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The Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to claim six Super Bowl titles with a 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, but disappointed bettors by failing to cover as 6.5-point betting favorites.
The Steelers posted six SU wins in their last seven games to finish their regular season campaign with a 12-4 record, 9-7 ATS, to claim their second straight AFC North divisional crown and earn a bye on Wild Card Weekend.
The Black and Gold were efficient in shutting down the San Diego Chargers in their Divisional Playoff matchup, controlling the ball for an impressive 36:30 while scoring TDs in all four quarters in a 35-24 win.
It was all about the defense in the Steelers’ AFC Championship Game matchup with the division rival Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh held the Ravens to just 198 total yards while forcing four turnovers in a 23-14 win, earning their seventh trip to the Super Bowl.
Despite posting SU and ATS losses in four of their last six regular season games, the Cardinals backed into top spot in the weak NFC West, finishing with a 9-7 record, two games ahead of Seattle, earning them home-field advantage over the 11-5 Atlanta Falcons on Wild Card Weekend.
After their 30-24 comeback win over Atlanta, the Cards shocked the 12-4 Carolina Panthers with a dominating 33-13 win in their Divisional Playoff matchup.
The Cardinals blew an 18-point halftime lead over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, and needed a TD with less than three minutes remaining to eke out a 32-25 win and their first Super Bowl berth.
Arizona demonstrated more fourth-quarter heroics against the Steelers on Super Sunday, overcoming a 13-point Pittsburgh lead with two TDs and a safety in less than five minutes to take a late 23-20 lead.
But with QB Ben Roethlisberger at the helm, Pittsburgh drove the ball 78 yards downfield in eight plays, capped by a spectacular TD catch by Santonio Holmes on a six-yard pass by Big Ben to seal the victory for the Steelers.
Holmes, who caught nine passes on the day for 131 yards and the game-winning TD, was crowned Super Bowl MVP, while the point total, pegged at 46.5 at the nation’s sportsbooks, finished OVER for the first time in five years.