Super Bowl Predictions
The Baltimore Ravens (13-6) take on the San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3rd. This will be one of the most anticipated Super Bowls of all-time considering it will be the first time that two brothers will square off as head coaches. According to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas, Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers are a 4-point favorite over John Harbaugh’s Ravens. The total has been set at 47.5 points.
Why San Francisco Covers
The 49ers have been the stronger team this season. Their point differential validates that considering they are outscoring opponents by 7.9 points per game on the season, while the Ravens are only outscoring opponents by 4.6 points per game on the year.
There’s no question that the 49ers own the better defense in this one. They are giving up just 18.2 points and 307.7 total yards per game while ranking among the league’s best stop units in both categories. The Ravens allow 21.1 points and 361 total yards per game.
This play falls into a system that is 28-7 (80%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (Baltimore) – off 2 consecutive road wins, with a winning record playing another winning team in the second half of the season.
San Francisco is 15-5 against the spread versus poor defensive teams that allow at least 350 total yards per game over the last 3 seasons. The 49ers are 10-2 against the spread in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 2 seasons. San Francisco is 25-11-1 against the spread in its last 37 games overall. The 49ers are 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
Why Baltimore Covers
The Ravens are on one of those runs in the playoffs that is hard to go against. They made easy work of the Indianapolis Colts at home before going on the road and knocking off the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the AFC the past two round. That includes a 28-13 win at New England as an 8-point underdog in the AFC Championship Game.
This team has really rallied around Ray Lewis ever since he stated that this would be his final NFL season. They are playing the kind of inspired football of a Super Bowl champion. Also, quarterback Joe Flacco has been playing arguably the best football of his career down the stretch, throwing 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his past five games.
Common opponents are a great way to compare teams. Both the 49ers and Ravens have faced the Patriots and New York Giants this season. Baltimore is 3-0 against those two teams this season, outscoring them by a total of 35 points. San Francisco is 1-1 against those two teams, getting outscored by 16 points.
Baltimore is 22-9 against the spread versus good rushing teams that average at least 130 yards per game in the second half of the season since 1992. John Harbaugh is 11-3 against the spread in road games vs. excellent passing teams with a completion pct. of 64% or better as the coach of Baltimore. The Ravens are 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 playoff games.