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February 3, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Picks and Prop Bets

By now you’ve read and listened to almost everyone pick the Super Bowl. Since no one but RJ has any interest in this year’s Super Bowl, we’ve decided to spend the majority of this year’s Super Bowl Podcast on what really matters: the prop bets. From Christina Aguillera drawing out every note in the National Anthem to who the winning coach will thank first to which QB WAG is going to get airtime first (the smart money is not on Jessican Szohr), we’ve got you covered.

This year’s Super Bowl Odds and Prop Bets are from our friends at Betus.

You can download the podcast directly (running time 45 mins) or subscribe to the feed.

If you use iTunes, just click here and then click subscribe and iTunes will take care of the rest.

Super Bowl XLV Picks

Straight Up

MATCHUP Vegas Vinny BostonMac RJ Peso* Actual
Steelers @ Packers Steelers Packers Steelers Packers
Playoffs 5-5 (.375) 6-4 (.500) 7-3 (.625) 5-5 (.375)
Regular Season 155-101 (.605) 151-105 (.590) 153-103 (.598) 147-107 (.579)

Against the Spread

MATCHUP Vegas Vinny BostonMac RJ Peso* Actual
Steelers @ Packers (-2.5) Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
Playoffs 4-6 (.500) 5-4 (.750) 7-3 (.750 7-3 (.750
Regular Season 155-101 (.605) 151-105 (.590) 153-103 (.598) 147-107 (.579)

Prop Bets

MATCHUP Vegas Vinny BostonMac RJ Peso* Actual
Neilsen Ratings O/U 46 Under Over Over Under
First WAG on TV Jessica Szohr Ashley Harlan Jessica Szohr Ashley Harlan
Coach Thanks 1st Staff Staff Team No One
MVP Thanks 1st God Teammates No One Family
National Anthem o/u 1:50 Over Over Over Over
1st TD scorer # Odd Odd Odd Odd
Steelers Penalties o/u 6 Under Over Over Under
Players Arrested o/u 1/2 Under Over Over Over
1st scoring play GB pass GB Pass PIT safety GB ST
1st TD celebration Lambeau Leap TD Spike Champ belt Throat Slash
Fergie wearing Whore’s uniform Pants below knees Shorts above knees Shorts above knees

Ryan McGowan: just read in Sports Illustrated how the NFL has been selling tickets at $200 apiece to stand outside Cowboys Stadium and watch the Super Bowl on a big-screen TV… and how they went like hotcakes as soon as they put up for sale. All I can think of is that it’s a good thing that New England didn’t make it to the big game, because with this ridiculous weather we’ve been badgered with on the East Coast, I probably would have been one of those schmucks who headed off to Dallas for the weekend and got suckered into forking over 200 bucks to stand up and watch TV, with no free nachos or beer or anything. No thanks.

As for the actual game, I expect it to follow the recent trend of being a highly competitive, down-to-the-wire contest. After going pretty much my entire youth enduring Super Bowl blowout after blowout (many 49ers and Cowboys victories spring to mind here), the NFL of the 2000’s has been parity city. Rams-Titans, Pats-Rams, Pats-Panthers, Pats-Eagles, Steelers-Cardinals, Pats-Giants, Colts-Saints. These were all highly competitive into the fourth quarter and many came down to the last minute or the last play. With neither Pittsburgh nor Green Bay a truly elite team which stands above the rest in the league, there’s no reason why that trend can’t continue this year.

In terms of who to root for, the answer is obvious, especially if you’re a Patriots fan. Ben Roethlisberger is a lying, sniveling, roofying, meatheaded chucklehead date-rapist with a really heinous beard and who probably abuses innocent cats and knocks over old ladies in wheelchairs as they cross the street. Big Ben is going for ring #3 which would tie him with Tom Brady, although Brady would still hold the tiebreaker because Roethlisberger isn’t banging a Brazilian supermodel. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is the guy who finally dethroned Brett Favre. All real Americans owe him a mountainous level of gratitude. Enough said.

I expect a high-scoring game, something like 31-28. Down 28-24, Rodgers will lead the Pack on a Montana-esque Drive to take the lead with 1:02 left and Green Bay will hang on for the win. The Packers are more talented than the Steelers, and the climate-controlled carpet in the Jerry Jones Memorial Coliseum will benefit them more than Pittsburgh. Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson et al will corral the Steelers’ running game and force Ben to make some mistakes. And with the Dallas-Fort Worth area having to import thousands of strippers and escorts to meet the demand this week, you can bet Ben will have plenty of distractions pregame, Eugene Robinson-style. I just hope the network shows a shot of Favre’s face when Rodgers accepts the MVP trophy on Sunday night.

THE PICK: PACKERS

RJ Warner: We and the other 150 million other people watching the Super Bowl are handicapping this game. We’ll even give the score. It will be 34-24 Packers (HA!) or 20-17 Steelers. But any one of those people that are 100% confident in that pick have been drinking since Week 1 or just don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s the same chance as the coin flip prop bet: 50/50. This is the most insignificant line I’ve ever seen. Whatever your bet, just take the winner and don’t worry about the line. The back door will be closed (TWSS).

I want to point out two match ups: (I’ll use these in a pro-Steeler, this-worries-the-hell-out-of-me context)

Most overrated match up: BJ Raji (NT GB) vs Doug Legursky (C PIT)

First of all, as far as Maurkice Pouncey’s playing status, we’ve heard a million different things, but Kenny Powers couldn’t announce it any better: HE’S FUCKING OUT

Raji is a good player, he’s a top 10 draft pick and is blossoming as a perfect cog in a 3-4 defense: just a huge load that occupies a couple of blockers and let’s the Clay Matthews-es make the plays. The Steelers have the same thing with Casey Hampton, and nobody ever thought he was going to key a victory like people are predicting with Raji.

Doug Legursky isn’t Pouncey, but he did a pretty good job against the Jets (minus one bad exchange). Every Steeler to a man says that he’s the smartest and most versatile lineman they have. He can read any defense and will be especially prepared having two weeks at Center, not all the other positions he crams for every week. Imagine having to take your SAT’s but only needing to worry about the math.

Raji is getting hype because of that pick 6 in the NFC title game. Nice play, but if Ben throws that pass, well, Ben won’t throw that pass because only Caleb Hainie throws that pass.

**(and if Pouncey does play at what will be 50 percent tops, all of this still applies)**

Most underrated: Packers secondary vs. Steelers receivers.

The Steelers might have their overall best receiving corps since the 1970′s, but I think Green Bay’s secondary is the best Pittsburgh will face, even more so than the Jets. The Packers are deeper, their corners are rocks and their safeties aren’t a liability like New York’s are. It’s gonna be hard for the Steelers to break a big play, as Ben notoriously under throws deep balls, which will fall into waiting Packer arms. Roethlisberger is going to have to utilize every available target including Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth at TE and Mendenhall, Issac Redman and Melwelde Moore out of the backfield.

I pray that Mendenhall can break some big runs early. The Packers weren’t great against the run all year (18th in the NFL giving up 115 YPG), but they’ve been great in the playoffs, cutting that down to just under 70, although getting out to some big leads helped that. Mendenhall has been running possessed after his fumble early in the Baltimore game and made the Jets look foolish all evening; so if he gets it going, that eases the pressure off the passing game, naturally.

Of course I’m picking the Steelers (+2.5). the reasons are mostly homer-related and emotional, but also one weird intangible that always favors Pittsburgh: The OFFICIATING!!! Haha, just kidding (mostly). Seriously, in every Super Bowl the Steelers have played, there have always been crazy plays that don’t normally happen. It could be a 100-yard interception return (XLIII), a double reverse option pass for a TD (XL) , a bad exchange that ends up a safety (IX) or a dropped pass by a hall of fame tight end who was in-his-own-zip-code wide open (XIII). Something positively out of nowhere happens for the Steelers, and it isn’t just dumb luck (Jackie Smith excluded). Bottom line is the Steelers will bring it and anybody who doesn’t believe that or respect that is dumb or on crack. They will come out ready as the underdog and have something up their sleeve (or in the ref’s pocket lol) that brings them their seventh championship.

Steelers 28
Packers 26

(That and I just cannot pick a team that lost 7-3 to the LIONS)



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