After weeks of preseason quasi-football - which was preceded by months of he-said, he-said featuring everyone's favorite denim pitchman - and seventeen weeks of regular season contests - which preceded three rounds of playoff tilts- we are here. It's Super Sunday, which precedes Hungover Monday.
Three parts television spectacle, one part hot sauce bender, three parts fete for Madison Avenue ad men, two parts football game, and one part occassion for drunk driving. Combine in chilled punch bowl. Ad dash of gambling to taste. Whisk. Serve over ice in commemorative plastic cups obtained with four Tostitos proofs purchase and a self-addressed stamped envelope. It's the Super Bowl. Where do I sit?
Excuse me, miss, is there any room in the Falcons helmet?
After knocking of Rex Ryan's ambitious New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game with a ruthlessly efficient second-half performance, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are deemed the safe bet in this game. Peyton's been garnering GOAT talk all week long, deservedly. And, how do you bet against the best? Indy hasn't lost a game that Peyton played straight through all year long. Perhaps the recency bias of the gambling public explains why the Colts were favored by 6 shortly after they were installed as 3.5-point favorites by the Vegas oddsmakers over the NFC representative. The Indy money came in quick. The line has since regressed as the Saints backers felt that +5 or 6 points was a good value. Just a few hours before kickoff, the Colts are laying 4.5 to the Saints.
Perhaps the reason that the Colts got so much love early in the week was Peyton's T1000-like dominance against the Jets. Or it might have been the New Orleans Saints' struggles against the turnover-prone Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Despite their own dominant season and an undefeated run of their own, the Saints are firmly entrenched in the underdog role, perhaps in spite of the numbers they put up this season. Perhaps it's also because that status fits the narrative of post-Katrina New Orleans. Perhaps it's just because they're not as good.
Regardless of the movement, I think that the oddsmakers set a good line. It's got me confused. Which is how I judge such things. If I can't figure it out then it must be good. Right?
In the last two years, I have loved the Cardinals and the Giants with the points. This year? I'm not sure. I can't imagine a team stopping Peyton for four quarters. But, I'm not sold that the Colts' defense can keep Drew Brees and company from making this a shootout. I might tease the Colts and the UNDER in case the game goes like former Colts coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy thinks it will. I might also put a little bit of cash down on the Saints and the money line. Or tease the Saints +4.5 and the OVER and bet the Colts money line. Or I might just take my money and award it to passersby as I make my way to the Super Bowl party I'm heading to. I'm not sure. All seem equally viable options.
WWOD?'s Prop Bet Picks:
Austin Collie OVER 50.5 yards
I think that this might be my best feel (you could also translate this logic to the OVER on Garcon if you want, too) of the game. Saints corner Jabari Greer is a middle-class man's Darrelle Revis and should be able to take Reggie Wayne away from Manning just like Revis did. I'd go OVER on Collie's receptions as well. That line is set at an easy to top 3.5.
Reggue Wayne for UNDER 79.5 total recieving yards
Betting public, meet Mr. Greer. Mr. Greer, meet the betting public. I'd also take most of the UNDER bets on Wayne with the exception of longest reception. There's always the chance that he'll break one and I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket even though I think he gets shut down over the balance of the game.
Total number of players to have a pass attempt: OVER.
I've had good luck with this bet whenever I've made. And, Iike most streaks. It's got to end somewhere. But I think that the Saints offensive mastermind Sean Payton might see make sure that day isn't today. Does Reggie Bush throw a pass today? I think there's a chance.
The Saints WILL CONVERT A FOURTH DOWN ATTEMPT:
If they're going to be trailing, which seems to be the conventional wisdom then they will go for it on fourth at some point as they try to rally and they will convert.
Carrie Underwood will go OVER 1 minute and 42 seconds while singing the national anthem:
This gal wants to show of those pipes to prove that she's more than a genre act.
Drew Brees' longest completion will be OVER 40.5 yards:
The Saints are going to be looking for big plays and they'll connect on one at some point. I'm actually surprised this 10 yards less than the longest completion of game prop, which is around 50 yards. I mean, the Saints are the home run offense whereas the Colts really want to grind your bones and make their bread with long drives.
Other than these bets, I do really like the OVER on the longest rush props for Pierre Thomas, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. All the numbers are around 10-11 yards. All someone has to do is run for a first down and you're a winner.