SuperBowl XLIII Preview

NFL Betting Preview
Arizona Cardinals (12-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4)
Super Bowl, Sunday Feb. 1, 6:15PM Eastern betting line – Pittsburgh -6.5, 46.5 O/U

Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. The most anticipated sporting event of the year will kick off at approximately 6:20 Sunday night live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Highlighting the spectacular event is the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals and the AFC Champs the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arizona has been the underdog throughout the post season, but despite the long odds they have battled their way to earn their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. On the other side of the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in seek of their 6th Super Bowl victory that would become the most in NFL history. Pittsburgh has the early edge in terms of the betting lines with the majority of sports books holding the Steelers as a touchdown favorite over the Cardinals. Arizona will have the luxury of being an underdog once again as they seek to surprise the world one final time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the favorites throughout the AFC all year due to the downfall of the New England Patriots. The Steelers entered the playoffs as favorites to win the AFC and they have lived up to the expectations. The Pittsburgh defense has been the dominating factor that has led to the Steelers success this season. The Pittsburgh defense has held teams to 14 points per game and only 237 yards of total offense which both ranks 1st in the NFL. The Steelers secondary also sports the top ranked pass defense in the league allowing 157 yards per game meaning Pittsburgh ranks 1st in three of the 4 major defensive categories while ranking 2nd in the other in rush defense.

However, the Steelers secondary will be under one of the biggest test they faced all season from a strong air assault led by Kurt Warner and the Arizona offense. Pittsburgh offensively has not received the credit they have deserved during the playoffs. Despite the defense leading all season, the Steelers offense has found a way to score over the last two games posted 28 points on average. The Steelers will likely need to find a way to continue to post some touchdowns as many expect the Arizona to have some success, but the question is how much success?

Arizona came into the playoffs as a huge underdog for winning the weak NFC West. The Cardinals were not expected by many to make it out of the first playoff game against Atlanta much less make a surge and get to the Super Bowl. Despite conquering all odds, Arizona still has one game left to prove why nobody should count them out. Veteran QB Kurt Warner has been very impressive throughout the Cardinals run. Warner’s leadership ability may have been equally impressive with his talented throwing arm as well. After all Warner is a Super Bowl MVP who led the St. Louis Rams to their first ever Lombardi Trophy and he will be trying to do the same this Sunday with the Cardinals.

However the most impressive man on the field for the Cardinals has been Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald broke NFL all-time great Jerry Rice’s playoff receiving yards records as he has racked up 419 yards already with one game to go. Fitzgerald also caught 3 touchdowns in the first half of the NFC Championship (also a record) and has 5 total TDs over the playoff stint. WR Anquan Boldin has also been a big factor for the Cardinals this season despite being very quite during the post season. However, do not be surprised if Boldin gets the ball thrown his way a good bit as the Cardinals will try to utilize all their weapons to overcome the stout Pittsburgh defense.

Pick – I’m going with the Veteran QB that has been here before to find a way to win not to mention getting 6.5 extra points. Arizona +6.5

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