The Game
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The Super Bowl 46 odds are now out, and the New England Patriots are the decided favorites over the New York Giants. Check out the keys to the Super Bowl for the Patriots and see what they have to do to make sure that they beat the Super Bowl betting lines.

Super Bowl Matchup: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
Super Bowl Location: Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, IN
Super Bowl Date/Time: Sunday, February 5th, 6:30 p.m.
Super Bowl Television Coverage: NBC

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012 NFL Playoff Bracket And Other NFL Playoff Previews

Key #1: Tom Brady has to figure out how to beat a brutal pass rush
Some of the best teams in the game this year have had a remarkable pass rush this year, and the teams that have been able to beat the Pats have gotten to Brady and put him under some remarkable pressure. That includes the pair of sacks that the G-Men got in the first go around of these two teams. The Baltimore Ravens were able to get in his face last week, and though he was only sacked one time, Brady did throw two picks and only found the end zone one time, and that was on the ground. This is the same type of defense that the Giants are going to throw New England’s way again with some ferocious pass rushers like DE Jason-Pierre Paul. Whether it is more draws, more quick plays, extra blockers, or whatever the case is, Head Coach Bill Belichick and Brady have to design ways to be successful and to keep the likes of Pierre-Paul and these other remarkable defensive linemen out of the backfield.

Super Bowl 46 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
New York Giants +3.5
New England Patriots -3.5
Over/Under 56
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Key #2: The threat of the big play has to be there
Brady threw for 5,235 yards this year, but the one knock that he has had about his passing game is that there really wasn’t all that much of a vertical passing game. WR Chad Ochocinco might have the ability to stretch the field, assuming that he is back in the lineup for the Super Bowl, while WR Deion Branch is probably the next best option. He caught a deep ball against the Denver Broncos in the Patriots’ first playoff game, but that was a severely different defense than what New England will see in this game. Brady has to be able to have the time to take some shots down the field, no matter who it is that is getting the passes thrown his way, and though we don’t think that he necessarily has to connect on those big time passes, he at least to have to have that threat to keep the New York corners from playing bump and run coverage. We have seen teams hit the deep ball against these defensive backs before, and the Giants have to be taken off the line of scrimmage with the threat of the long pass from one of the best quarterbacks in the game.


Key #3: New England has to become a hardnosed team
With apologies to the football players on the field, all of which have to be tough guys to a certain extent, this New England team is basically soft. The Patriots don’t run the ball right up the gut all that often and have to get cute running the ball with gimmicks and odd formations. They tend to get gashed when teams run hard at them, and their corners really don’t like playing bump and run coverage. Case in point for how soft this team looks: New England needed three shots to get into the end zone from 2nd and goal against the Ravens’ 1-yard line to get in the end zone, and in the end, it was just a jump from Brady got the ball in on fourth down. This is a tough New York team that has taken the emotion from its winning streak and its history of winning the Super Bowl in the past. New England has to match that intensity if it wants to avoid another terrible disappointment in the Super Bowl.

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