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One team has made the most trips to the Super Bowl and has the most Superbowl betting triumphs. The other has the most titles in the history of the professional football. That's what we're going to get when we analyze the Super Bowl XLV odds in the clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Below you will find my anylasis and free Superbowl picks for 2011.
2011 Superbowl Matchup: Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, February 6th, 6:25 ET
Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Current Superbowl Spread: Green Bay -2.5
Over/Under (Total): 46
Packers Notes: At the start of the season, the Packers were considered the dark horse Superbowl picks, and though it wasn't the easiest road in the world to get there, they have gotten the job done and are well on their way to winning their fourth Super Bowl title. They are 3-1 all-time here in the Super Bowl, though two of those wins came way back in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. QB Brett Favre, the legendary future Hall of Famer, only took the Pack to two Super Bowls in his career, and he only won one of them, and it's amazing to think that QB Aaron Rodgers can basically duplicate Favre's production with just one more win. He's going to have to play a lot better than he did in the NFC Championship Game though, particularly in the second half. Rodgers only went 17-of-30 for 244 yards with two INTs on the day, but he also had 39 yards on the ground and a rushing score to boot. RB James Starks is going to be a real key to beat the Super Bowl XLV odds. After watching this rushing attack struggle all season long, Starks, a rookie, has chosen a great time to shine. He has at least 22 carries in all three postseason games, and he is the top rusher in the playoffs with 263 yards and a TD. The defense is going to be paramount as well. This unit has played some dynamite ball, holding teams to just 17.0 points per game in the playoffs and not allowing a single team to get beyond 20 points. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers has put together a unit that has done a great job getting after the passer in this postseason, accounting for 10 sacks. DB Tramon Williams has three picks in the playoffs, while DB Sam Shields has two INTs, both of which came in the NFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. DT BJ Raji has the sixth forced turnover of these three games for the Packers, who now have 30 total INTs between the regular season and the playoffs. Two of those picks in the postseason have come back for TDs that essentially sealed up games.
Steelers Notes: The Steelers are back in the Super Bowl once again for the third time in the last six seasons. Head Coach Mike Tomlin is the youngest man to ever bring a team to the Superbowl betting festivities for a second time, and he brings a team with a ton of experience to the table in Big D. QB Ben Roethlisberger would love to claim a third ring in his career, and he would be one of the rare signal callers that actually missed a handful of games in a season to claim Super Bowl glory. Big Ben hasn't really had great games thus far in the postseason, as he only has thrown for 359 yards and two TDs against two picks in his two appearances. Still, this unit has gotten to 55 points in the two games without any legitimate superstars. Do keep an eye on RB Rashard Mendenhall, who really had a bust out season this year with 1,273 yards and 13 scores. He had 121 yards on 27 carries against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game, and if he can have that type of production against one of the fiercest defenses that the league has to offer, he can certainly do a lot of great work against the Packers as well if given the chance. Defensively, Pittsburgh ranked No. 1 in the league this year in scoring at 14.5 points per game, and this 'D' knows that the offense and special teams have really set it back to put a lot of points on the board that probably didn't deserve to be there. The unit has forced four turnovers and accounted for seven sacks in just two games in the playoffs as well, and you can bet that two weeks to prepare for Rodgers and company is going to be a very welcome thing.
The Final Word: We know that the Packers are really the choice du jour for the Super Bowl, as they really blew through the rest of the NFC by storm this year. And yes, it's also true that when push came to shove, they beat the New York Jets on the road and nearly took out the New England Patriots on the road with a backup quarterback. However, Pittsburgh provides a significantly different type of challenge. The Steelers have been there and done that, and they have a ton of Super Bowl experience, whereas there are only two players on the Packers that have ever played in this big game. It should be a great duel, but in the end, the black and gold will reign supreme and pick up their seventh title by beating the Super Bowl XLV lines.
Free Superbowl Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5
Super Bowl Prediction: Pittsburgh 24 – Green Bay 16