The New England Patriots enter Super Bowl 2012 as 3-point favorites over the New York Giants, according to the Super Bowl odds. The Patriots (13-3) will be looking to avenge a loss in the '08 Super Bowl, which featured the Giants (9-7) earning a 17-14 victory in Arizona, while New York is looking to do the improbable -- beat Tom Bradyand Bill Belichick for the second time in a HUGE game.
However, not only is the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the line Sunday (6:30 p.m. on NBC) but so is my credibility as SB Nation New York's pick'em guy who enters the biggest game of the year with an overall record of 42-40-2. Yes, I'll finish the year above .500 but I bet in imaginary increments of $1-million. So, if I get the Super Bowl right then I finish the year plus $3-million -- give or take. With that kind of cash, then maybe I can convice my wife to allow me to bet for real -- "But honey, I won $3-million last year!! How would $3-million in the bank sound this year?"
So, without further delay lets get to my overall picks and predictions for Super Bowl 46.
I see this game moving in either of two directions: First, New York continues to play like it has been on both sides of the ball -- Eli Manning manges the game well, makes a few big plays to Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks, while the defense rushes the passer to limit its opponents offense -- and the Giants cruise to a 7-point or more victory.
Or, the Patriots, led by Brady and Belichick, just get so pissed that everybody is mentioning the David Tyreecatch of '08, Brady's legacy if he loses another one Super Bowl and Belichick not winning big games since he got caught "cheating" a few years back. For New England, there's so much bulletin-board material its not even funny -- did I mention how Rob Gronkowski is going to want to prove ankle-doubters wrong, too?
However, for the second thing to happen we also have to figure in that a quarterback with the last name Manning will not enter the game prepared or focused -- not going to happen; and, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin will not make sure his players know what Brady and Belichick want to prove -- Coughlin is smarter than that.
Prediction: Giants 20, Patriots 19.