Panthers (14-5) vs Patriots (16-2). Line: Patriots by 7. Total: 37.
Sunday, February 1. 6:25 PM ET
SUPER BOWL XXXVIII - Reliant Stadium - Houston, Texas

Walt's Projected Line (Before Week 20 Games): Patriots by 6.
Walt's Projected Line (After Week 20 Games): Patriots by 6.

The Game. Edge: Patriots
*** LB Teddy Bruschi is QUESTIONABLE and C Damien Woody is OUT for New England.

Generally, when there has been a week off between Championship Sunday and the Super Bowl, the game hasn't been competitive because one team has had a distinct advantage over another. I think an extra seven days benefits the team with more injuries and the better coaching staff. Both teams have a few significant injuries, and while John Fox is an excellent coach, Bill Belichick is the master, and giving him two weeks to prepare for any team is asking for trouble.

The Panthers have a pretty efficient offense that is predicated on running the football. Jake Delhomme then uses the run to throw the ball to his underrated receivers. However, this New England defense is neither like the Rams, nor the Eagles. The Patriots have been solid against the run all season, so I have no doubt that they will put the clamps on Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster. This will force Delhomme to throw on long yardage situations, and while Carolina has done this effectively before, the Patriots' secondary will be able to cover the Carolina receivers with ease.

Although New England's offense isn't as beautiful as Indianapolis' or St. Louis', it gets the job done, and it is nearly impossible to stop. Carolina plans to blitz Tom Brady, which I feel is a mistake because Brady takes three step drops and gets rid of the football quickly, thus negating any sort of extra pressure. The Panthers' secondary played well against the Eagles receivers (anyone could play well against them), but I think they're in over their heads here. Plus, the Cats can not forget about Antowain Smith. They allowed over five yards per carry to Philadelphia, so that is something Charlie Weis can exploit.

Everyone thinks this game will be close, but I beg to differ. I've indicated all year that I felt that the Patriots were far above any other team in this league of parity. Carolina deserves to be in the Super Bowl, but there are far too many mismatches for me to side with them.


The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Line Movement: Patriots -7 (open) to Patriots -6 (1/18) to Patriots -7 (1/27).
  • Total Movement: 37 (open) to 37 (1/18) to 38 (1/20) to 37 (1/27).
  • Weather: Retractable Dome.

Prediction: Patriots by 17. Money Pick. Under.


My Team by Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed.


Cowboys: 9-7
Eagles: 10-8
Giants: 10-6
Redskins: 11-4

Bears: 8-7
Lions: 10-5
Packers: 9-9
Vikings: 10-6

Buccaneers: 8-7
Falcons: 9-7
Panthers: 13-6
Saints: 6-10

49ers: 7-7
Cardinals: 9-7
Rams: 5-11
Seahawks: 8-8

Bills: 4-10
Dolphins: 8-8
Jets: 11-3
Patriots: 12-6

Bengals: 7-8
Browns: 4-12
Ravens: 8-9
Steelers: 10-6

Colts: 9-8
Jaguars: 9-7
Texans: 10-4
Titans: 9-8

Broncos: 10-7
Chargers: 8-8
Chiefs: 6-11
Raiders: 6-9

Divisional Games: 52-43
Trend Edge: 47-31
Game Edge: 36-31
Game & Trend Edge: 12-5

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My Team-by-Team ATS Record
This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

Cowboys: 1-3
Bears: 1-3
Bucs: 3-1
49ers: 2-2
Eagles: 2-2
Lions: 1-3
Falcons: 2-2
Cardinals: 1-2
Giants: 2-2
Packers: 2-2
Panthers: 0-4
Rams: 1-2
Redskins: 2-2
Vikings: 3-1
Saints: 2-2
Seahawks: 2-1
Bills: 1-3
Bengals: 0-3
Colts: 2-2
Broncos: 2-1
Dolphins: 4-0
Browns: 2-0
Jaguars: 1-3
Chargers: 0-4
Jets: 1-3
Ravens: 0-3
Texans: 2-2
Chiefs: 3-1
Patriots: 2-2
Steelers: 2-2
Titans: 2-2
Raiders: 3-1
Divisional: 8-6 (2011-13: 141-137)
2x Game Edge: 3-4 (2011-13: 55-62)
2x Psych Edge: 4-5 (2011-13: 92-80)
2x Vegas Edge: 9-7 (2011-13: 129-142)
2x Trend Edge: 7-4 (2011-13: 72-78)
Double Edge: 2-2 (2011-13: 27-33)
Triple Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 2-1)
Quad Edge: 0-0 (2011-13: 0-0)

2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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