Teams Still In It

Giant Upset?

Since the TV networks have every single stat associated with the 2007-08 Giants and Patriots covered, I thought it might be fun to take a step back and look at some historical Super Bowl stuff. This is all done with one thing in mind... what are the odds we'll see a good, close game on Sunday and, better yet, what are the odds the Giants can pull off the upset? Here are a few facts, you decide if they're fun:

* The favorite has won the Super Bowl 29 out of 41 times. * The favorite has covered the spread 22 out of 41 times. Before the Colts' 29-17 win over Chicago last year, the favorite had failed to cover the Super Bowl spread five times in a row. * The Patriots have won three of the last six Super Bowls, and each of those three wins has come by exactly three points. * New England entered Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX as 7-point favorites and did not cover the spread. Conversely, the Patriots entered Super Bowl XXXVI as 14-point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams and pulled out the win, easily covering the spread. New England has two losses in the big game: Super Bowl XX to the '85 Chicago Bears and Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers. * The Giants are 2-1 in the Super Bowl, having won with QB Phil Simms against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI and QB Jeff Hostetler against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV (with the infamous Scott Norwood field goal miss as time expired sending the Bills to their first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses). The Giants were 7-point underdogs in Super Bowl XXV. The Giants, with Kerry Collins at QB, lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV. * The last time the Super Bowl (30) was held in Arizona, the Dallas Cowboys failed to cover their 13.5-point spread against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Super Bowl XLII Breakdown

New York Giants (13-6) vs. New England Patriots (18-0) Sunday, Feb. 3, 4:18 p.m. MST Line: New England -12 Prediction: New England 28, New York 17 The line opened up at 14 and has moved down to 12, and even 11 with some books, so the Giants are getting some heavy betting action. The Giants nearly ended New England's perfect season in Week 17 and since then have only gotten better. Some of the betting movement is surely a result of how well New York plays away from home. The Giants have run off an incredible 10 straight wins away from the Meadowlands, including one in Europe. That being said, New England has turned itself into a dynasty, and no one would argue that this isn't the best Pats team ever. As outlined below, when you look at it at face value, shouldn't the 2007-08 Patriots, perhaps the best NFL team ever, be more than a 12-point favorite, considering how many teams entered the Super Bowl as even heavier favorites?

No Respect

The Patriots' hefty line of -12 ranks them only in a tie for eighth all-time for the largest point spread in a Super Bowl. Following are the nine other Super Bowls that included a team favored by 12 or more points, with final scores in parentheses. Just to save you some time: only four of the nine teams covered the spread.

1. San Francisco -18 vs. San Diego, Super Bowl XXIX, (San Francisco 49, San Diego 26), spread covered 2. Baltimore -17 vs. New York Jets, Super Bowl III, (Jets 16-7), spread not covered 3. Green Bay -14 vs. Kansas City, Super Bowl I, (Green Bay 35-10), spread covered 4. Green Bay -14 vs. New England, Super Bowl XXXI (Green Bay 35-21), spread not covered 5. St. Louis -14 vs. New England, Super Bowl XXXVI (New England 20, St. Louis 17), spread not covered 6. Dallas -13.5 vs. Pittsburgh, Super Bowl XXX, (Dallas 27-17), spread not covered 7. Green Bay -13 vs. Oakland, Super Bowl II, (Green Bay 33-14), spread covered 8. Green Bay -12 vs. Denver, Super Bowl XXXII, (Denver 31-24), spread not covered 9. San Francisco -12 vs. Denver, Super Bowl XXIV, (San Francisco 55-10), spread covered


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Brian Bujdos