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Super Bowl 43 Preview: Steelers Betting Angle

Super Bowl XLIII – Steelers Preview

At least Cowher did Tomlin a favor by filling up the Championship hand of Pittsburgh with “one for the thumb.” Now Tomlin has a fresh hand to build his own legacy, and it could start as soon as February 1st, when the Steelers and Cardinals throw the gauntlet down in Tampa Bay for Super Bowl XLIII.Tomlin inherited a Championship caliber team from Cowher, and now has the chance to prove that he can pull a Gruden and lead the Steelers to their sixth championship.

The question is if this game is really as easy to call as you think it is. The Line for the game has moved a half-point since it opened, meaning that most betting degenerates have already made up their mind on this game. But don’t ignore some important truths when betting on the Super Bowl. When a game is an “easy call”, then it’s never as simple as it seems.

Hines In The Injury Ward

The last game against the Ravens proved one thing about the Steelers – they are as resilient and diligent as any hard nosed knuckle fighter dominating the alleyways. That means a lot in the NFL betting community, especially with the big-game pressure of the Super Bowl. It also means something else…

…that they’ve been beaten up for the last month.

Troy Polamalu, despite clinching the game winning touchdown off a Joe Flacco pick-six, is still nursing a calf injury. Could that cause the game breaking safety to limp in to Super Bowl XLIII? Polamalu is a warrior, but an injured calf could slow him down. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s a menacing force, and a ball hawk in his own right, but any lower body injury will count. Polamalu is too important to Pittsburgh’s top ranked defense to be limited in any form.

The more championship threatening injury, however, belongs to Hines Ward, the Steelers’ Super Bowl MVP from a few year back. Super Bowl BettingWard accumulated 1,043 receiving yards on 81 receptions and seven touchdowns. He has some of the most reliable hands in the league and is a favorite target over the middle for Big Ben. Without Ward, the Steelers are without their most reliable scoring threat. I’d be hesitant to bet on the Steelers until I know the extent of Ward’s MCL sprain.

The Long Road To Super Bowl XLIII…

…takes its toll. And the road for the Steelers has been a brutal path of pain and destruction. Their last five opponents have included two games against Baltimore’s defense, one against Tennessee, where they got blasted, and two games against the Chargers and Browns. The AFC Champion Steelers are battered and bruised, and while the last two teams I mentioned may not invoke fear in to your heart, the other two teams should. Pittsburgh may be the top ranked defense in the league, allowing just 13.9 points per game, but that’s a product of their own method. They play smash-mouth football, and after 20 long weeks of football, they walk in to Super Bowl XLIII as a tired and battered team.

The Inside Track

Ken Wisenhunt built the offense that the Steelers are so proud of. Russ Grimm coached the offensive line that protects Ben Roethlisberger. Both are in a prime spot to give the Gruden treatment to Pittsburgh. The defense in Arizona is better than you think, allowing just 150 total rushing yards against in the last three games and holding teams to an average of 20.7 points per game. Knowing the nuances of the offensive line that protects Big Ben is more important than you want to believe. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Oakland Raiders how easy it is to play against your former coach.

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