With two quarterbacks playing at a sensational level and the first brother vs. brother head coaching matchup in Super Bowl history, there are plenty of exciting angles around this year’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Here is our pick for the championship game out in New Orleans and the Pro Bowl in Honolulu this Sunday.
UNDER 84 AFC vs. NFC at 5Dimes
The total has gone OVER in 10 of the last 12 Pro Bowls, and each of the last two Pro Bowls have produced over 95 points of offense (96 in 2011 and 100 in 2012). As a result, the total has been set extremely high this year at 84 as bookmakers try to compensate for these inflated scores.
But this number may be too high. While Pro Bowl games do conventionally go over the total, the total has only gone over 82 three times in the last 40 years (2011, 2010, and 2004).
Part of the reason that the scores have been so high over the last two years is due to lack of effort on defense, which has prompted Commissioner Roger Goodell to threaten to cancel the game moving forward if the effort isn’t there this year. As a result, look for more effort from the players to make this a more entertaining game, and to keep it a bit more competitive and UNDER the total.
Baltimore +3.5 at San Francisco at Bodog
Fueled by the return of their heart-and-soul leader Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens have knocked off three of the hottest teams in the NFL. Indianapolis was 9-2 SU and ATS going into its game against Baltimore, Denver was 11-0 SU and 9-2 ATS, and New England was 10-1 SU and 6-4-1 ATS; and all three fell to the Ravens.
While Lewis has done wonders for the resurgence of the defense, Joe Flacco’s play at quarterback has been impeccable. Colin Kaepernick’s sensational game against Green Bay has earned him most of this postseason’s headlines, but Flacco has 853 passing yards and eight touchdown passes with zero interceptions through three playoff games, all while out-dueling Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady.
San Francisco is undoubtedly tough, but so were Denver and New England. Betting underdogs are 8-3 ATS over the last 11 Super Bowls, and much like last year’s New York Giants, this Baltimore team looks to be getting red-hot at exactly the right time. Baltimore topped San Francisco 16-6 when the Harbaugh brothers met last Thanksgiving; look for the Ravens to come out on top in a much higher-scoring affair this time around.