The New England Patriots opened as 3.5 point favorites with the 2012 Super Bowl betting lines over the New York Giants and there could be more to that spread than what meets the eye.
Sure, the Patriots were 13-3 in the regular season compared to the Giants comparatively mediocre mark of 9-7 but the G-Men did defeat the Patriots in New England 24-20 as 9-point dogs on November 6th which leads to an interesting angle with the 2012 Super Bowl betting lines. In Super Bowl matches, the team that won the regular season meeting has lost 7 of the 12 Super Bowl games in which this situation comes into play. The Patriots themselves were victimized by this trend in the 2007 season in which they went undefeated thanks in part to a regular season win at the Giants only to then lose in the final seconds of the Super Bowl that season to Big Blue and have their dreams of the glory of a 19-0 season shattered.
In the Giants win this season, New England outgunned the G-Men 438-361 but suffered four turnovers compared to just two turnovers by New York. It was those turnovers that proved to be the difference in the game as New England quarterback Tom Brady threw for more yards than the Giants Eli Manning. Brady passed for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns but also threw 2 interceptions while Manning passed for a more modest 250 yards with 2 TDs and just 1 pick.
In this Super Bowl matchup the contrast between the teams is not all that great as they operate on similar levels and styles. The Giants ranked 8th overall in the NFL for total offense and 5th best in passing while ranking dead last with the rush. The Giants defense ranked 27th overall in the NFL including 29th against the pass, 19th against the rush, and 25th for points allowed. It's little wonder Brady lit them up in the regular season matchup. It’s also serious cause for concern on Super Sunday.
New England ranked 2nd overall in the NFL for total offense including 2nd in passing and 20th in rushing while ranking 3rd for points scored. The Patriots defense ranked next to last in total defense, 31st against the pass, 17th against the rush, and 15th for points allowed. The Patriots weak pass defense should have cost them the AFC Championship Game to Baltimore had it not been for a very close shave at Gillette Stadium in which the Ravens dropped a winning TD pass in the final seconds.