Betting On Super Bowl XLVI – Breaking Down The Defenses For Super Bowl XLVI
Sports betting players will tell you the old adage, “defense wins championships” and that was definitely the story four years ago, when the New York Giants upset Super Bowl betting odds to beat the New England Patriots. If they’re to do it again on Sunday (and for the second time this season), the Giants will need their defense to maintain their recent level of play, but the Patriots are one of the league’s best in terms of forcing turnovers.
New York’s defensive line has been the strength of their team over the last six weeks, and they’re so good that the Giants rarely have to blitz to get pressure on the quarterback. End Jason Pierre-Paul has been a monster all season and is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year, but he has been even better as of late because Justin Tuck, Chris Canty and Osi Umenyiora have been spectacular, especially Umenyiora, who has battled injury for most of the year. Don’t forget about tackle Linval Joseph, who does a great job of tying up offensive lineman.
The Patriots are anchored by Vince Wilfork in the middle, but they like to toy with their schemes and you never know if you’re going to get a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense. Former Jet Shaun Ellis has been surprisingly effective, while Mark Anderson has played better than anyone would have expected, although he isn’t as good in the run as Andre Carter, who tore his quadriceps in December and will obviously miss this game.
You have to give the Giants the edge here, and their front four could be the strongest unit on either team, on either side of the ball. There is talent across the line and you have to commit so many to block that it takes away options. The Patriots’ best bet will be to try and get the ground game going to slow down the pass rush, but that remains to be seen whether they can do it or not. The edge goes to the Giants.
New England’s linebackers are improving and the most important player in this unit is Brandon Spikes, who has shown glimpses of being a monster alongside Jerod Mayo, but he isn’t as consistent as he needs to be. Mayo is, by far, the leader of the defense and should be for a long time, and if Spikes can raise his game, Mayo could be even better. Rob Ninkovich has been solid on the outside, and the same goes for Tracy White, but the Patriots could do to improve this area; a dominant pass rush would take pressure off their secondary.
The Giants’ linebackers aren’t the key to their NFL betting odds by any means, but they’re afforded a lot of space because of how much attention the line gets. Michael Boley is very solid in the middle of the Giants’ 4-3, and he is flanked by Mathias Kiwanuka and Jacquian Williams, who has an ailing foot, but he’ll suit up for this game. Like the Patriots, the Giants don’t have a rush linebacker like Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware, for example, but they don’t need to with their front four being able to get into the backfield.
The nod here goes to the Patriots because of Mayo and Spikes, but they may have to send someone off the end to get into the backfield and in Eli Manning’s face. The Patriots will also have to shut down the run because the Giants are that much more dangerous when Manning has the option of using the play-action pass. The New York linebackers aren’t far behind, but the New England unit is a little better.
Here is where it gets tricky because for most of the season, neither team could defend anyone in the secondary. Starting with the Patriots, who had receiver Julian Edelman lining up against Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin in the AFC title game and that tells you what kind of state they’re in. Corners Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty have regressed this season, and the Patriots have even taken to putting McCourty back at free safety. Patrick Chung has been injured a lot this season, but he has the potential to be a game-changer if he can stay on the field. The keys to this unit for New England could be corner Sterling Moore, who was released and then brought back into the fold, and safety James Ihedigbo, who was fifth on the team in tackles.
The Giants have a big edge in talent, but good NFL betting players know that talent can’t do it all. Corey Webster had a solid year at one corner, but rookie Prince Amukamara was injured and Aaron Ross…you just get the feeling he should be better than he is. Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle, who led the team in tackles, are the last line of defense and at 25 years old, Phillips has a lot of potential that has yet to be tapped. The Giants also have a little more depth than the Patriots; of course that’s easy to say as they don’t have receivers playing in their secondary.That is why a slight edge goes to the Giants at the back, although it really should be more. New York also has to figure out a way to deal with the Patriots’ tight ends….will they go after them with linebackers or defensive backs? That could be the dealbreaker when it comes to making an online betting pick on Sunday.