Eli to spark Giant party
Super Bowl XLVI - 23:30 - live on Sky Sports 1 and BBC 1
New England Patriots (8/11) v New York Giants (6/5)
There is an awesome spectacle in store as two of the NFL's elite quarterbacks go head-to-head and provide the perfect ending to an NFL season that started in such turmoil. If the old saying of "offense wins games but defence wins championships" rings true then come Sunday night there will be a 2nd Super Bowl party in 4 years in New York. The Giants have by far the better defence, as well as a multidimensional offence, that will lead them to glory in Indianapolis.
The New York Giants are 3 point outsiders on the spread (5/6, Patriots -3 @ Evs) but when they stopped the Patriots from completing a perfect season back in 2008 they were a massive 17 point outsiders but superstar quarterback Eli Manning led his team superbly to a fourth quarter comeback and claimed the MVP honours and a repeat of both is entirely probable.
The formula that the Giants will follow will be the exact same as it was four years ago - get at Brady. In Super Bowl XLII the Giants managed to bang Brady up enough to turn the game in their favour and with the Giants defence looking so mightily impressive in this Super Bowl run it is most likely he will get sacked a fair few times. Either team to register 7+ sacks is at 10/1 and a good value bet the way the Giants defence is buzzing.
The Giants know how to win on the road having done so several times in this Super Bowl run and Eli Manning holds the NFL record for playoff road wins. Manning will no doubt have had some discussions with his big brother (Colts Peyton Manning) as he prepares to lead the Giants in the house that Peyton built. The Giants like to throw the ball and the receiving corps of Victor Cruz (8/1 first TD), Ahmad Bradshaw (9/1 first TD) and Hakeem Nicks (9/1 first TD) there is plenty of talent for Eli to aim at, looking at some of our specials the pick of the bets would be Victor Cruz - longest reception of over 30.5 yards @ 10/11.
The Giants got the better of the Pats in the regular season following a dominating performance from the defence they won 24-20 in Foxborough and were full value for that victory. If Eli can produce the kind of performance he has been doing then they look great value for the victory. His total completions is over 24.5 @ 10/11 (under also 10/11) and his total yards is over 308.5 @ 10/11 (under also 10/11) and if he can find his arm early his receivers will help him smash both of those.
The Patriots head into this as slight favourite and certainly have the Super Bowl pedigree to make the most of the opportunity to land a fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. Tom Brady has been the main man for the Pats in all of those however he will have to up his game massively from the below par performance when he choked against the Ravens. On his day he is simply unstoppable (as shown in the demolition of the Broncos) but against the Giants defence I see him struggling and under 316.5 passing yards looks a bet @ 10/11 (under also 10/11).
The Patriots offence is a one weapon machine and their running game isn't up to much, the Giants rushing would appear better despite it averaging less yards during the season. Brady will have to pass quickly before the Giants defence has time to get to him so our "Brady bunch" special of him throwing to 7 or more receivers looks a decent bet at 11/8. He has plenty of targets including Rob Gronkowski, who set a regular season record of touchdown by a tight end; he is 6/1 first and 1/2 anytime and the most likely of the Patriots to make it into the end zone.
With two elite Quarterbacks there is scope for there to be lots of points however the under 54 on offer @ 10/11 would be the pick as I'd expect a nervy affair with a few interceptions and fumbles resulting in a low total. The MVP award should come down to a straight scrap between Tom Brady @ 6/5 and Eli Manning @ 7/4 - both have previous Super Bowl MVP titles to their name and in recent seasons the winning quarterback has scooped the award. It would take a game of mammoth proportions to wrestle the trophy from either of these.
In my view the Giants will be winning the Super Bowl as Eli Manning lands the MVP honours on his brother's patch. It should be a close affair as was the case in Super Bowl XLII and so the Giants to win by 1-6 points @ 4/1 would be the most likely outcome. Don't forget to have a good look through our extensive range of markets and specials to find the one that tickles your fancy. When the action start the betting won't stop as we will have a full In-Play selection to keep you interested the whole game through!
New York Giants @ 6/5
Under 54 points @ 10/11
'Brady Bunch' special @ 11/8
Worth a Punt:
New York Giants by 1-6 points @ 7/2
Victor Cruz 1st TD @ 8/1
'Blackburn Rover' special - Chase Blackburn to have a tackle or assist in every quarter @ 9/2