Martin’s 2009 Super Bowl Picks

5 Unit Super Bowl XLIII No-Doubt ATS Rout on Arizona +7

I cannot believe the Cardinals are getting a touchdown against the Steelers Sunday.  Yes, Pittsburgh has the best defense in the league, but they haven’t faced many offenses like the one Arizona will put on the field Sunday.  The Cardinals are hitting on all cylinders right now, and Larry Fitzgerald has been virtually unstoppable on the outside.  But the key is that Arizona has found their running game, which has forced their opponents to stay home and defend it.  Arizona has rushed for 111, 86, 145 and 102 yards in their last 4 games.  Edgerrin James has been revived, and his fellow running backs like Tim Hightower have followed his lead.  Pittsburgh will at least have to respect the run Sunday, which will once again open up big plays in the passing game.  This was the case in the NFC Championship against the Eagles as Arizona’s Kurt Warner threw 4 TD Passes, including 3 to Fitzgerald alone.  Fitzgerald will be double-teamed most of the game Sunday, but he’s not their only weapon.  This opens up the door for Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston to make plays.  Boldin comes into this game frustrated and hungry to make amends for what happened last week.  Look for him to have a huge game and become a key difference-maker over the middle.  Arizona has scored 30 or more points in 4 straight games.  This offense cannot be stopped right now, and not even Pittsburgh’s defense will be able to slow them down.  The Steelers rely on the blitz, but Kurt Warner has been killing every team that tries to blitz him.  He’s making veteran, smart decisions and getting the ball out quickly.  He is one of the best in the league at reading the blitz and throwing the ball where the blitz came from to find openings.  Having 3 of the best receivers in the league has certainly helped matters, and Pittsburgh has not faced a trio as dangerous as Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston.  I also feel that Arizona’s defense has been taking their criticism personal.  This unit has stepped up to the plate, led by veteran Safety Adrian Wilson who is the longest tenured Cardinal left on the team.  Wilson is one of the best run-stoppers in the league, and the Cardinals have allowed less than 100 yards rushing in each of their last 4 games.  Pittsburgh won’t break the 100-mark on the ground Sunday, as Willie Parker and company are held in check.  It will be on Big Ben’s shoulders to try and win this game, and in his last Super Bowl appearance he had the worst rating of any winning Super Bowl QB in the history of the game.  Roethlisberger was fortunate enough to have a running game and a defense carry the load, but he won’t be so fortunate Sunday.  WR Heinz Ward is banged up, and the Steelers’ offensive line has not performed that well all season.  Pittsburgh has been winning games with their defense, but they cannot stop a hot Arizona Cardinals’ offense Sunday that will put up 30 or more points for a 5th consecutive game.  Pittsburgh will be playing catch-up from the git-go, which is a spot they are very unfamiliar with.  Arizona is 14-3 (82%) ATS in their last 17 games versus excellent defensive teams that allow less than 260 yards/game.  Arizona thrives against the best defensive teams in the league, as you can see by this trend.  Cash in with the Cardinals as the underdog.