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super bowl xlvi

The Opening Super Bowl Betting Line Is Set, and the Giants Remain Underdogs

Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off of the field after the Giants won 20-17 in overtime against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

When the betting lines opened for Super Bowl XLII back in 2008, the Patriots were favored by, like, a thousand points. (Okay, okay, it was actually fourteen points. But that’s still a lot, especially in a Super Bowl.) As you surely recall, that Patriots team had been a juggernaut up to that point in the season, winning all eighteen of their regular-season and playoff games. But this year, the Patriots won't shut up about how they didn't play all that great in yesterday's AFC title game, while no one should take the Giants lightly — not after they beat the Packers and Niners in consecutive weeks, four years after running the table in the playoffs. That said, the Patriots, who led the AFC with thirteen wins during the regular season, are still favored to win in Indianapolis: Bill Belichick's team opened as three-point favorites in odds posted by Cantor Gaming, while Las Vegas oddsmaker Jay Root (the subject of this neat L.A. Times interview) has New England as three-and-a-half-point favorites. (Said Cantor Gaming Race and Sports Director Mike Colbert to the AP: "The public will still like New England,'' adding "I don't think people are actually hip to how good these NFC teams are.") Of course, the Giants are quite comfortable in the underdog role, so this is nothing we haven't seen before. [Fifth Down/NYT, LAT]

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Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images