And now it all comes out. Darren Sharper of the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints was supposed to be one of the hottest free agents of the off-season. It was quite a surprise that he wasn’t snapped up immediately, but it turns out that he had microfracture knee surgery rather than the much less severe arthroscopic knee surgery as was originally reported.

Sharper re-upped with the Saints on Monday for another year, but his status for the summer and the start of next season is unknown. (more…)

Pierre Thomas Breaks Tackle for the Game-Winning TD

Pierre Thomas Breaks Tackle for the Game-Winning TD

Super Bowl time is also a time of prop betting insanity. There’s a prop bet to cover every angle including a bunch of prop bets for your favorite players like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Marquis Colston.

Super Bowl Quarterback Props

betED has a bunch of quarterback props like what will happen first? a touchdown pass or an interception.

As you can probably guess, both quarterbacks are heavily favored to throw a touchdown pass first with Brees at -240 and Manning at -300.

It’s probably not a bet worth taking at those odds because you have to risk a ton to win a little.

Another neat quarterback prop is the over/under on total passing yards. The total for Drew Brees is 284.5 yards while Peyton Manning is 308 yards.

I know the offenses are getting all of the Super Bowl hype, but the over seems very realistic for both players.

Super Bowl Wide Receiver Props

Who’s your favorite receiver?

After his performance in the division finals Pierre Garcon is getting a lot of love. He is the -160 favorite to score the first TD when matched up with Devery Henderson.

Not to take away from his performance against the Jets, but Manning is going to be able to hit his favorite targets against the New Orleans defense, so Garcon is probably not going to see the ball nearly as much as before.

The over/under on the longest pass reception for Marquis Colston is 22.5 and the over/under for total yards is 71.5 while Devery Henderson is 17.5 and 48.5 total yards.

There are a ridiculous number of props covering every player in the game. It’s over-done, but then I guess when you have two full weeks between the Divisional Finals and the Super Bowl, you can forgive the odds-makers for being as nutty as the fans and media.

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Manning already has a Super Bowl MVP award.

Manning already has a Super Bowl MVP award.

Super Bowl 44 MVP odds are out now and they reflect the usual bias towards quarterbacks and running backs. Peyton Manning is, not surprisingly, the overwhelming favorite followed by Drew Brees and the running backs Pierre Tomas and Joseph Addai.

RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints +800

Thomas didn’t have eye-popping regular season numbers picking up just 793 yards on the season, but that’s mostly because the Saints didn’t give him the ball much.

His 5.4 yards per carry is good, but it’s a little inflated because the Saints pass heavy offense makes it a little easier to knock off a big run.

The big reason for putting money on Thomas is that he was clutch against the Vikings. He picked up one receiving and one rushing touchdown and he was also the one who converted the fourth and one leap in overtime that led to the game-winning field goal.

RB Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts +800

Similar to Thomas, Addai’s numbers are partly a product of an offense that uses the run only to set up the pass which means he won’t get many touches, but should pick up a little more yardage with each touch.

Addai had 828 yards on the season and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Addai hasn’t done much in the playoffs to justify picking him over Thomas. He had a decent game against the Jets which was marred by losing a fumble, but he was almost a non-factor against the Ravens.

Also if the Colts win, he has to go up against Manning for the Super Bowl MVP and Manning will get the nod unless Addai’s performance is clearly better.

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints +300

Brees is one of the best passers with the game and he has a lot of weapons on offense to show off his skill.

He threw for 34 touchdowns on the season, completed 70.6 percent of his passes and was picked just 11 times for a 109.6 passer rating.

His rating in the post season is even better at 116.1, but he had a bad game against the Vikings hitting just 54.8 percent of his passes.

The Vikings defense deserves the credit for not letting Brees play his game and, unless the Colts can pressure Brees the way the Vikings did, expect Brees to be back to his usual form for the Super Bowl.

QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts -250

Manning is the heavy favorite and why not? He’s already the regular season MVP and he already has a Super Bowl win to his credit.

Statistically Manning is a step below Brees. He threw for 33 touchdowns, completed 68.8 percent of his passes and was picked 16 times for a passer rating of 99.9.

Like Brees, Manning has stepped it up in the playoffs earning a 104.6 rating.

Manning’s performance against Baltimore wasn’t great, but the Colts were in control from beginning to end. Against the Jets, when the team needed him most, Manning was awesome picking up 3 passing touchdowns and a 123.6 rating against the best passing defense in the league.

With experience and a history of playing his best in big games, Manning is the clear choice. But he won’t pay out much, so maybe think of him as parlay fodder. Colts to win and Manning for MVP sounds right.

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Manning Receives Super Bowl XLI Trophy

Manning Receives Super Bowl XLI Trophy

Early Super Bowl lines are out now and the Indianapolis Colts (-215) are favored by 4.5 points over the New Orleans Saints (+170) and the over/under is 55.5.

I think the odds-makers thinking here is that the Saints defense gave up a too many yards against Minnesota and they expect Manning to only do better.

The one thing going in their favor is that the Saints are ball-hawks and basically won the game against the Vikings on the strength of their turn-overs.

The Saints defense definitely deserves credit for forcing those mistakes. But defense can put an opposing offense in position to make a mistake, but the offense still has to make the mistake.

If Favre hadn’t injured his ankle on an earlier hit, he wouldn’t have thrown that last pick and we wouldn’t even be talking about New Orleans right now.

Minnesota was a solid 4-6 in the red zone, but you have to believe that if Manning gets to the red zone that many times, this game will be a rout.

The other big reason the odds-makers like the Colts is that the Colts burned the number one defense in the NFL for 30 points and, if they can get 30 against the best, how many more will they get against New Orleans.

The total is interesting too. It’s quite high, but the way these two offenses played all season, you could easily make a case for a higher number.

The Super Bowl is the biggest sports betting event of the year and it draws a lot of recreational betting money which tends to bet the over. With all of the hype surrounding these offenses, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the total go up.

It will be interesting to see how these odds move over the next two weeks as money starts to come in.

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