Nfl Sports Picks - February 05, 2012
It's Super Bowl time and I can't tell you how excited I am. There's nothing like this game - the best time of the year! Get all of my picks for this game for $49 here.
I have crushed the Super Bowl in the past (17-3 for 85% over the past four years). Here's my record on Super Bowl picks (game picks + props) the past four years:
Super Bowl XLII (2008): 3-1
Super Bowl XLIII (2009): 5-1
Super Bowl XLIV (2010): 4-0
Super Bowl XLV (2011): 5-1
2008-2011 TOTAL: 17-3
This year I have a pick on who will win the game as well as 6 prop bets. I am including a game preview and a free prop bet pick below. Get all of my picks for this game for $49 here.
Good luck this Sunday!
Game: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots (Sunday 2/05 6:25 PM Eastern)
Game: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots (Sunday 2/05 6:30 PM Eastern)
Pick: 5 units on Highest-Scoring Half = 2nd -110 (risk 5 to win 4.5)
Whether we wanted it or not, we get a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl. Personally I am looking forward to the rematch. In that 2008 game the Giants, a 12.5 point underdog, shocked the world by defeating the then 18-0 New England Patriots. In that game, I was big on the Giants and it played out nicely. There are a lot of similarities between that season and this season for the Giants. I won't go into all of those again, but suffice to say, we again see New York squeaking into the playoffs and making it to the big game as an underdog against the Mighty Pats. We again see the Giants take the improbable path from "left for dead" to playing in the final game of the season. Will the results be the same? My computer matchup for this game (NOT an official pick) likes the Pats to get the win and cover. The public is backing the Giants. What's going to happen this time around?
How many points will New York score? The Giants ranked #9 in points and #8 in yards this season, getting slightly better towards the end of the season. They averaged 25 points per game overall and 28.2 points per game in their last five games once they turned things around following a week 15 loss to the Redskins. Against teams with a defense similar to New England's (#15 in points allowed), New York averaged over 30 points per game this season. How did New England fare defensively this year vs. offenses similar to New York's? The Patriots gave up around 20 points per game to good offenses like the Giants'. This was a somewhat surprising finding to me, given how much New England's 31st ranked defense (yards) got this season. The bottom line in my book is that points matter more than yards and despite the fact that the Pats gave up a ton of yards, their defense was able to keep teams to 20.7 points per game this year. In the first matchup between these two teams, the Giants scored 24 points in a road win. So, it's very likely that the Giants will score somewhere between 20 and 30 points in this game. Why might the Giants score a lot here? New England faced only three top-tier quarterbacks this season. In week two they took on Phillip Rivers who carved them for 378 yards and two touchdowns. In week six, Tony Romo put up 317 yards and one touchdown. In week eight, Ben Roethlisberger threw from 365 yards and a pair of touchdowns vs. the Patriots. This Pats defense allowed Dan Orlovsky to complete 81% of his passes and allowed Vince Young to notch a 400-yard passing game. Only two QBs this season failed to throw a touchdown vs. the Patriots: Tim Tebow and Tyler Palko. Eli Manning has emerged as a top-flight QB and I think he will get find success in this game. These Giants wide receivers are very talented and deep and Manning can really spread the ball around. The fact that people are starting to ask the "Eli or Peyton" question tells you how far the younger brother has come. Personally, I don't think there's any comparison (yet). Peyton is one of the best of all time. Eli has a lot more to prove. But, Eli has shown that he can be a great quarterback. So let's put New York down for around 27 points here. Let's turn to New England...
How many points will New England score? The Patriots can score. They ranked 2nd in yards and 3rd in the league in points per game. This team averaged 32.3 points per game this season and towards the end of the season and in the playoffs (last five games), they bumped that to 37 per game. How did the Giants defense fare this season against powerhouse offenses? The Giants ranked #24 in points allowed this season (23.1 per game) so it's not pretty. Against offenses like New England's, New York allowed about 29 points per game. When that Pats faced defenses similar to New York's this season, they averaged 32.5 points per game. When these two teams met earlier this season, New York kept the Patriots to just 20 points. So, we have an initial starting range here of somewhere between 20 and 33 points for the Pats. Let's dissect this offense a little more to try to narrow that down. How good is it? The problem for New England is the weak schedule they faced. They put up some gaudy numbers including games scoring 38, 35, 31, 31, 30, 37, 34, 38, 31, 34, 41, 49 and 45. But, those games came against the Dolphins, Bills, Raiders, Jets, Chiefs, Eagles, Colts, Redskins and Broncos. The Giants defense is better than those teams. If you hope to contain Tom Brady, pressuring the quarterback is a prerequisite and the Giants, at least on paper, fit the bill. The big question in this game in my mind is, which Giants defense shows up? Is it the team that allowed 27 points per game through the first 15 weeks? Or is it the one that allowed 13 per game from that point forward? I think it's safe to assume that the Patriots are likely to score in the high 20's in this game (similar to New York).
So what's going to happen here? There are many other factors that come into play here which tell me one side is more likely to win and cover the spread here. I like one side of this game quite a bit and have a pick on the game. I also have six prop bets for the game ready now. I have gone 17-3 overall on my Super Bowl bets (game picks + props) the last four years. I am providing one free prop bet below. To get my game pick and my other five props, go here.
Once again we look to take advantage of oddsmaker error in a prop bet on which they have mis-calculated. Which half of football games see more scoring? So far this season, we have seen a virtual dead-heat with 22.2 points being scored on average in the first half and 22.3 scored in the second half of games. So, this line is set about right according to that. But we need to dig deeper. In 45 Super Bowls, the average score for the first and second halves, respectively, has been 21.42 and 24.13. So we see that the second half average score is 13% higher. The second half has been the highest scoring half in 28 of the 45 Super Bowls (62.2%). Fair odds on a 62.2% bet are -165. But we get -110 here. Now have things changed over the past 45 years? Yes they have. The discrepancy has become more pronounced. In the last 20 years, the scoring has been as follows: First half = 22.25, Second half = 28.25. That's a 27% difference in points! In the last 13 years, the second half has been the highest scoring half 11 times (85%). And, that includes a fluke pick-6 last year in the first quarter. Without that, we might have seen the 12th time in 13 years that the 2nd half has outscored the first half. So, getting -110 odds on this bet provides a lot of value for a bet. This line is available at TopBet or Bovada.
I like one side of this game quite a bit and have a pick on the game. I also have six prop bets for the game ready now. I have gone 17-3 overall on my Super Bowl bets (game picks + props) the last four years. I am providing one free prop bet below. To get my game pick and my other five props, go here.
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