Vito Stellino says . . .

January 27, 1991

I picked the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season, so I've got to stick with them.

I had them beating the Bengals instead of the Bills, though, in the Super Bowl. I didn't know the Bills were going to stop bickering this season.

But I'm not picking the Giants simply because I picked them at the start of the season. I think people got mesmerized by the Bills in the playoffs and have overlooked a couple of things.

The first is the level of competition. The Giants played the 49ers, Redskins and Eagles twice. The Bills played the Patriots, Colts and Jets twice.

Another factor is that no team is better than the Giants at getting the opposing team to play its game. Despite all the focus on Jim Kelly's no-huddle offense against the Giants' defense, the real key is whether the Giants can run against the Bills' defense.

If they put those five- and six-minute drives together, they'll control the tempo and cut down on the number of opportunities Kelly will have to attack the defense.

All of this adds up to that rarest of games -- an exciting Super Bowl. It figures to come down to a field goal in the fourth quarter.

In any case, take the Giants with the seven points. Even if the Bills beat them, they don't figure to do it by more than seven.

Let's say Giants 21, Bills 17.

Last week: 1-1. Against the spread: 1-1.

Playoff record: 8-2. Against the spread: 6-4.

Regular-season record: 140-84. Against the spread: 102-119-3. Best bets: 33-35.

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