The New England Patriots and New York Giants square off today in the finale to a wild 2011 NFL season. Super Bowl XLVI kicks off at approximately 3:29pm PT with the Patriots sitting as modest 2 1/2 point favorites over the Giants. The line opened at 3 1/2 but a lot of money has been coming in on the Giants since the line was set.
I actually think this is a game built for the Giants to win. Although the field turf in Indianapolis benefits the Patriots prolific offense, I think the Giants have the combined offense and pass rush to win this game. The Giants secondary won't wow many people against an elite quarterback like Tom Brady, but their pass rush could slow him down just enough to keep this game manageable.
As for the Giants offense, I think they have a much better chance of shredding the Patriots swiss cheese secondary than Joe Flacco and the Ravens did. On that turf against that secondary, I think Eli Manning and his band of receivers do some big things tonight. When asked for a prediction, I've gone with the Giants winning 41-37. That would be the highest combined point total in Super Bowl history, so it is possible I'm over-looking something. And yet, when looking at this matchup in this context, I see a fairly wild shootout unfolding. I'm sure that guarantees a 17-14 game, but I'll stick with my shootout pick.
If you are not in front of a television for the game, but still want to watch, NBC Sports is offering a free live online stream of the game for the first time ever. Head over to NBCSports.com to watch the stream.
The good news is that in a few hours, the 2011 NFL season will be over and we can fully look ahead to the excitement of 2012. 2011 was a huge year for the 49ers and hopefully 2012 will only be bigger!