It's that time again football fans, the Super Bowl is right around the corner.
Most of us have seen our team either miss the playoffs, or lose in the playoffs. My team fell victim of Tebowmania. It doesn't get much worse than that. That doesn't mean turning off the TV until August for the hardcore fan.
Whether you like to gamble or not, there are some very interesting facts and trends you should check out before making your pick for the game. Personally, I think this will be a great game like it was a few years ago. I wouldn't bet against Tom Brady to begin with, but Eli Manning has been playing great, and his defense is inspired.
If I were a gambling man, here are a few facts and trends that I would take into consideration before placing any bets.
Since 1980, the favorites are just 20-11 straight up and 13-16-2 against the spread. The underdog has covered the spread three of the last four Super Bowls, winning two of the three outright. While this is a winning record overall, the numbers aren't good for gamblers.
The New England Patriots are favored by three points by most major outlets. This makes betting this game dangerous against the spread, as these teams are evenly matched. The New York Giants beat the Patriots by three in the 2008 Super Bowl, when the Patriots hadn't been beaten to that point. The Giants know they can beat the Patriots against all odds.
If you must bet on this game, I would advise you to take the Giants and the three points. Giving the Giants three points would be a risky proposition. The Patriots defense was statistically one of the worst teams in the league all season. The Giants can score in bunches, and they have a much better defense than the Patriots.
Quite frankly, the fact the Patriots are favored should scare you away from this line.
In the last 16 Super Bowls, if the favored team doesn’t score 30 points they aren't going to cover the spread. Over this time period, if the favored team didn’t score 30 points or more, they were 2-14-1 against the spread.
I don't see the Patriots scoring 30 on a Giants defense that has been playing extremely well. They have shown the ability to pressure any quarterback no matter how good their offensive line may be. Tom Brady under pressure isn't the same Tom Brady that won Super Bowls.
Much like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Brady is an average quarterback when pressured.
Sure, the Patriots offensive attack is as explosive as it gets. I simply can't see them getting started against the Giants pass rush. They were lucky enough to beat the Baltimore Ravens who don't have the offense the Giants do, or the explosive pass rush.
21 is a good number all around. Many young adults can't wait until they turn 21, as that makes it legal to enjoy alcohol. 21 wins in many card games, my favorite being Black Jack. The number 21 is also important in Super Bowl betting.
If a team doesn't score at least 21 points in the Super Bowl, they almost never win. Teams that haven’t scored at least 21 points in the big game are 1-20 straight up in the last 21 Super Bowls and not much better against the spread, going 3-17-1.
If you think it will be a low scoring game like the last time these two teams played in the Super Bowl, you had better go with your first instincts. You could look at the team averages, where the Patriots average eight more points a game than the New York Giants.
This could get you into trouble, though, seeing how the regular season and the Super Bowl are two different animals!
Tom Brady threw two interceptions last weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, and that doesn't include the one taken away by a questionable penalty. He didn't throw a touchdown pass at all, but he did have a gutsy touchdown run where I thought Ray Lewis broke him in half as he dove into the end zone.
The New England Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since beating the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 however, so Tom Brady will be hungry. He told Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the locker room after the AFC Championship game; "I promise you I'm going to play a lot better in two weeks."
Brady is a competitor and a perfectionist. I'm sure we will see a much more polished game from him.
That being said, the pressure is on him as much as ever this time around. I'm sure he has been asked about the Patriots recent postseason struggles so often he dreams about it. It will be interesting to see if he can return to the play we saw a few years ago.
Maybe he benefited from the whole cheating scandal more than we could imagine. Keep an eye out for camera's on the sidelines!
While I think it's crazy to bet on which team will win the coin toss, people do it every year. You would think the results would be pretty even, as both teams have a 50 percent chance to win the toss. Well guess what, the NFC team has won the coin toss the last 15 Super Bowls!
Are you going to bet against this seemingly unbreakable trend, or do you think we will see it continue?
I certainly wouldn't be brave enough to bet against a 15-season streak! All streaks eventually come to an end, though, why not now? Either way, the Giants should feel pretty good about winning the toss.