Free Super Bowl Picks: Handicapping the Super Bowl Total

Last Updated: January 24th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)

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All season long, the NFL has been chock full of high scoring affairs. In fact, this season alone, there have been 147 ‘over’ contests against 114 ‘under’ games with some pushes mixed in, meaning if you bet on the ‘over’ in every single duel, you cashed in 56.3 percent of the time. Will this continue to be the case on the Super Bowl XLV odds, or will we revert back to a lower scoring duel? Check out these three keys that are going to probably be the decisive factors in whether this one goes over or under the posted 46.

Key #1: James Starks needs to keep control of the clock
We’ve already talked about the importance of Starks in the Super Bowl for the Packers to beat the Superbowl XLV odds, but he is going to be very instrumental in the ‘total’ as well. Green Bay has to want to keep feeding him the football to keep this clock moving on a regular basis. It seems to go without saying that the more runs there are in a game, the fewer plays that there are, thus the fewer opportunities there are for points. The good news with Starks for those looking to back the ‘under’ is that he really isn’t all that much of a home run threat. If he’s going to move the ball 60s yards on you, he’s going to do it in 10-12 carries, not just in one pop. As we know, this probably isn’t going to work against the Pittsburgh front seven though, so in a bit of an ironic twist, if you back the ‘over’ on the Super Bowl betting lines, you’re probably more interested in Starks not getting his act together.

Super Bowl XLV Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5
Green Bay Packers -2.5
Over/Under (Total) 46
Click Here to Bet on Your Super Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Teams need to avoid careless mistakes
This is what has really been killing anyone that has backed the ‘under’ in a Pittsburgh game in the playoffs. Dumb, dumb, dumb mistakes. Remember in the duel against the Baltimore Ravens… The visitors picked up 17 points off of a punt return that came all the way back inside field goal range, a 35 yard pass interference penalty, and a fumble out of QB Ben Roethlisberger’s hands that was scooped up and returned for a TD. Green Bay hasn’t been all that swift of late either, as QB Aaron Rodgers coughed the ball up in enemy territory against the Chicago Bears. Of course, we know the importance of flags as well, and the good news is that these teams are very disciplined. There shouldn’t be too many drives that get down to the opposing 30 yard line, only to end in a punt because of a holding penalty or a false start call. However, you must remember that there is going to be rust on both sides, and both defenses are good enough to not just take points away from enemies, but to directly parlays those into TDs, just as both teams did on Championship Game Sunday.

Key #3: Special teams and trick plays will be key
Neither the Steelers nor the Packers really excelled this year in the kick and punt return department, which is really a surprise for two teams that are duking it out to beat the Super Bowl XLV lines. However, we know that both teams are capable of pulling off some big plays, especially via some creativity, especially the Steelers. It was only six years ago that they pulled off the wide receiver pass from WR Antwaan Randle El to WR Hines Ward to help beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and they have enough talented players that can run, catch, and throw to make the Packers shake in their boots. Remember the onside kick that the New Orleans Saints pulled off in last year’s Super Bowl? Gimmicks like that are becoming more and more popular, especially with teams having two weeks to prepare for this game. You can bet that there are going to be at least three or four really tricky plays that are tried out for the first, and probably the only time on February 6th, and when they happen, you if back the ‘over’, you hope they work, and if you are relying on the ‘under’, you hope that they fail and fail miserably.

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Monday, January 24th, 2011 @ 1:01 am (EST)
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