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Super Bowl XLIV odds preview

After all the hype and all the talk Super Bowl XLIV finally kicks off Sunday night. Did you get your bets in yet?

The showdown between the Saints and the Colts looks like a solid matchup. Both sides boast high-powered offenses led by two of the top quarterbacks in all of football, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. The football oddsmakers at Bovada seem to have more faith in Manning in the Colts though after listing Indianapolis as a 4.5-point favorite.

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That is down from 6.5 points earlier in the week, so bettors’ money isn’t all flooding to the Colts.

The Colts booked their spot in the Super Bowl by knocking off Baltimore in the divisional round and taking care of the Jets in the conference championship. Indy also covered the spread in both wins and during the regular season they were a healthy 10-6 ATS.

New Orleans advanced to their first Super Bowl in franchise history by dispatching Arizona in the divisional round and taking advantage of a mistake-prone Minnesota squad in the conference championship.

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The Saints are 1-1 ATS in the post season so far (they failed to cover versus the Vikings) and during the regular season they posted a lackluster 8-8 mark ATS. That included going 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games.

Super Bowl XLIV odds – Injury update

The main injury concern everyone has been talking about all week is Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. He tore a ligament in his right ankle in the AFC Championship game and has been undergoing treatment on it on a daily basis. There’s probably no chance Freeney will miss Sunday’s game, but will the injury hamper the effectiveness of the Colts sack leader?

Freeney isn’t the Colts only player dogged by injury this week. Offensive lineman missed practice Thursday due to a bad back, but he should be good to go Sunday. Also on the injury list is CB Jerraud Powers, who missed the championship game with a fractured left foot. He could end up being a game-time decision and would leave the Colts secondary a little thin if he can’t go.

Super Bowl XLIV free picks:

The Colts are a 4.5-point favorite in Sunday’s big game and they’re getting my money to cover the spread and of course win the game. I don’t think the Saints defense will be able to stop the Colts passing attack. Manning just has too many targets in Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. Look for Clark to have a big game because the Saints have had trouble covering tight ends this season. On the other side of the ball the Saints won’t be able to hit that big play that gets their offense down the field versus the experienced Colts defense.

For total bettors I’m going against the crowd and taking the UNDER on the 56.5 total. That’s the largest total ever posted for a Super Bowl and to me that’s a cue to take the UNDER. Before last year’s Super Bowl clash between Arizona and Pittsburgh the last four Super Bowls had gone UNDER. The Saints may have had the top offense in the NFL this season, but their Over-Under record was 6-9-1. Don’t get sucked in to thinking this one will be wall-to-wall scoring because it won’t. Look for a final score of Indy 24- New Orleans 17 and take the UNDER.

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