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Super Bowl XLV Betting Odds

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The moment of truth has arrived for NFL betting fans: Super Bowl XLV. On February 6, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Green Bay Packers in a battle of storied franchises.

Even though the Steelers will be going for their third Super Bowl victory in six years, they’ve opened as an underdog in the NFL odds. Bovada and Bovada favor the Green Bay Packers by 3 points; other books like Sportsbook.ag and Bovada have gone the more conservative route, favoring the Pack by 2.5.

The over/under varies from 45.5 points at places like Bovada to 46 at Bovada and Sportsbook.ag.

The Packers have earned their favorite status on the strength of an improbable five-week run, including the final two weeks of the regular season, in which they’ve run through a slew of quality NFC opponents. They ended the season by beating the New York Giants and Chicago Bears; in the playoffs, they’ve stormed through the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears again.

Though Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has flashed brilliance, especially in the Divisional Playoffs against Atlanta, defense has been the key to Green Bay’s success. The Packers have a defensive touchdown in back to back games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who last won the Super Bowl two years ago, hope to give Green Bay’s “D” a different look. Sometimes, it’s Rashard Mendenhall doing the damage on the ground, as he did with a 121-yard effort against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game last Sunday. Other weeks, it’s Ben Roethlisberger stretching the field with deep-threat receiver Mike Wallace.

The key to Super Bowl XLV could be whether James Starks and the Packers' running game can solve Pittsburgh’s run defense, which was by far the highest-rated in the NFL this season. Then again, Pittsburgh has proven vulnerable against the pass at times this year; that means Aaron Rodgers and the Packers could make for strong bets.

NFL betting sharps, however, may want to watch the line for a few days. Because of Pittsburgh’s pedigree of success in the Roethlisberger era, the line could shift back toward the Steelers. Don’t be surprised if it shrinks to -2 or maybe even -1 before game time.

A week before the Super Bowl, football lovers can bet on the Pro Bowl. Though it’s a bit of a crapshoot given that we never know which players will jump ship at the last moment, early whispers suggest the NFC will emerge as a 1.5-point favorite once lines come up at the major books.

Strangely enough, the all-time Pro Bowl series is deadlocked at 20 wins per conference. The AFC won 41-34 last year, with Matt Schaub taking MVP honors, but the NFC won the previous two Pro Bowls.