Super Bowl Betting: The Perfect Chase
Jan 21st, 2008
By Adrian Brijbassi
Bodog Nation Contributing Writers
The Patriots, who are 14-point favorites, will make history unless Eli Manning steps up
So it comes down to Brady vs. Manning after
While Peyton's reviewing endorsement opportunities
and brushing up on acting techniques, the two
men who've lived in his shadow will battle to
take his crown. He'll be rooting for his kid
brother, of course, and so will a lot of sportsbooks.
The Patriots opened as two-touchdown favorites
against the point spread and that number could
grow as the Feb. 3 kickoff approaches and money
pours in on the NFL's perfect arsenal.
The last obstacle in the Patriots' relentless
pursuit of ultimate glory is the younger and
less together of Archie's quarterback kids. In
his fourth year as a pro, Eli appeared to regress.
He threw fewer touchdowns and more interceptions
than he had the previous two seasons. His quarterback
rating was also his lowest since his rookie year,
when he started only seven games. But something
has clicked lately for Manning, who turned 27
on Jan. 3.
In three postseason games, he has thrown four
touchdowns and not had an interception, and the
wild-card Giants beat
the point spread as road underdogs in each
win. Manning's improvement comes after a regular-season
finale when he nearly curtailed the Patriots'
run to perfection by throwing four touchdowns
and one pick in a 38-35 loss at Giants Stadium.
New York held a 12-point lead midway through
the third quarter in that game, thanks to Manning.
His recent success has apparently made him almost
as cocky as another Super Bowl quarterback from
"We know what it takes to beat them," he said
of the Patriots. Manning declared that knowledge
minutes after the Giants barely figured out how
to escape Lambeau Field with a 23-20 overtime
win on Sunday.
While not quite a guarantee, Manning's confident
words speak to his mentality nonetheless. He's
a quarterback who’s struggled to assert
leadership throughout his career, but he appears
to have discovered his voice as well as his game
in the most dramatic of times.
"The focus of Eli was outstanding," New York
coach Tom Coughlin said in Green Bay. "He just
willed himself to play well."
Super Bowl XLII Schedule
New England Patriots
vs. New York Giants
of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale,
Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. EST (Fox)
Halftime show: Tom
Petty and the Heartbreakers
Prior to the season, the Giants were considered
dysfunctional, but they've proven surprisingly
cohesive, rallying in support of their
besieged coach and quarterback. Add a dominant
pass rush and powerful running game to
the mix, and this Manning suddenly resembles
any other who's lined up under center.
If Eli can match his brother's title from
last year, he'll stand alone with Joe Namath
in the pantheon of Super Bowl Davids.
So far, the new year has been kind to
the underdog. Favorites are just 2-8 against
the spread in the playoffs, including
0-2 ATS on Championship Sunday. The Giants,
who were 10-6 ATS in the regular season,
will need whatever trends, gimmicks and
alchemy they can gather in order to hang
with the Patriots.
Have no doubt, New England wants to punctuate
a season for the ages with a spectacle
that shatters records. Should the Patriots
win, they'll go down as the greatest team
in the sport. And with four Super Bowls
in seven years, probably the top dynasty,
too. The next question will be when they
might lose again. Of their key players,
only free-agents-to-be Asante Samuel, Randall
Gay and 34-year-old linebacker Tedy Bruschi
may not be back. If you're sick of the
Patriots now, give it some time. The glory
days of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady may
be far from over - unless the Manning clan
intercedes once again.
"We've got another shot," Eli said of
his team's rematch with the Pats. "And
hopefully this time we've got what it takes
to get it done."
Random Thoughts on the Weekend
- Fox is thrilled with this Super Bowl
XLII matchup. The most-watched show of
the entire fall TV season was the Patriots-Giants
game on Dec. 29. It averaged 34.5 million
viewers over the course of its broadcast
and was also the most popular NFL regular-season
game since 1995, according to TV
- In the six Super Bowls since the Ravens
blew out the Giants in 2001, underdogs
and favorites have been an even 3-3 ATS.
- The Chargers' Chris Chambers said of
the Patriots: "[That's] the best team
I've ever seen in my career." He's not
- So New England and New York meet again
in a duel for supremacy. Does that mean
Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts governor,
will take on New York senator Hillary
Clinton in the race to be the next U.S.
president? After their wins in Nevada
over the weekend, that's looking more
- Upsets were in the air prior to Sunday's
NFL action. In two awesome games that
tested your dexterity with the remote
control, No. 1 North Carolina and No.
4 UCLA lost at home to unranked conference
rivals on Saturday afternoon. And the
Australian Open reeled off a number of
surprising results and one near shocker
as Roger Federer was extended to a fifth
set before outlasting unranked Janko
Tipsarevic. Had he won, Tipsarevic would've
seen his supporters collect $1,400 on
a $100 tennis
- Sidney Crosby's injury comes at a bad
time for the NHL. The All-Star Game is
this weekend, and with the sport's biggest
star on crutches, marketing the midseason
showcase becomes more difficult. It's
too bad because the NHL has enjoyed a
bit of rejuvenation in the U.S. in recent
months, partly because its fans are Internet
savvy, which means more advertising opportunities
for media sites that feature hockey content.
But no Crosby is a setback.
That's upsetting: The
Giants' Plaxico Burress played
a sensational game with a torn
ligament in his ankle. So how
come LaDainian Tomlinson couldn't
go with a sore knee? One touchdown
would've changed the complexion
of the AFC Championship Game,
and Chargers backers must be
enraged that the most prolific
scorer this decade didn't tough
it out. The last two weeks
stain L.T.'s career.
Proof of disorder
in the universe: In
1991, the Giants reached
the Super Bowl and the U.S.
economy was in a recession.
In 2001, same thing. In 2008?
You know it.
Coolest song of the
week: Perfect by
the Smashing Pumpkins (Last
Water by Paul Kelly).
Bowl odds subject to change.
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