Good morning everybody. I am sitting here dreading (not really) making this prediction after coming so close to the final scores in the conference championship games. Before I get into calling a score on this year's Super Bowl, I do want to thank all of you for stopping by. This blog was born on September 28th last year and has been viewed over 3,500 times now. In the coming months I will be making predictions on the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Major League Baseball regular season standings, and the NBA and NHL playoffs. 'Bedazzled' is on cable right now as background noise as I do my research for this game, and will likely be blamed or praised for this pick's success or failure... We are currently in the neighborhood of being 59 hours from kickoff.
Super Bowl 46 from Indianapolis: New York Giants (9-7) @ New England Patriots (13-3)
Current Vegas Odds: Patriots (-3) Over/Under (54 1/2)
When these two teams met November 6th in New England, the Giants beat the Patriots 24-20. In Super Bowl 42 in 2008, the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in Glendale, Arizona (I just wanted to throw that out there). I have picked the Giants to win their last four games as luck would have it, starting with their game against the Cowboys for the NFC East crown. Do you remember that far back? The Giants had to beat the Cowboys to get INTO THE PLAYOFFS. After defeating Dallas 31-14, the Giants downed the Falcons 24-2, upset the Packers 37-20, and edged out the 49ers 20-17 in overtime. I have a 1-1 record on the Patriots playoff games, as I was right in the neighborhood on their 45-10 win over the Broncos (I had New England winning 37-17), and I was also very close on my score in their 23-20 victory over the Ravens (EXCEPT that I had the Ravens winning 24-20). My first instinct was to take the over in this Super Bowl, but as I sit here playing with my poker chips (those of you who know me personally can probably see me manipulating the 3 poker chips in my right hand) as I review the schedules and scores of the Giants and Pats this season, they actually didn't play in many games where they would have beat an over of 54 1/2. What makes the over tempting in this game is that it will be played indoors, making the track faster and taking away any chance of inclement weather. What hurts the chances of a high score are a healthy Bradshaw and Jacobs for the Giants. I can see New York running the ball to chew up the clock and to keep Brady from throwing it all over the place. Green-Ellis is a capable and possibly under-utilized back for New England, but any carries that he gets also run the clock. The iffy status of Gronkowski for the Patriots also potentially hurts the chances of a shootout. New England running some hurry-up offense is not out of the question though, which obviously means more plays in less time, and the chance of a higher final score. What was a weak and beat-up Giants secondary early in the season has been bolstered late in the season by an outstanding defensive line, and this group has not given opposing quarterbacks all day to play around in the pocket. I expect Brady to face some pressure in this game. To this point in the playoffs Manning has faced a lot of pressure in the Giants pocket and has been Houdini-like in escaping it. Nicks can be a monster... I think that the special teams are solid for both teams, including the field-goal kickers. The only way that I envision a blowout is if key injuries or a slew of turnovers occur. This is such a tough game to call, but this is what I'm going with...
My Prediction: New York Giants 24 New England Patriots 21 ----- Giants (+ 3) Under (54 1/2)
I hope that you have a very safe and enjoyable Super Bowl Weekend and I will see you again on Monday!