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Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Green Bay Packers Line: Point Differential Matters

I guess I'll have to give this one to the generally misguided Defense Wins Championships lobby: Super Bowl XLV does feature two of the best defensive teams in the NFL. This year the Pittsburgh Steelers finished first in the league in points allowed, with 232; the Green Bay Packers were second, with 240. The Steelers finished, at 12-4, with a Wild Card bye, while the 10-6 Packers had to beat the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons, among other birds, but in setting the Super Bowl line it looks like Las Vegas knows what NFL TV personalities sometimes don't: A win-loss record is often misleading.

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The Packers were 1-6 in games decided by four points or less, but they finished, for all their troubles, with the second-highest point differential in the NFL—148 points, five more than the Steelers. They're evenly matched at worst, much as some would like to ascribe some clutch meaning to the Steelers' 3-1 record in close games.

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As a result, the early Steelers vs. Packers line has the Packers as 2.5 point favorites.

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