Super Bowl picks: Our experts weigh in

Originally Published: February 3, 2012
ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Can Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lead the New England Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl title? Or will Eli Manning and the New York Giants pull off another upset of the Patriots and win their second ring in five seasons?

The oddsmakers made the Patriots slight favorites, but our experts are divided. The only thing we know for sure is that everyone has an opinion on the game.

John Clayton: Patriots, 24-20

It's hard to beat Tom Brady three times in a row at his game of comeback football in the fourth quarter. Although I worry about the Patriots' defense, I think Brady and Bill Belichick will find a way to squeak out a victory.

Dan Graziano: Giants, 31-24

The Giants weren't the best team in the NFL for most of this season, but they have been for the past six weeks. Eli Manning should torch an overmatched New England secondary. Frankly, the Giants' past two opponents were tougher than this one.

James Walker: Patriots, 27-24

I picked the Patriots in the preseason, so there's no point in backing out now. I doubt Tom Brady will have two bad games in a row, especially against an inconsistent Giants secondary.

Jeffri Chadiha: Giants, 28-24

New York has enough defense to control Tom Brady & Co. New England can't say the same when it comes to stopping the Giants' balanced offense.

Adam Schefter: Patriots, 27-16

The Giants are the better and more complete team. But they also have to figure out a way to beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the memory of Myra Kraft.

Ian O'Connor: Giants, 34-24

Four years ago, the Giants' pass rush negated the talent difference between Tom Brady and Eli Manning. This time around, the pass rush is just as fierce, and there is no discernible talent difference between Brady and Manning. No David Tyree required in the rematch.

Mike Reiss: Patriots, 30-20

This reminds me of the Nov. 13 game at the Jets, a contest in which many predicted trouble for the Patriots but the team came through. I think the Pats will do it again. While there is respect for the Giants' pass rush, it's not like opponents have been completely shut down by the unit. I expect some points from a faster-paced attack, and that quarterback Tom Brady will play better and limit mistakes. On the opposite side, the improved defense will limit the run and force Eli Manning into some long-yardage situations, and that's when the Patriots can dial up some pressure. Promises to be a good one.

Jamison Hensley: Patriots, 31-20

Tom Brady didn't play well in the AFC Championship Game, and he remembers losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl four years ago. A motivated Brady is a dangerous one. He will prove that you don't need a defense to win a ring.

Mike Sando: Patriots, 27-23

I'll stick with my preseason prediction/guess, so New England it is. But all the pressure is on the Patriots, same as four years ago.

Matt Williamson: Giants, 28-24

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are difficult to pick against, but I don't see this as a very good matchup for New England. Expect several big plays from the Giants' wide receivers. I also think New York will pressure Brady well enough with only four pass-rushers, and its safeties and linebackers can do enough to slow down the Patriots' middle-of-the-field passing attack, especially if Rob Gronkowski isn't healthy.

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