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Super Bowl Special Teams Odds – Special teams matchup a draw

Posted by Stan Simmons on 1/29/2010 8:16:56 AM

The Super Bowl odds will be a matchup of two of the best offenses in the NFL but don’t underestimate how special teams can factor. We’ve seen how a placekicker or a key punt return can affect the Super Bowl line and this year won’t be any different. Here’s a breakdown of the special teams matchup for Super Bowl XLIV:

Super Bowl Special Teams Odds: Saints returns versus Colts kicking
Saints have better return units
Colts placekicking, punting the stronger team
Reggie Bush will be the x-factor


Super Bowl Special Teams Odds: Placekicking
Online betting cappers know that when it comes to placekicking, the Colts have a huge edge. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley is a very inexperienced kicker with just 25 attempts in his entire career. Meanwhile, he’ll be going up against Matt Stover, who is a very steady, season veteran.

Stover is a former Pro Bowler and also won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. He’s been on this stage before and that’s a big plus. Saints fans will be nervous every time Hartley lines up to kick.

Edge: Colts

Super Bowl Special Teams Odds: Kickoff Returns
The Saints clearly have the better return units, especially on kickoffs. Courtney Roby is an underrated player and he can make a difference as he did in the NFC Championship Game. The Colts don’t really have anyone like that to tilt the field position on a kickoff return.

Sports betting cappers should be aware that the Saints ranked fifth in kickoff return average this year while the Colts were 18th.

Edge: Saints


Super Bowl Special Teams Odds: Punt Returns
On paper, the Colts actually have the higher ranking punt return unit as the Saints are ranked 31st in this category. But the Saints have one potential edge: Reggie Bush.

Neither team is really special in this area according to the numbers but the Saints have a huge weapon in Bush, if he gets the chance to return.

He had a huge impact in the division playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals and a big return against the Colts would help his team out in a big way. The Colts don’t have anyone of that caliber.

Edge: Saints


Super Bowl Special Teams Odds: Punting
The Saints punting unit actually has the better gross average in this category, which indicates that they have the better overall punt and coverage units, but the Colts have a small edge in a few sectors.

The Colts induced the third-most fair catches, which is very important with Bush on the other end of those punts, and the Colts are a little bit better with directional punting.

The Saints had just 19 punts land inside the 20, which is the second-fewest in the NFL. This is close but we’ll give the slight edge to Indy.

Edge: Colts


Overall:

The sportsbook odds makers may not be factoring special teams too much in the betting line but the Colts have a big edge in placekicking, which could be crucial in this game. The Saints do have the better return units but the Colts do well with punting and coverage, which really evens out the punting game.

Because of the placekicking edge, the Colts have the entire edge in special teams.

Overall Edge: Colts


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