Betfair's Nick Shiambouros Super Bowl Blog: Betting thoughts from Tampa


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Dec 2, 2008
Super Bowl Blog: Betting thoughts on the big game from Nick Shiambouros in Tampa

Our man on the ground is suggesting a Kurt Warner inspired upset can take place in Florida on Sunday. Find out how and why here...

The temperatures dipped in the bay area on the eve of the 43rd Superbowl, but that did not stop the continued celebrations that took place all over this beautiful city.

Ex-Chicago coach Mike Ditka hosted his annual Grid Iron Greats dinner and the Hall of Famer had over 100 NFL players both past and present on hand. The steaks were tasty and a great deal of money was raised for some very important causes.

Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt put his team through their final paces on Friday but was slightly concerned about the Cardinals losing focus before kickoff on Sunday. I really think Whisenhunt has done an admirable job with this team in the final few days before the game. At every practice session I have seen the Cardinals have looked very sharp and extremely focused as they made their final preparations for the game. I would have to give the slight edge to Whisenhunt over his counterpart Mike Tomlin with regards to final preparation.

The Steelers have taken a far more relaxed approach to the build up with a very light workload this week. Coach Tomlin has taken a very different approach and his softer style may yet pay dividends. One person who did not practice was Hines Ward, who is still nursing an injury, but Tomlin claims he will be fine for Sunday. I must say I am not totally convinced that he will be as effective as usual if he starts.

I believe that this game will be a lot closer that some people are predicting for many reasons, but I think Kurt Warner holds the key to the outcome.

If Warner can pick up the blitz early enough then that would give Arizona a huge edge. He has a great, accurate arm and Larry Fitzgerald has proven he can catch the ball from almost anywhere. The Cards will be looking to strike early, and I imagine that offensive coordinator Todd Haley will have some big plays in his book to get an early lead. I think Arizona may gamble to deliver a body blow to Pittsburgh and knock them out of stride early.
Pittsburgh have the very strong Ben Roethlisberger at the controls and he is more of a pocket quarterback than Warner. He can stand inside, delivering very accurate balls to his receivers and is hugely dangerous when left alone. Roethlisberger is also very patient and wont panic under extreme heat from Arizona.

I am going to give the slight edge to Arizona on Sunday to cause the upset. Currently they are trading at 3.25 on the exchange which will look very big if they score first.

I think this high octane offence will strike early and the 2.22 to score first looks tempting. Warner will try to settle his troops early and, as previously reported, he is the spiritual leader of this team so a lot rests on his veteran shoulders. The stage is set for what I think is going to be a great game.

It has truly been an amazing week here in Tampa with so many great events taking place in the bay area and I have been lucky enough to attend a couple. I am saddened to report that this year's Playboy party was cancelled due to the economic downtrend. Once again I have been foiled but rest assured I will be in Miami next year to try and achieve that elusive goal.

Good luck to everyone and enjoy the game.

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