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Free Superbowl Pick: Packers vs. Steelers Gambling Preview

Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free Superbowl Pick

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Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011
Venue: Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, TX
Broadcast: FOX
Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers Free Superbowl Pick – Betting Lines from BetUS.com
Money Line: Packers -130, Steelers +110
Spread: Packers -2.5
Over/Under: 44
Bet now @ BetUs.com!

Green Bay Packers (13-6 including 2010 playoffs)

It’s pretty amazing to see the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl bound considering where they were in mid-December. Back then, they were without quarterback Aaron Rodgers (concussion), fresh off a loss to the New England Patriots, 8-6 and all but eliminated from the playoffs.

But something clicked. Rodgers returned. And the Pack never looked back. In five consecutive weeks, they stormed through the Giants, Bears, Eagles, Falcons and Bears again. Super Bowl XLV will almost be like a sixth straight playoff game for Green Bay. They’re battle-hardened and it shows in their play.

As much as Aaron Rodgers has gotten the spotlight, especially after he tore apart the Falcons for 366 yards and three scores, every facet of the team has taken turns being the X-factor. James Starks came up huge in the backfield against the Eagles, setting a Packer rookie record with 123 yards; Rodgers and the passing game lit up Atlanta; and, last week, the Packer defense was stellar against Chicago after the offense dried up in the second half.

The pass rush has been in good hands all year thanks to Clay Matthews, who led the Pack to a single-season franchise record for team sacks. But the secondary has improved by leaps and bounds. Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have come up with some huge interceptions in the playoffs and elevated their play to emulate all-world corner Charles Woodson. B.J. Raji has also been a monster run-stuffer in these playoffs, reminiscent of Gilbert Brown in the 1990s.

Make no mistake: the Packers are the less experienced team in Super Bowl XLV but undoubtedly deserve to be there.

Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4 including 2010 playoffs)

Is there any quarterback/team combo that embodies “finding a way to win” better than Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers? The black and gold will vie for their third Lombardi Trophy in six years next Sunday – but the road to Dallas wasn’t an easy one.

The Steelers fell behind 21-7 to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff only to storm back and outscore them 24-3 en route to a victory. Last week, Big Ben completed 52.6 per cent of his passes for 133 yards, no scores, two picks and a 35.5 passer rating – and won.

No one remembers how bad Ben’s line was; people only remember the key play he made to clinch the game, scrambling and making a seemingly impossible throw to convert a third down.

Thanks to a phenomenal run defense, which was far and away the NFL’s best this season, a ballhawk like Troy Polamalu, a bruising running back like Rashard Mendenhall and a quarterback like Roethlisberger who shows amazing guts and athleticism, the Steelers simply know to win. They do it as well as anybody and their experience makes them a formidable opponent for the Pack.

The Free Superbowl Pick:

Interestingly enough, the Steelers’ win over the Jets can illustrate why I believe the Packers will win Super Bowl XLV. Like I said, Pittsburgh’s run defense was legendary this season, allowing 62.8 yards per game when no other defense allowed fewer than 90 yards. Their opponent, the Jets, defined their offense based on a power running game. When they struggled to find holes early, they got frustrated, abandoned the run and fell behind. Mark Sanchez played admirably but it was too little, too late.

The Steelers love to force teams to play their game – but the Packers aren’t likely to fall into that trap. They don’t need to try and run on Pittsburgh. The Pack didn’t have much of a running game all season, instead relying almost solely on Rodgers and their prolific passing attack. They’ll likely throw a ton on Pittsburgh, meaning they’ll attack the Steelers’ weakness, not their strength.

Pittsburgh has been beatable against the pass all year; look what Tom Brady did to them. Drew Brees, too. If Mark Sanchez can throw for two touchdowns with no picks against them, what will an elite signalcaller like Rodgers do?

Both teams may put a surprising number of points on the board – the Packers through the air, the Steelers through their running game – but I like the Packers’ aerial attack, superior pass defense, and ability to force turnovers to prevail.

Gambling Trends:

PIT are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 playoff games.
Over is 16-5 in PIT last 21 playoff games.

Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers free Superbowl pick: Packers 28, Steelers 20

Money Line: Packers -130
Spread: Packers -2.5
Over/Under: OVER 44

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