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The Big One - Superbowl XL

 

Volume VII, Superbowl XL

February 1, 2006

2005 Results

      

Week

Year to Date

%

Ben's Picks

+26

1-1 46-43-6 52%
Ben's Power Rating (BPR)

0-0

60-61-6

50%

 

Over/Unders

1-1 34-44-1 44%
Teasers 0-0 72-19 79%
HD's v Opposite Turf 0-0 14-25-1 36%
The Rant

      

        It was a 1-1 split for the Picks in the Championship games. Pittsburgh was the winner, as the Steelers did the unthinkable and dominated the Broncos in Denver. The Steelers and Big Ben came out throwing, opened up an early lead, then sent the dogs after Jake Plummer. Poor Jake flashbacked to his Arizona Cardinal days, and turned the ball over several times. Denver never new what hit them. Carolina was a major loser, as the Seahawks shut down WR Steve Smith and the Panthers didn’t know what to do. It was not a good day for Jake’s, as Seattle got in Jake Delhomme’s face and he also turned the ball over several times. I was not sold on Seattle, but that  win was very impressive. Seattle is obviously the best team in the NFC, but are they one of the top 2 teams in the league? That’s the question we’re forced to answer in order to make our pick.

        I would like to take this moment to thank everyone for their support this year. This newsletter is a lot tougher to put together than it looks and it’s good to know people appreciate the effort. It’s tough to make these predictions because I know my selections affect your bottom line, but rest assured my money is where my mouth is. When the Picks go down, so does my pocket book. This week the Superbowl was especially tough to pick, because the BPR went against my selection. I hate doing that, but I feel the team I selected is the better one. Now, it may not go our way, due to injuries, turnovers, bad calls, or who knows what, so do not go overboard with your wager. There’s only one game on the board and it’s the one that everyone knows everything about, so there is no value in the line. Bottom line here is, don’t make a huge play on a game that we may not have looked twice at otherwise. Have a great off season, Thanks and Good Luck, Ben

 

 
Potential BPR Plays

    Remember compare the BPR [Ben’s Power Rating] to the spread and if there’s a difference of 4 points or more, in your favor, then that’s a potential play. Below are the potential plays for this week; I have already added the 4 points. (Check individual game BPR's for any  line movements):

 

  • Seattle +4 or greater
Loser
  • Pitt +4 or greater
No Play

Total = 

0 - 1
 

Closing Lines and Final Scores

 
Ben's Picks

All trends are ATS (Against The Spread) unless otherwise specified.

 WINNER

¶¶¶¶¶ Seattle  v  Pittsburgh

        Last week, the Seahawks dismantled the Panthers in a dominating performance to pave the way to the franchise’s first ever Superbowl. Coach Mike Holmgren had a brilliant game plan, shutting down WR Steve Smith, and forcing QB Jake Delhomme into some costly errors. Seattle made the defensive adjustment the Bears refused to make and dominated the game at home. Seattle is a solid team and they are especially strong on offense. QB Matt Hasselbeck has finally come into his own and does not make very many mistakes. RB Shaun Alexander is one of the best in the game and, with the help of a top notch offensive line, he has the ability to dominate. The only area where the Seahawks offense may be a little deficient is at the WR position, although this unit has gotten over their propensity to drop the ball in key situations. The Seattle defense is young, fast and has added 7 new starters this year. They rotate defensive linemen, have solid LB’s and their secondary is solid. This defense is fast, but where they may have a little problem is, they’re a little light in the britches. In other words, they may get pushed around by a bigger stronger team. The Seahawks got here by dominating their division, which includes San Fran, Arizona, and St. Louis. This division, the NFC North, is probably the weakest in the league. The Seahawks also faced the easiest schedule in the league and the toughest teams they faced Jacksonville, Atlanta, Washington, Dallas, and the Giants all gave them a hell of a time. In fact, Seattle lost to Washington and Jacksonville and barely got by the other 3. Late in the season they faced Indy at home, while the Colts were resting starters, and only beat Tennessee, on the road, by 4 points. A Superbowl team should not be tooth and nails to beat one of the worst teams in the league, with the playoffs on the line. Seattle also got here with benefit of the home field and has not played a meaningful road game since December 18th. Not much of a Superbowl resume if you ask me.

        The Steelers on the other hand, literally kicked in the door to get here. Pittsburgh is led by QB Big Ben Roethlisberger, in only his second year, Ben has been a dominant force. He is 26-4 SU as a starter and unflappable. The RB duties are shared by Fast Willie Parker and the Bus, Jerome Bettis. This will most likely be Bettis’s last game and he is playing in his home city, Detroit. The WR’s are very capable especially Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El is a wildcard, the master of the trick play. The Steeler line is big and solid and will not be pushed around. The Pittsburgh defense is a force to be reckoned with, they have a solid line, the LB corps is led by “Crazy” Joey Porter and their secondary is one of the best in the game, anchored by safety Troy Polamalu. Polamalu is a freak of nature, he can defend the pass, blitz the QB, or chase down RB’s like a LB, and he is the key that makes the Steelers Zone Blitz package work. The Steelers play a base 3-4 defense and the only 3-4 defense the Seahawks faced, Dallas, gave them fits at home. Last year, after a 15-1 regular season, Ben was a little shaky in the playoffs. This year, in the playoffs, the Steelers have dominated their competition, shutting down the Bengals in the second half and literally kicking the crap out of Indy and Denver, 2 teams arguably better than Seattle, and lets not forget, those were all road games. Pittsburgh is the first #6 seed to make it to the playoffs and only the second team  to win 3 road games to get here. They are also the first team to win 9 games on the R and are 16-2 SU on the R the last 2 years. Now, that’s a Superbowl resume.

        While analyzing the Championship Games 2 weeks ago, although I selected Carolina, I said to myself, if Seattle does win, I’m going to bet Pittsburgh or Denver with both fists in the Superbowl. Then after the games, I was a little hesitant, because the Seahawks have the BPR in their favor and took apart Carolina quite easily. It took me several days before I made my final decision, but Pittsburgh is obviously the better team, winning impressively on the road. Seattle is good, but got here with the benefit of a cake schedule and the win over the Panthers is a little suspect. You have to take into account the Panthers were just in a dog fight with the Bears and Bucs, lost their starting RB and best defensive lineman, and all the Seahawks had to do was shutdown Steve Smith, game over. The Steelers have the better defense, by far, and can come at you from many different ways. Yes, the offensive match up is in Seattle’s favor, but Big Ben is getting better every game and what’s Shaun Alexander going to do when he gets hit in the chops? I may be going against the BPR, but I have to side with the better overall team. I am hoping the 4 point spread does not come into play, like it did last year, because picking the winner and losing to the spread is pretty tough to take. I’m still sick over picking the Pats the last 2 years and losing money. I also don’t like the fact that everyone is on the same side, but I don’t think those points are going to matter. Take Pittsburgh, they’re the better team and deserve to be here.

 

Pittsburgh 28  ---  Seattle 12

 

Total = 1 - 0 for +5*
 
The O/U's

 

  • Seattle v Pitt UNDER
WINNER

Total = 

1 - 0
 
Teasers

  (Teasers MUST include key numbers: 3, 6, 7, 10, 14, etc.)

 

  • None
 

Total = 

 
 
HD's v Opp-Turf

 

  • None
 

Total = 

 
   
Superbowl Trends -

(All Trends ATS)

AFC is 17-20-2 But 6-13-2

6-4 O-U when O-U is between 42 and 48 points

15-6 O-U

10-5 O-U Art. Turf

7 times in 38 years outright winner did not cover

19-17-2 F

Team with better regular season record (Seattle) is 20-13-2

F between 3.5 to 6.5 is 7-1

Team playing in 1st Superbowl is 5-10

D is 4-0 in last 4 Superbowls

 

   
   

Closing Lines and Final Scores

 
The Skinny

Legend is available below.

 

Superbowl XL

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2006

Potential BPR Plays in Bold

EST

Line

BPR

Play If

TRENDS ATS (Unless otherwise specified.)

Seattle Seahawks

6:20

 

 

47

Even

+4

 

15-3 SU / 11-6-1 / 5-3 SU R / 3-4-1 R / 11-7 O-U /

7-1 O-U R / 5-6 O-U Art / 1-2-1 RD / 2-2 v AFC /

9-2 Art / 4-2 SU + 3-3 ATS v Playoff teams /

2-4 R Playoffs / 1st Superbowl / 20-20 SU v > .500 /

21-9 v > .500 teams / 3-9 SU + 4-8 ATS as RD /

Not on R since Dec. 18th / Easiest Schedule Faced /

#2 Off + #16 Def + #28 Special /Holmgren’s 3rd SB/

Holmgren 11-8 SU + 10-4-5 P-offs / 44.5 Avg. Pts /

28.1 Avg. Points For – 16-4 Avg. Points Against /

CB Dyson, T Hunter ? /

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

4

 

+4

 

14-5 SU / 12-7 / 9-2 SU R / 16-2 SU R /10-8-1 O-U/

3-8 O-U R / 0-3 O-U Art / Opp-Turf /41.3 Avg. Pts/

9-2 R / 5-1 RF / 3-1 v NFC / 4-2 Art / 4-1 SB /

5-4 SU + ATS v Playoff Teams / 8-4 R Playoffs /

Cowher 11-9 SU + 10-9-1 ATS Playoffs /

Cowher 1st Superbowl Lost to Dallas, But Covered /

23-9-2 v > .500 teams / 14-5 R v > .500 Teams /

2nd Youngest QB ever in SB / Bettis returns Home /

1st #6 Seed to SB, 2nd team to win 3 R games in SB /

#15 Off + #4 Def / 19th toughest schedule /

25.0 Avg. Points For – 16.3 Avg. Points Against /

Ben 26-4 SU + 20-10 ATS / 29-7 SU last 2 years /

LB Harrison ?, DE Kirschke Prob, LB Frazier Doubt

 

 

 

 

Playoff Post Mortem

Carolina Panthers

Came up big time, but ran out of gas. Too many injuries and too many road games.Great defense, need one more weapon on offense and watch out. Well Coached.

Chicago Bears

Great defense, but came up short v Carolina. No adjustment for WR Steve Smith. Lovie going in right direction. Need more weapons on offense. Will Grossman be #1 QB?

Cincy Bengals

Great Offense, defense will get better. Team imploded at halftime of Playoff game v Pitt., fight in locker room with WR Chad Johnson. Team was too young and dumb, but watch out.

Denver Broncos

Got their asses handed to them by Pitt. Good all around team, but fell short when they got hit in the mouth. Especially disappointing because it happened at home. Will be back.

Indy Colts

Bunch of chokers, from the Coach to the Kicker. If they couldn’t do it this year, they should stop wasting everyone’s time. Pitt kicked their butts and they didn’t deserve to be in game.Manning is all sizzle and no steak.

Jacksonville Jags

Young team getting better. Jags are in every game and had a bad match up with Pats. QB is good and getting better and they will be back next year. Good defense.

New England Pats

Got boned in Denver. Will be back next year, probably better and stronger. Coach is the best in the business and he will put this team together every time. Better than Humpty Dumpty.

New York Giants

Decent season, but don’t have what it takes in the playoffs. Defense is not very good and Manning played like his brother in clutch. Now you know why their dad never played in p-offs.

Tampa Bay Bucs

Tough team, comes to play. Good defense and QB Simms is getting better. Gruden is a good coach and if they can upgrade their offense, they will be a solid contender.

Wash. Redskins

Made great strides, especially on defense, and gave the Seahawks all they could handle in Seattle. Need to upgrade their offense big time, defense is solid.

 

 

Information Purposes Only - Not Intended For Anyone Under 21 Years of Age

The Legend

ATS – Against Spread

aft - after

bfr - before

[BPR] - Ben’s Power Rating

B2B – Back To Back

BOUNCE – Opp. result

D – Dog

Def - defense

DDD – Double Digit Dog

DDF - Double Digit Favorite

DIV - Division

F – Favorite

L - Loss

SAND - Sandwich game

 

H – Home

HD – Home Dog

HF – Home Favorite

HOME TEAM – In Capitals

LW – Last Week

LY – Last Year

N-DIV - Non Division

O/U – Over /Under

OFF – Offense

R – Road

REV – Revenge

SU – Straight Up

V - Versus

W - Win