5* Super Bowl XLIII BOMB on Arizona Cardinals +7
Arizona has proven to be more than just a good offense in these playoffs as the defensive side of the ball deserves just as much credit for getting it here. It is the defense stepping up that has gotten the Cards past three of the best offenses in the NFC. Too much Steelers history and experience has been figured into this line as their offense has not played well enough to deserve laying this many points. If Arizona was going to finally ï¿½come back down to earthï¿½, it would have done so in one of its three playoff games. The Cardinals are legit and they are confident behind their leader and former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner. Cards head man Ken Whisenhunt is very familiar with the Steelers personnel and schemes. This was apparent last season when the Cards defeated Pittsburgh 21-14. I expect this game to be very similar to that one. Pitt may hold the Cards down for a while, but when itï¿½s all said and done, Arizona just has too many offensive weapons to account for. Iï¿½ve said this before and Iï¿½ll say it again, Warner is the best in the game at getting rid of the football quickly and accurately when faced with pressure. He reminds me of Dan Marino in that regard. Warner proved he could get the job done against a Philly defense which held the Steelers to 6 points this season and heï¿½ll be able to get it done against the Steelers too. Pittsburgh does not have a big play offense and that puts it at a serious disadvantage if it gets behind. If Pitt gets a lead, it always plays conservatively so I like these 7 points regardless. Letï¿½s go to the numbers: Arizona is 14-3 ATS versus excellent defensive teams – allowing <=260 yards/game since 1992, and 20-7 ATS when playing against a top-level team (Win Pct. > 75%) since 1992, only losing by 2.2 ppg on average in this situation. Arizona is also 9-1 ATS after playing a game where 50 total points or more were scored this season. Arizona has covered the spread in 4 straight games. Including their first round game, when they opened as an underdog before the line moved, the Cards are 3-0 SU and ATS as a dog in these playoffs. Iï¿½ll take the points here!