Super Bowl XLV Betting Preview: Steelers vs. Packers

2011 Super Bowl 45 logoTwo storied football franchises who have won a combined nine Super Bowls will meet on Sunday in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas (6:29 p.m. ET, FOX).

The Steelers have won the title six times while Green Bay has three Super Bowl titles and nine league championships that came before the first Super Bowl.

Sunday’s game matches up the top two defenses in the NFL but even more attention will be on the two quarterbacks, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (3922 yards, 28 TDs) and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (3,200 yards, 17 TDs).

Big Ben will be trying to win his third Super Bowl title and lead the Steelers to their third title in the past six years while Rodgers will be looking to lead Green Bay to their first title Super Bowl title since 1996.

Green Bay is listed as a 2.5-point favorite at and the total is set at 44.5. On the moneyline, the Packers are -145; the Steelers are +125.

Green Bay is the first No. 6 seed from the NFC to ever make the Super Bowl; the Packers had to win three straight road games to get to the big game.

Rodgers is playing better than any quarterback ever in the postseason even though he has played in just four playoff games. He has a lot of receiving talent led by Greg Jennings. And the Packers even have a decent running game with James Starks.

Green Bay’s No. 2 defense, which allowed only 15 points per game this season, is led by CB Charles Woodson (92 tackles) and LB Clay Matthews (60 tackles, 14 sacks).

For Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger doesn’t always put up big numbers but in the clutch there is no one better. He is 10-2 in the playoffs in his career which is second only to Bart Starr’s playoff record of 9-1.

The Steelers have the best running back in this game – Rashad Mendenhall had 1,273 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season. They also have a big play receiver in Mike Wallace, a veteran wideout in Hines Ward and the better tight end in the game in Heath Miller.

Pittsburgh’s No. 1 defense, which allowed just 14.5 ppg this season, is led by Defensive Player of the Year S Troy Polamalu (63 tackles, 7 interceptions) and LB James Harrison (100 tackles, 11 sacks), who won the award in 2008.

The Steelers led the NFL in sacks with 48 and their ability to get pressure on Rodgers may decide this game.

The last time the Steelers and Packers met was in the 2009 regular season and Pittsburgh pulled out a 37-36 win on a last second TD pass from Roethlisberger to Wallace.

Here are a couple of key Super Bowl betting stats for Sunday’s game:

The Steelers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 playoff games. The Packers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite. The over is 16-5 in the Steelers’ last 21 playoff games.

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