By Sunday afternoon, everyone and their mother is going to give you a prediction on the Super Bowl, and most of those predictions will have two numbers in mind, 12 and 54. So, when a buddy of mine asked me to check out the proposition card for him, I told him some that I thought were nice. I will share them with you.
Prop bets are the ones that say something like “Will there be any score in the first six minutes of the game,” or “the over/under for total field goals made in the game in 3 ½.” There are a million of these puppies. You can bet whether or not there will be safety, if Eli Manning’s first pass will be intercepted, or even which team will win the coin flip.
Anyway, I’ve found three props that I like.
Kevin Boss to have over 2 receptions: He’s no Shockey, but he’s capable. Personally, I don’t see the Giants taking a large number of shots down the field, at least early. I don’t think they’ve be ultra conservative, but I see them playing a smart, ball controlled offense. These offenses always use the tight ends. Also, if you are the Patriots, you can’t focus on everything. You know the Giants will run the ball. You know that they are going to try to get Plaxico involved. On the list of defensive game planning, stopping Kevin Boss can’t be very high. I think he’ll get two receptions in one drive, let alone for the game, and if he does that, you’ve at least got your push. I expect him to get three or four grabs before it’s all over. So far in the three playoff games his receptions totals are 1,1 and 2, so this would have to be his biggest game yet. I think it will. I’m not expecting a Max MaGee show, but I think Boss will get more than two receptions.
Steve Smith to have a reception of over 13 ½ yards: I like this kid. I think he can play. And again, assuming that the focus of the Pats defensive world is Plaxico, somebody else is going to get chances to make plays, especially if the Giants are behind late and have to throw all the time. This kid will be working the middle of the field as the third receiver. He might grab a meaningless seventeen yarder in the fourth quarter. And if the Giants are still close when the games gets late, they must have had somebody make some plays, unless you believe that the Pats aren’t going to score much. And even though I said that I don’t think it’s in the gameplan for the Giants to be overly aggressive, Eli will still complete at least four or five passes of over fifteen yards. Are Plax and Toomer going to get all of them? I don’t think so.
Ahmad Bradshaw over 10 rushing attempts: Have you seen how many fourth quarter carries this guy is getting in the playoffs? Coughlin obviously believes in his talents, but more importantly, trusts him to take care of the football. As I said, I think the Giants are going to run the football in order to shorten the game and keep Brady on the bench. Remember, this is Coughlin’s first Super Bowl. I don’t expect his team to be overly aggressive. Expect a Jacobs/Bradshaw rotation with both guys getting their touches. In his three playoff games, Bradshaw has gotten 17, 6 and 16 carries respectively. Now, all you need is for him to get 11.
Now this pick could go wrong in many ways. One would be if the Pats jump out to a huge lead, and the Giants have to give up on the run game. Another would be if Bradshaw puts the ball on the ground and finds himself in the doghouse. A third would be if the Pats decide to put eight men in the box, eliminating the running game, and putting all the pressure on Eli. I don’t see this happening, not with the way that the young Manning has been playing, but it is possible. Remember, the Pats have been giving up yardage. The Chargers put up four scoring drives in their losing effort. The Pats didn’t stop them from moving the ball, they stopped them in the red zone. They have to be feeling good about their bend but don’t break style. I can’t believe they would change that now.
All positive picks for the Giants. Does that mean that I like them to win, or even keep it close? I don’t know. After listening to “experts” for two weeks, you would think that the Patriots might score 100. I just think the Giants are playing well offensively, and will play at least pretty well offensively tomorrow. The question is, can their defense keep the Pats mortal. If they can, I think Eli and the boys will make it interesting.
Good luck, and enjoy the game.