Super Bowl 46 Giants-Patriots Pick: Giants Take Two, Best Prop Bets
This is my 4th Giants Super Bowl. The first came I was three in 1991; my parents apparently decided to breakup midway through the 2nd quarter, when Bruce Smith sacked Giants backup QB Jeff Hostetler for a safety. But all I remember is a flash of my dad, red-faced and delirious, cheering in the streets after Norwood’s WIDE RIGHT kick to seal a 20-19 victory. I had no idea why he was dancing and whooping, but I felt happy for him.
2001: The Giants didn’t make the Super Bowl again for a decade, by which time I was 13-ars-old with a buzzed head. I resembled a short, lumpy snowman, just waiting for puberty to come to melt off the rolls and give me a bigger carrot stick. The Giants had rode Kerry Collins’ resurrection and Tiki Barber’s pre-douchebag emergence to the Big Game and faced the Ravens’ legendary 2000 D, which was especially terrifying since Ray Lewis was still openly killing people. I’d skip school the week before the game to listen to Mike and the Mad Dog drool over the Giants chances on the radio, after they’d trounced the high-powered Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship Game. I knew that the Giants Super Bowl run was my single respite in a hellish middle school marathon, and I milked it for all its worth, making sure that the game occupied my attention at all times. When classmates who hadn’t sat through the past 7 years of utter mediocrity started becoming bandwagon fans before the big game, I publicly mocked their last of knowledge. Can you even name 1 starter on the Giants offensive line? The Giants lost 34-10, it was never close, and I started devising a plan to start a new life as a stow away on John Madden’s bus.
2008: I was in a sophomore in college, Editor of the school newspaper, leader of the ultimate Frisbee team, and threw weekly parties in a big party house in campus. I knew almost everyone. If you were starring in a college comedy that took place at Sarah Lawrence, I was involved in the plot in a fringe capacity. It was a joyous time for everyone but my liver. I was very happy. I threw a Super Bowl Party. After the living room big screen broke in the 1st quarter, the 13 other heterosexual males at Sarah Lawrence packed into my big bedroom to watch on my flatscreen. Right before the Tyree catch, I started passing a 1.75 L handle of Goldshlager around the room, after the Tyree catch, I made everyone keep passing around and drinking from the bottle until I chugged the last drops as the clock hit 0:00. Delirious, absolutely delirious, I took to the streets screaming and, for once, understood my dad. It might not have felt as good as falling in love with my college girlfriend, Hadley, but it was damn close, and I knew that my first true Giants Championship could never be tainted in the way that a first love could. I would have this completely and totally, forever.
2012: Like the 2011-2012 Giants, it never seemed like my Manhattan life would never be anything but a rollercoaster of triumph and sloppy mistakes. In 2012, it came together swiftly, and so did this crazy team.. By the morning of Xmas Eve, after watching Paul Pierre and Manning drag the team’s lifeless corpse to a 7-7 record, all you could say was, “Well, it’d still be fun for them to make the playoffs.” And suddenly, starting that day against Jets, everything clicked again. You could even see it on the sidelines, where players would bob their heads in that cocky, focused 2008 way. After 5 sudden death games, we face the Patriots again. We would have had a better chance against Joe Flacco and the Ravens, but Giants-Patriots is the game Giants fans—and everyone else—wanted. You know my pick already, but let’s do this thing:
Giants (+3) over PATRIOTS
The sheer number of people picking the Giants terrifies me, but I also think that Vegas made a big mistake opening at 3.5 and it should have opened at 2. If you consider Brady and Eli a wash based on how they’re playing right now, the Patriots don’t have very good reasons to be favored in this game.
It’s just the matchups. (And the fact that the Patriots defense is awful.) Consider:
Besides for Vince Wilfork, who’s playing out of his mind, the Patriots can’t generate any pressure. That means that they’ll need to blitz if they want to see the Eli Manning face, leaving some of the following matchups in single coverage:
-Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham against Sterling Moore/Devin McCourty on the outside. McCourty has been a disaster in coverage this year. Usually sophomore years this disastrous involve a coke addiction with a too few many MDMA nights sprinkled in. Moore was cut from the Raiders practice squad earlier this year. Manningham and Nicks—especially Nicks—are scary out wide. This has to worry Pats fans.
-Julian Edelman vs. Victor Cruz in the slot. Anquan Boldin bitched Edelman in the AFC Championship game. Do you think that Edelman is going to be able to jam Cruz’ salsa moves at the line? You think he’s going to be able to stay with him through a double-move up the seam? Good fucking luck.
And when those guys slip up, who the fuck is playing safety for the Patriots? Patrick Chung? C’mon. Belichick is an amazing game planner, but how the fuck do you game plan when you’re losing every matchup on the field? Even Giants TEs Jake Ballard and Travis Beckham are potential matchup problems.
Do the Patriots have matchup advantages? They do, but those advantages were much bigger when Gronkowski was healthy. Gronk will play, but there’s no way he’ll be effective—it’s just not an injury you can recover from in 2 weeks. That leaves Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez as the Patriots biggest threats. The Giants will chip both Hernandez and Welker with Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka at the line, with physical safeties Deion Grant and Antrel Rolle waiting to get a 2nd shot in and cover them downfield, with Kenny Phillips providing help over the top.
The Patriots won’t have much success throwing at Corey Webster, so they’ll pick on Aaron Ross, who usually gets harassed like he’s a middle schooler named Gaylord Bieber. But who the hell do the Pats have to beat him? Maybe Deion Grant could have a big day against Ross, but he’ll find himself matched up against Webster at least half the time. Don’t get me wrong: the Patriots are going to score points. But if the Giants pass rush shows up—which they should—their secondary isn’t going to have a ton of problems. Each team will be able to run the ball with moderate success against nickel packages. There’s only one pick I can make here, so let’s fucking do it.
Giants 37-Patriots 28
Now, for the really fun part: prop bets! Here are some sweet ones that I’ve already bet on or will soon:
Eli (3-2) and Brady (1-1) have such shitty odds that you should just bet the money line instead. Here are some good long shots:
The Entire Giants Nascar Unit: Kiwi (300-1), Osi (100-1), Tuck (90-1), JPP (35-1). 3 sacks and 1 or 2 huge forced turnovers could get a pass rusher the MVP.
Also Vince Wilfork (66-1) who’s playing out of his mind right now.
Hakeem Nicks (15-1) could demolish Moore and McCourty so badly (200+ yards, 3 scores) that he gets it over Eli. But it’d have to be a dominant performance.
Deion Branch (30-1) because he’s done it before and because Aaron Ross might have a total mental breakdown any game now.
Eli Manning 381-400 passing yards (10-1). Gut feeling.
Tom Brady 361-380 passing yards (10-1). He’ll be throwing a lot on a fast turf.
Jake Ballard (12-1) and Mario Manningham (12-1) will have favorable matchups while the Pats concentrate on shutting down Cruz and Nicks.
Any other player (10-1) allows for some wacky special teams/defensive revelry.
Will Peyton Manning Play in the WEEK 1 of 2012-13 NFL Season with any NFL team?
Yes (-140). Let’s stop the chatter, he’s fucking coming back.
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