Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl Preview

I thought I would give a detailed preview of the way I look at games since I only have to focus on one game. As a reminder I went 8-2 over the playoffs so far.

Predicted Results

This is the easiest thing to explain. I take the over/under (46.5) and the spread (6.5). I divide both these numbers by two and that gives us a number for what Vegas expects the Steelers and the Cardinals to score. This math shows the Steelers at 26.5 and the Cardinals at 20.

Steelers Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
The next step is to compare an offense versus a defense. I decided to pick the Steelers offense first. The Steelers average 22.5 points a game over the 2008 season (including playoffs). The last three games they have scored 29.7 points game. Since its a neutral game we won't look at the home/away split. The Steelers are obviously peaking at the right time but its with an offense that is below average. This tells me that they are scoring with help from their defense, whether its actual turnovers or field position. Don't forget the punt return for a touchdown that helped them. The Cardinals have been allowing 25.7 points a game over the season and 20.7 points over the last three games. Another team that is peaking and playing thier best football. The offenses the Cardinals played were: Falcons, Panthers and Eagles. These are good offenses but no one in the top 10. If you look at the Steelers, they have put up close to 30 points against a number of defenses. Really struggling against the Titans and Ravens the last two months. I see the Steelers scoring 30 points. Steelers 30

Cardinals Offense vs. Steelers Defense
The Cardinals have averaged 27.5 points a game over the season and 31.7 over the last three. The Cardinals have a top 10 passing offense and a horrible running attack. The problem is that passing attack needs good weather and they have played much better in a dome than on grass. The Steelers have a top defense allowing 14.5 points a game and 12.7 points over their last three games. The number of the top offenses the Steelers have played are minimal. They played the Chargers twice, the Colts and the Giants. All of these offenses score over 20 points, expect for the Chargers first game when they were struggling. I find it hard to believe that the Cardinals will score less than 20 points. Cardinals 21

Final Thoughts
As the easy math can tell you, I like the Steelers winning by nine points. I think the easier bet is the over, because I see Warner throwing 40 times this game and that will create both offensive and defensive scores.

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