Widow’s 2009 Super Bowl Picks

6* Widow Wiseguy Super Bowl XLIII Side

The Arizona Cardinals have been the surprise team in the league to this point by winning 3 straight games as an underdog to reach the Super Bowl.  Now they find themselves in the underdog role again in the Super Bowl, and they will be using this to their advantage.  Everyone counted this team out after embarrassing losses to the Vikings and Patriots in back-to-back weeks late in the regular season.  But those losses really woke up this team, and Arizona is now more focused than they’ve been all season.  They are also believing they can win, led by veteran QB Kurt Warner who is making his 3rd Super Bowl appearance.  Warner has instilled confidence in this team that they can overcome all odds.  Just last week, the Cardinals blew a big lead, falling behind Philly 24-25 late in the 4th quarter.  Most expected Arizona to fold, but Warner simply put the team on his back and put together the team’s best drive of the season.  Arizona won that game 32-25 after scoring the go-ahead TD in the final minutes.  We feel that drive is what will carry the Cardinals into a Super Bowl win Sunday.  Arizona can now look back on that drive and say that they’ve been here before, and they will not be nervous in this game because of it.  The Cardinals have a huge edge because of former Steelers’ coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm.  These guys helped the Steelers win a Super Bowl a few years back, and Pittsburgh’s personnel and schemes have not changed much since they left.  So they’ll have the psychological advantage heading in, as they coach their players how to score against this defense, and how to stop it.  Arizona has given up just 60, 75 and 97 rushing yards in their first 3 playoff games.  The Cardinals have proven they can stop the run, and their ability to stop the Steelers’ running game will lead them to victory.  Ben Roethlisberger has not been asked to make too many plays all season, but he’ll have to try and make more plays in the Super Bowl as the Cardinals’ shut down the run.  Roethlisberger has thrown 15 interceptions on the season to just 19 touchdowns.  He really hasn’t been efficient, but he’s gotten away with it because Pittsburgh has the best defense in the league.  But he won’t get away with it Sunday, as Arizona is the best offense the Steelers have faced in quite a while.  Arizona has now scored 30 or more points in 4 straight games, and they have all come against solid defenses.  Arizona won’t miss a beat Sunday as they pick up the blitzes the Steelers throw at ‘em, and Kurt Warner continues to make great, quick decisions to beat these blitzes as he’s done throughout the playoffs.  This same Cardinals team beat the Steelers 21-14 last season, and they have that game to reflect on to only add to their confidence heading in.  Arizona is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) after a playing a game where 50 total points or more were scored this season.  You will be surprised by how this Arizona offense makes this Steelers’ defense look more mediocre than they have all season.  The Cardinals will not be denied of a Super Bowl title Sunday as they cap off  the most remarkable season in franchise history.  Take Arizona and the points.

5* Wiseguy Super Bowl XLIII Total on O 46.5

With Arizona winning Sunday, this will be one of the highest-scoring Super Bowls in recent memory.  Pittsburgh will be forced to get away from their game plan after falling behind early, and they’ll start throwing the ball more often then they are accustomed to.  Arizona will continue piling on the points just as they did against the Eagles last week.  The Cardinals will yield some TD’s, but they will also force turnovers from Big Ben that will lead to easy scores for themselves in the second half.  Look for Big Ben to throw 2 or 3 interceptions in this contest.  Considering he has 19 Touchdowns and 15 Interceptions on the season, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  He basically throws 1 TD to every 1 INT.  With Arizona jumping out in front early, Big Ben will make his fair share of mistakes in this Super Bowl just as he did in a terrible performance in his last Super Bowl appearance against the Seahawks.  Arizona is 8-1 OVER (+6.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.  Pittsburgh is 8-1 OVER (+6.9 Units) versus poor rushing teams – averaging <=3.5 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons.  Arizona is 9-1 OVER (+7.9 Units) vs. good passing defenses – allowing 5.7 or less passing yards/att. over the last 3 seasons.  Arizona is 8-0 OVER (+8.0 Units) off a upset win as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.  The Cardinals are 9-1 OVER (+7.9 Units) after scoring 25 points or more in 3 straight games since 1992.  When this Arizona offense gets going, they are tough to tame as indicated by this last trend which shows that they are 9-1 OVER after scoring 25 or more points in 3 straight games.  Well they have scored 30 or more points in 4 straight games, and you can chalk up a 5th straight 30-point performance before this game even starts Sunday.  Take the OVER 46.5 points.