USA TODAY Sports

Can bettors take advantage of Super Bowl ref?

The officiating crew for the Super Bowl normally consists of veterans accustomed to the pressure of the biggest spotlight in sports

So the decision to award Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII to Jerome Boger is raising some eyebrows, seeing as he has never previously officiated a conference championship game, let alone a Super Bowl.

Boger, a referee with seven years of experience and two as a line judge, got the nod over veteran referees Ed Hochuli and others with significant playoff and Super Bowl experience, causing many to question the league’s rating system for its officials. But that isn’t what should concern bettors Sunday.

Boger’s crews are notoriously known for cracking down on holding penalties, calling a league-high 18 holds against defensive linemen since 2008. That is about triple the average and six more than Ed Hochuli’s posse. In fact, Boger’s crews have called an alarming 151 offensive holding penalties from 2010-2012. The Ravens were flagged for 18 offensive holding penalties (ninth in the league), while the 49ers were close behind with 17 (12th) this season.

Although Boger loves to blow the whistle on holding, he tends to be more lenient in other aspects of the game. He called an average of 11.42 penalties over 12 games this season - one less than the league average. Boger issued an average of 97.25 penalty yards per game – 8.2 yards below the combined league mark.

He was also recently criticized for being too lenient in the next-to-last game of the season between the Raiders and Panthers. Carolina QB Cam Newton bumped Boger while disputing a call. Newton was penalized but not ejected because Boger said he didn't feel the bump was enough to warrant an ejection, as the rules require.

That's worth noting because the Ravens and Niners have a reputation for playing on edge and the numbers prove it. Baltimore racked up a league-high 1,127 penalty yards and San Francisco was wrung up for 960 yards in flags this season. The Ravens had the most unnecessary roughness calls (14) in the league and were flagged for four roughing the passer penalties.

San Francisco wasn’t far behind with 12 unnecessary roughness calls.

A few more important notes about Boger:

- He has officiated two games involving the 49ers this season and the Niners put up 45 points in both of them. Boger was in control of San Francisco’s 45-3 thumping of Buffalo in Week 5 and was also the main man for the Niners’ 45-31 win over Green Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs. Both of those games played over their respective totals.

- Teams played over the total in seven of Boger’s 12 games this season and combined for an average of 42.8 points per game. The total is currently set at 47 for Sunday's game.

- After a 26-3 win over San Francisco in Week 6, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride suggested 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith "gets away with murder" by holding opponents to free up outside linebacker Aldon Smith for sacks. Expect Boger to have a keen eye on Smith Sunday.

- Boger will not be working with his regular crew Super Bowl Sunday. The seven-man crew has a combined 77 years of officiating experience and 50 combined playoff assignments.

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Posted by joeyscat
1 year ago

Who gives an F! These comments are meaningless!
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Posted by mynameken
1 year ago

Its info look into to use more penalties kill big play, and stop clock (more plays being run) like the angle Bought and paid for by gambling money. I hope!
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Posted by JinnRikki
1 year ago

I didn't think the play calling could be worse than with the replacement officials, until the regulars came back. Oy Vey!
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Posted by budwiser
1 year ago

Great research, doing this takes time and effort. Will look for holding calls on the offensive line, lack of calls elsewhere. That could definitely change the game (especially the total). Thanks.
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Posted by docpj72
1 year ago

On the whole not that big a deal. Thank god Joey Crawford isn't in the NFL!
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Posted by Dizzip
1 year ago

did political correctness stick its fuzzy little nose into the referee selection? I think sooooo.
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Posted by warcameagle56
1 year ago

Interesting article fo sure.
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Posted by caclon
1 year ago

IN THIS CASE SLAM MORE ON THE UNDER 47.5. EASY MONEY!!!
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Posted by El_Handicapper
1 year ago

Definition: "Hochuli'd" verb: TO BE SCREWED OUT OF WINNING AN NFL FOOTBALL GAME. Not that Jerome Boger is any better or worse, but at least you know where he is coming from. Just look at him and it's obvious why he didn't eject Cam Newton
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Posted by veronica27
1 year ago

very interesting to say the least .. good work !
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Posted by Ice4Blood
1 year ago

oh man this guy is such a crook!
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Posted by erratic
1 year ago

every single NFL referee is a bought & paid for crook.
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Posted by grripper
1 year ago

words of wisdom
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Posted by MoneyTalks789
1 year ago

Best ref in the game ;)
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Top Response

Posted by MoneyTalks789
1 year ago

"Best ref in the game ;)"