By Ian James
The Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4 SU, 11-7 ATS, 10-8 O/U) have earned the right to play in Super Bowl XLIII by beating the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game 23-14, their second Super Bowl in 4 years. The Steelers covered the BetUS spread (-5.5) and went over the BetUS total (35) for the game. The Ravens kept it a nail-biter until Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu intercepted a Flacco pass and weaved his way to a highlight reel 40-yard touch down, ensuring that the Steelers covered the spread.
With the early lines out in the BetUS sportsbook, the Steelers are a -6.5 point favorite to win Super Bowl XLIII from Tampa, Florida. Pittsburgh has been the favorite throughout the playoffs and has left little doubt that they belong at the top.
After earning a first round bye, they dismantled the San Diego Chargers 35-24 in the second round. Pittsburgh easily covered the BetUS chalk as -6.0 favorites and crushed the over which was set at 38 points. In that game, the Steelers not only held the Chargers off the scoreboard throughout the third quarter, they held them off the field. Other than one offensive play that turned into a Rivers interception, the San Diego offense was on the sideline for every other snap of the quarter. Pittsburgh built up an insurmountable lead and made many BetUS account holders happy by easily covering the spread at home.
The early lines, according to the Super Bowl 2009 odds from BetUS, are anover/under of 47 points and Pittsburgh (-6.5) is the favorite against Arizona (+6.5). Arizona has shocked the world by beating Atlanta, Carolina, and then Philadelphia. Kurt Warner is back to his third Super Bowl and has an MVP already under his belt. Warner has an unbelievable rapport with WR Larry Fitzgerald who is tearing it up offensively throughout the playoffs. But the most trusted (and proven) adage in sports is, defense wins championships, and that’s just what Pittsburgh possesses.
They flexed their defensive muscles all season, maintaining the NFL’s top ranking in almost every category. Another essential ingredient to success is experience, an element that Pittsburgh has the clear advantage. Having won the Super Bowl four years ago and maintaining many of that team’s key contributors, Pittsburgh will be better prepared to handle all the hoopla that is associated with the biggest game of the year. Ben Roethlisberger is a proven winner, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward will have 2 weeks to rest his injury and proven big-game performer RB Willie Parker has seen this before. The Steelers defense will have two weeks to prepare and design schemes to confuse Warner and the Cardinals offence, and you know they’ll be hungry come February 1st. No other secondary in the league is better suited to handle the high-octane Cardinals offense, and if Pittsburgh shuts down the offense then Arizona has no chance. Head over to BetUS to bet on Superbowl XLIII.