The NFL Lines – Super Bowl

Filed in NFL, NFL Tips by on January 31, 2012

Here we are one more time at the big dance. Super Bowls rarely provide a sense of déjà vu (unless you were a Buffalo fan in the early 1990s) but history has repeated rather promptly this time around, with New England and the New York Giants squaring off in a replay of their 2008 showdown. Will the Tom Brady/ Bill Belichick-led Patriots exact a measure of revenge, or will the Eli Manning/ Tom Coughlin-led Giants put another one over them? Nick Tedeschi and Cliff Bingham examine this question.

CB – Both Conference Championship games were worthy of a Brian Taylor-esque ‘WOW WEE’ response. Poor Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams. I suspect that for their own peace of mind, both need a fresh start with new teams in 2012 – it’s hard to imagine Ravens or Niners fans being particularly forgiving or forgetful about the events of a fortnight past. As for the rest of us, there’s a championship decider to be watched and wagered upon, so best not to dwell on the past. Let’s get stuck into it.

Summary of Conference Championship results

NT – 2 selections, 5 units bet, return of 5.31 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = +6%

CB – 1 selection, 2 units bet, return of 3.84 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = +92%

Total – 3 selections, 7 units bet, return of 9.15 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = +31%

Summary of Overall results

NT – 101 selections, 149.5 units bet, return of 132.66 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -11%

CB – 59 selections, 75.5 units bet, return of 78.38 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = +4%

Total – 160 selections, 225 units bet, return of 211.03 units, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -6%




New England v New York (at Indianapolis)

6.30pm United States ET – or 10.30am Monday AEDST

Bookmakers’ line: New England -2.5 to -3


Well, I have finally made it out of bed after the devastation of seeing my beloved San Francisco 49ers blow a Super Bowl berth, thank you Kyle Williams. I even told myself that there would be no Super Bowl. Who cared? The match-up was boring. I wanted a Harbaugh Bowl and instead got stuck with this, another bloody New York-Boston beat-up, a replay of a Super Bowl I couldn't stand only four seasons ago.

Oh Well. It is the Super Bowl and it is time to man up and with my Making The Nut colleague coming up for morning beers and hot wings and fun, I had better suck it up and find a winner.

I am playing the Patriots here for a few reasons. The weight of popular opinion on the Giants is scary. Everybody wants on and that kind of push is worrisome.

For mine, the Pats have slipped a little under the radar. They have an edge in offense and a major edge in special teams, they have more flexibility with their offense (they can run), they get a great revenge situation here and their defence has become increasingly solid over the last six weeks.

The quarterbacks, of course, will play the major role here but there is also every chance they will cancel each other out. So for mine, it is the running game and the Pats' ability to run and the Giants' struggles against it. I can see New England mixing it up with speed and size, using Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead and primary tailback BenJarvus Green-Ellis. New England will run plenty here and that could open plenty up.

Special teams are an issue, though one often ignored. The Patriots have a major edge in kicking, kickoffs, punting and punt returns with the latter category likely to prove very important in the battle for field position.

The last three times two teams who have played in the regular season met in the Super Bowl, the loser exacted revenge. That is a big tick for the Pats.

New England's defence is also a lot stronger since these two last met with the Pats cutting four defenders. In the last six weeks, New England have allowed only 34 points. The attention is on the Giants' pass rush but be sure and certain that New England will get to Eli Manning and often.

I'm thinking 30-21 New England. Take it for 2 units.

I'll also be playing the under. The line is too big, the second largest ever. Despite this being a battle between two passing teams with poor defences, smart coaches and competent running games (at least in the case of the Patriots) should see the clock tick fairly frequently. At 55, I can't get on the under hard enough. Take 3 units.


I feel like copying and pasting a chunk of my New England-Baltimore thoughts here, because so many of the same issues apply.

If we assume for a moment that Dallas were a better team than Denver this year (a slight stretch perhaps, but not a terribly improbable one), you could split the Patriots’ season thus far into two pieces as follows:

Record against the ‘best’ teams they’ve played (Dallas, Pittsburgh, NY Giants, Baltimore): 2 wins, 2 losses, 80 points scored, 85 points conceded, Tom Brady throwing an average of 260 yards per game with a total of 6 TDs and 6 picks.

Record in the other 14 matches: a 13-1 record, combined score of 501-287, 39 TDs, 9 picks and an average of 341 yards per game for Brady.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the lesson: New England can be stopped, or at least slowed significantly…. by the right team. As the Giants proved earlier in the year, they fit the profile nicely. In fact I’m a little disheartened that the Niners aren’t here as the NFC Champion – they, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Giants all seem to share a similar team profile, and I get the feeling a couple more points head start would have been on offer.

As it is, I’d be betting the Giants if +3.5 or more were on offer. As Nick pointed out earlier though, the push since lines for the match came out has all been with the Giants. Could the Patriots become the first ever ‘nobody believed in us’ Super Bowl FAVOURITE? It’s in play.

The other thing worth noting is the conservative play calling by the Patriots in both the AFC Championship game (seriously, taking a knee with 58 seconds to go in the second quarter instead of Brady trying to get them into at least FG range?) and in their last Super Bowl appearance in 2008. I feel like they deserve very slight favouritism, but that potential ‘playing not to lose’ mindset has me worried. For the game line itself, I have the barest of leans to the Giants, but not enough to get involved.

All is not lost though – we still have the over/ under to think about, and I love the under in this one.

55 points is an exceptionally high line when you think about those games the Patriots have played against the ‘best’ teams they’ve faced this season (total points of 36, 42, 44 and 43 respectively). Throw in the tension/ stakes of the match and I struggle to see it turning into a shootout.

I marked it 23-21 New England (44 total points), and thus will have 2 units on the under.


Recommended Bets

NT – 2 units on New England -2.5 at $1.91 (IASBet), 3 units on under 55 total points at $1.91 (Luxbet, Flemington Sportsbet).

CB – 2 units on under 55 total points at $1.91 (Luxbet, Flemington Sportsbet).


Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Geez, NT has been doing it tough enough to not call 5.3 units on 5 units bet a negative 6% return!  Looking forward to next season's lines already, thanks for a good season of reading gents!