Super Bowl 2012: The Pick Against the Spread

Anthony BrancatoCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2012

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
Patriots TE Rob GronkowskiElsa/Getty Images

Either a team that finished 9-7 during the regular season will win Super Bowl XLVI, or a team that allowed 411 yards per game during the regular season will.

Blame it on the lockout.  

But maybe the "other" Manning simply has New England's number?  And then there is always The Ankle Theory.  

The Ankle Theory, you ask?  

The last three times a key player on a Super Bowl team has had a significant ankle injury going into the game, his team lost—Terrell Owens seven years ago, Dwight Freeney two years ago and Maurkice Pouncey in last year's edition.  

This year's man on a ledge with an iffy ankle: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.  

And who else noticed that the NFC won the inter-conference season series this year (albeit just barely, 33 wins to 31) for the first time since 1995?  

There is an ongoing debate in New York about whether that cash-strapped city can afford to host twin parades for both returning Iraq War veterans and the Giants, should they win the Super Bowl—with talking heads on the political left, rather surprisingly, forcefully making the case for the former, but not the latter.  

Fine, then. 

Do as then-Big Apple mayor Ed Koch suggested a quarter-century ago: If the New Jersey Giants—and that's what they actually are, after all—want a parade, let them parade in front of the oil drums in Moonachie!  

They will earn a parade somewhere though, because the final score of Super Bowl XLVI is going to be:  

N.Y. Giants 27 (+3 1/2), New England 17  

Postseason totals: 5-4-1, Pct. .550.  Best Bets: 2-0-1, Pct. .833.

Point spread (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selection with point spread in bold.