Super Bowl betting spectacular

MIAMI, Fla-The big one is just two days away.

Super Bowl XLIV kicks off in just over 48 hours and you can take it to the bank that it will be the most heavily bet sporting event of the year. Last year’s Cardinals-Steelers thriller had $81.5 million legally wagered in the state of Nevada, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Keep in mind: That number does not reflect what was wagered illegally.

Spreads, totals, props and more. The amount of bets available for gamblers in the world’s biggest game is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Think you know which color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach after the game? You can bet that.

Are you confident The Who’s Pete Townshend will smash his guitar on the stage after the halftime show? You can get odds on that.

My man Scott Miller did an excellent job of breaking down some of the notable prop bets for this year’s Super Bowl. Click HERE to check them out.

However, there is one prop bet Miller didn’t mention that I absolutely love.

Bet: Number of times Archie Manning (4) and Eli Manning (3) will appear on television.

I’m going OVER three on Eli Manning. Think about it. He’s most likely going to be sitting with Archie, and every time Peyton makes a big play, you know they are going to show Archie. Plus, you’re going to get at least one freebie at the beginning of the game and definitely one at the end if the Colts win.

The logic may not sell you, but that’s my lock for Sunday.

Now, let’s take a look at the actual game.

ATS: Against the Spread
SU: Straight Up

Sunday, February 7, 2010
6:25pm eastern

SUPER BOWL XLIV (Miami, Florida)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (15-3, 7-1 road) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (16-2, 9-1 home)

Opening Line: Colts -4 56
Current Line: Colts -4.5 56.5

Where the money is going: 68% of the public is betting on the Colts and laying the points. 55% of the public is betting on the Saints moneyline. 76% of the public is betting on the OVER.

Recent Hot Trends

1. The Colts are 5-0-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
2. The Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.
3. The Colts are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games on grass.
4. The Colts are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.
5. The OVER is 5-1 in the Colts’ last 6 games overall.
6. The OVER is 4-1 in the Colts’ last 5 games as a favorite.
7. The Saints are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games on grass.
8. The Saints are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
9. The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
10. The Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games.
11. The OVER is 5-0-1 in the Saints’ last 6 playoff games.
12. The UNDER is 5-1 in the Saints’ last 6 games following an ATS loss.

The Matchup: Is it possible to have a Super Bowl with two teams that have more similarities than the Saints and Colts? New Orleans ranks first in total offense, fourth in passing offense and sixth in rushing offense. Indianapolis ranks ninth in total offense, second in passing offense and 32nd in rushing offense. Quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are as good as they come, combining extraordinary leadership abilities with remarkable football intelligence and deadly accuracy.

On the defensive side of the football, the Saints rank 25th in total defense, 26th in passing defense and 21st in rushing defense while the Colts rank 18th in total defense, 14th in passing defense and 24th in rushing defense. Clearly, the defensive unit that figures out how to get some stops is going to be the key.

In their last seven games, New Orleans has covered the spread just one time (Arizona) while the Colts are 7-2-1 ATS in their last ten games overall.

Spoiler Alert-My Super Bowl pick is at the bottom, but if you read the following paragraph, you’re going to know which way I’m leaning.

Being around both teams this week has been an eye-opening experience, but you have to love the business-like approach the Colts have taken in their preparations for Sunday. While I’m not trying to knock the Saints, everyone from Indy has been focused on just one thing: winning. If you like the Saints, hearing about Reggie Bush and some other teammates hitting the clubs until 3:30am on Tuesday night can’t make you feel good.

In addition, as awesome as Drew Brees has been this year, can you really feel comfortable betting against Peyton Manning? The guy is lights out with less than two minutes to go in each half and has been playing at another level than everyone else this year.

Lastly, the Colts have the edge when it comes to experience. They’ve played in the Super Bowl before and it just so happened to be three years ago in the exact same city. Many of the current coaches and players were around for that. Don’t think they’ve forgotten how this works.

Keep in mind: The Colts have won every game they tried to win this year.

Line movement: The line opened at Colts -4 and moved to -4.5 within eight minutes before climbing to -5 fourteen minutes later. The line got as high as -5.5 (24 hours after opening at -4) before it began to creep back down after Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney revealed that he does, in fact, have a torn ligament in his ankle. Essentially, the early money loved the Colts until they found out about Freeney.

Tipper’s Pick: Even though I picked the Saints to win the Super Bowl before the season started, I’m going with the Colts. They’ve been here before and have been all business since arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday. Some Saints players have been out on the town this week and while that’s not a crime, it’s not the type of news I want to back with my cash. Colts cover and Manning wins the MVP.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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