Super Bowl Betting – Super Bowl XLIV Preview

Super Bowl Betting OddsThe Super Bowl betting odds are up for the big game, so here is a preview of Super Bowl XLIV:

Super Bowl XLIV – New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts

Sportsbetting.com Odds (Sportsbetting.com reviews): Colts -5.5

Super Bowl betting is at a fever pitch as the game is only a few days away. One of the things driving this year’s betting activity is that the teams that reigned as the best two in football made it to the big game. There is not underdog, no Cinderella (although the Saints could be considered a Cinderella story) and there are really no surprises. The one surprise we do find is that the Saints are so heavily favored to win.

To me this game was a pick ‘em until the super bowl betting x-factor reared its head. Your x-factor for the outcome of this game is Colts’ defensive end Dwight Freeney. If Freeney plays in Super Bowl XLIV, he will do so on a limited basis and he will not be effective at all. His bad ankle is causing him to wear a protective boot, and he risks long-term injury if he plays on Sunday. When the Colts play without Freeney the games become a shootout because Freeney is the Colts pass rush. This time the QB on the other end of that shoot out is Drew Brees.

On the Saints side of the ball, they are clicking on all cylinders. The Saints are checking in with no injuries leading in to the Super Bowl, and they looked very impressive in remaining resilient enough to fend off Brett Favre and the Vikings in the NFC Championship game. The Saints defense can be dicey and unpredictable, but their offense is lethal if left unchecked.

Comparing the numbers the Saints defense in the regular season had 35 sacks while the Colts had 34 with Dwight Freeney having 13.5 of those sacks. On special teams both the Colts and the Saints have a kick-off return for a TD while the Saints add a punt return TD to their side of the ledger. As you would expect from teams with such great QBs neither team had a rusher go for over 1,000 yards during the season, however Colts’ RB Joseph Addai poses a threat as he scored 10 rushing TDs in 2009. Both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning threw for over 4,000 yards and 30 TDs in 2009 as well.

This game comes down to intangibles. The Saints are new to this kind of spotlight while the Colts are old hands at being champions. Drew Brees is a great leader and precision quarterback, but there is a reason that Peyton Manning is the 2009 NFL MVP. Manning knows how to get the most out of his offensive line and his receivers, and Peyton Manning has proven that he knows how to win in almost every circumstance. However the absence of Dwight Freeney turns Super Bowl XLIV into a shoot out, and the Colts secondary was only able to pick up 16 interceptions this season. There will not be nearly the needed pressure on Drew Brees, and the Saints receivers will be running the Colts’ secondary ragged. Peyton Manning, on the other hand, will have the full fury of the Saints pass rush in his face and a secondary that snagged 26 interceptions this year. Peyton is a warrior and a hall of famer, but even he has his limits.

NFL Picks: Saints 35 - 24

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