While media week has been dominated by the Maurkice Pouncey story and the weather situation in Dallas, the entire playoffs have been about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, while the Steelers have quietly shut up the rest of the AFC. But while Pitt and GB have garnered different levels of attention over the last few weeks, the way they’ve won games has been very similar: by scoring points, and lots of them.
The Packers have been near flawless this entire post season and have impressively disposed of the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears, with high offensive outputs against Philly and ATL. They’re comparable to the 2007 Giants with Rodgers’ accuracy and GB’s receivers, whilst their defense and ability to get to the opposing QB is amongst the best in the league. In both of Pitt’s games this playoffs, the number has gone over. They’re proving that they aren’t anything like the 2000 Ravens. GB’s defense will face a tough test this Sunday against a QB they haven’t faced all year.
Big Ben is a unique player. While Vick is the most elusive QB, Ben coaxes teams into thinking they have him sacked. They must game plan as normal but execute better, and execution is something that the coaches have no control of. Whether the likes of Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson, BJ Raji and AJ Hawk can take advantage of the opportunities they’ll have to sack Roethlisberger will be the key to the game. The Over opened up at 46 but was hammered down to 44.5 and should remain at 44 come game time.
Super Bowl Over Under:
Over 44.5 (-110) @ 5Dimes.com
Under 45.5 (-110) @ Bodog.com
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Steelers vs. Packers Prediction Over/Under Super Bowl Betting:
Initially the Super Bowl over/under line came out at 46. It’s since been moved down to 44 and now sits at 44.5 or 45 at most sportsbooks because of the amount of action that came in on the under, to even out where the money goes. It’s now too low in my opinion, and I don’t see how this game can stay under the number.
Both offenses score points, and the scare here will be that Pitt ends up choking offensively and Green Bay grind out a win much like 2 weeks ago against the Bears. But I don’t like looking at the Bears game as an indicator that the Pack can be slowed down, because Chicago play a different style than Pitt do and you can be sure Dick LeBeau isn’t going to change the way he calls plays in fear that Rodgers can have success. Rodgers isn’t used to seeing the Tampa 2 system that Chicago play, and that’s why the Bears defense has had success in slowing him down in the past. But Pitt’s defensive success has come on the back of LeBeau’s Zone Blitz schemes, something that Rodgers saw a lot of in a highly contesting game last year that the Packers scored 36 points. Rodgers’ advantage against the Zone Blitzes is his quick release and quick decision making. Without knowing where the pressure is coming from, Rodgers will have less time to get rid of the ball, and it helps when Green Bay lines up with 5 wide more than any team in the league. I don’t see Pitt’s defense being effective in stopping Rodgers; they’ll need to throw to keep pace.
And Roethlisberger has more weapons this year than he’s ever had. Mike Wallace is their number 1 receiver, with Hines Ward still playing at a hall of fame level. But Emmanual Sanders may be the key to the Steelers passing game. He’s blossomed into Ben’s new deep threat, and the pass he caught on 3rd and 24 versus the Ravens in the 4th quarter showed his ability to be a clutch receiver in big games. The Packers secondary is a bend but don’t break unit that takes advantage of turnovers. Ben will have chances to throw the ball, and he’s sure to have a better second half than first which will push the game over the number. Two great teams, two great QB’s, should make for a fantastic Super Bowl that points towards a high scoring and hotly contested match.
Super Bowl Over/Under Prediction = Over 44.5