Super Bowl Sunday

I erased the Rugby play from yesterday because I got the times wrong and didn’t post it til the game was nearly over, which was great because I picked Ireland -9 and they lost by 12! So that was money saved, and then I SWEPT the NBA picks a perfect 4-0. Hopefully that good mojo carries over for the big game.

I have the Rams in a future bet at 10/1, I picked them and the Saints at the start of the year, and I’m sticking with them, but I think this is a very close call. The Super Bowl is always tough to pick and I never go too crazy on it anyway. I usually pick a side but this year I really feel the value is on the total so I’m going with:

UNDER 57.5 (now down to 56 in many places)

Why do I like this play even though I’m not a totals player. A few reasons:
1) the Super Bowl is the biggest publicly bet game, and the public loves Overs. And with the last 2 being high scoring affairs, last year the highest ever, and these two teams being generally high scoring, they are going to be on the over even more this year, which is why the total was set high to begin with – the SB total is usually not set this high, even at the current number of 56. Of course, the new rules have something to do with that, too. But still, I see value in a game where both teams want to win so bad – the young upstarts who went all in stacking talent, and on the other side the vets who want to get yet another ring to cement their legacy even more.

But also, I think that despite these teams being high scoring, people really underestimate how much each team relies on the run, and running chews up clock. People don’t think of NE especially as a running team, but they are 5th in the league in rush yards per game, and LA is 3rd. I think both teams will try to establish the run early – especially LA who has a young QB, who might have early game jitters.

And while each team can run effectively, they each have a counterpoint in their run defense – NE is 2nd in the league in rush TDs allowed. LA is 11th, and didn’t allow any vs. a Saints team that had Kamara and Ingram. LA also held them to under 300 yards total. NE only allowed 41 rush yards last game, and the Rams 48. So it may be tough to run for both teams, which some might think will lead to more passing. Possibly, but it will also lead to more long down and distance situations, which brings me to my next point.

Last game KC allowed 13 3rd down conversions. That’s insane. The Rams are 3rd in the league in 3rd down conversions allowed per game at only 3.3. they did allow 6 to the high powered Saints but that isn’t astronomical. If the Rams can get off the field, I think they can beat NE, and also keep it under. Which would be the perfect combo for me – in fact, I wouldn’t even care if it went over if they blew New England out! But maybe that’s a bit much to ask. Could happen though, as Madden used to say, the Super Bowl is always a blowout (back when I used to play it on Playstation 2!). Lately it’s been a different story, and I doubt will get a blow out as both teams are very good and more importantly, the refs and the league will want another entertaining match as it’s good for ratings so they probably will make sure it doesn’t get out of hand early.

One last thing, a prop bet:

First score to be a LA Rams Field Goal.

Belicheck usually defers if he wins the toss, and if I’m Sean McVay, I would take the ball if I win the toss. Because they fell behind the last two games, while NE jumped out to big leads. NE tends to win if they score first and are traditionally very good at scoring TDs on opening drives. But the SB is always cagey to start, and I could see the Rams, if they get the ball first, having a drive that is decent and then stalls. They have a great kicker, Greg Zuerlien, aka Greg the Leg, aka Legatron, who can hit from distance, and it’s in a dome.

Best of Luck all! And like I said, I don’t think the Super Bowl is a game that you need to bet heavy on, the oddsmakers have 2 weeks to nail the line down, we’ve had a full season of stats and tape for the teams, there are no real secrets, there are no motivational angles, and if you are up for the season don’t risk too much of that profit, you worked hard for it all season, if you are down don’t chase too hard either and get buried. There’s always more stuff to bet on and there’s always next season. You should enjoy the Bowl with your buddies or family or whoever, have a bet if you want but don’t make one so big that it will ruin the experience which only comes around once a year and should be something you enjoy.

I might not be around for a bit as football is done and the NBA all star break is coming up, but I’ll probably be back for the NCAA conference tourneys and of course the big dance, NBA playoffs, etc. But since I just had a nice day on the hardwood I’m happy to take a mini break from that as it quickly gets draining sweating out the end of basketball games every night of the week, with so many covers hinging on the Free Throws and 3 pointers and end of game silliness.

Football wise it was a very streaky season, which often happens. Had weeks where I was in God mode just hitting everything, getting the lucky bounces and calls in close ones, and then weeks where it was the total opposite and couldn’t hit. Losing the two conf champ games in OT was especially frustrating, especially with the bad missed call on the Saints, but that’s football – it’s a bunch of large men running at high speed with a funny shaped ball and funny things will happen, sometimes the bounces will benefit you, sometimes they don’t, and while it would be great to pick a blowout winner every time, the bottom line is that many times the spread is decided on a few key plays late in the game, and that’s why it is always a gamble and never a sure thing. I love doing it, it’s my 20th year doing it, and I’ll see you again next time, hopefully at the payout window!