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Andrea Calo 27th Jan 2009 - 12:22

Super Bowl betting upset on the Cards?

Pittsburgh Steelers are odds on favourites to win Super Bowl XLIII but there may be value in betting on the Arizona Cardinals to upset the odds in a low-scoring climax to the NFL season.

The Cards have exceeded all expectations in reaching the 2009 Super Bowl, which is being shown live on BBC1 from 23.20 this Sunday, 1 February, and the bookies on the Vegas strip are giving them a seven-point start in the handicap betting – a spread that is repeated here with William Hill.

And in a game that should be dominated by miserly defences, Arizona look a good bet to beat the handicap at odds of 20/23, even if they don’t beat the Steelers.

But whichever team wins, I can’t see there being a lot in it – so betting on less than 46.5 points at 10/11 looks like the best bet of the day for my money.

Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt spent three years as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator so should know the Steelers players – if not plays – inside out, and can set his defence up to nullify their threat.

Bet on Warner for MVP
With points at a premium, the Most Valuable Player award is likely to go to a quarterback – it usually does – and the pre-match attention will focus on Arizona’s Kurt Warner.

The 37-year-old from Burlington, Iowa, is the leading QB in the NFL this season and already owns a Super Bowl ring after he led the St Louis Rams to victory in 2000. Injuries derailed his career not long after, and a Cardinals win will complete an unlikely comeback. There’s talk of him being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and should the Cards be successful he’s almost certain to be named MVP at 11/4.

These don’t look the best odds until you consider that Arizona are 21/10 to win the Super Bowl themselves – and the way I see it, it’s virtually the same bet unless a receiver runs in three touchdowns or something. Given that I call this as a battle of defences, I think that’s unlikely.

But if you want a betting tip with slightly longer odds, rookie running-back Tim Hightower looks a decent shout at 25/1 in William Hill’s Super Bowl betting.


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