Are you ready for the Harbaugh Bowl? After a long and grueling regular season, three weeks of playoff action and then an off week, the hype train for Super Bowl XLVII is just about finished. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisc 49ers are the two contestants in what most are expecting to be an evenly-matched Super Bowl. Let’s have a closer look at the NFL betting matchup:
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, February 3rd – 6:00 PM ET
Superdome – New Orleans, LA
Odds: 49ers -3.5
How The Ravens Can Win
For all the talk surrounding Ray Lewis’ impending retirement and the inspiration he has given the defense, the Ravens’ best chances sit with Joe Flacco, who has been on fire during the postseason. Flacco has taken a lot of flack in the past for not performing in big games, but he has definitely stepped up in these playoffs and one more solid performance would give the Ravens a good shot at pulling off an “upset”. The defense is getting older and can be exposed, and it’ll be up to Flacco to keep the Ravens in the game if it turns into a shootout, which it very well could.
How The 49ers Can Win
Much like the Ravens, the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes rest on the arm of pivot Colin Kaepernick, but it isn’t just his throwing ability. Kaepernick is part of the new breed of quarterback that can kill you with his legs, which he showed in the 49ers’ playoff rout of Green Bay in which he set the single-game record for rushing yards by a QB. If Kaepernick can get outside the pocket, he can make life miserable for the Baltimore defense, which played inspired football against the rival Patriots in New England in the AFC title game, but do they have the legs to keep up with Kaepernick and an offense that is now explosive? We’ll see.
Outlook & Pick
The 49ers are favored by 3.5 points over the Ravens, but the AFC has won four of the last five Super Bowls. There will be a lot of absorb this week, and much of it will focus on Lewis’ retirement and the all-Harbaugh showdown at head coach between Baltimore’s John and San Francisco’s Jim, the younger of the two brothers. This will be a hard-hitting game against two very physical teams and whether they admit it or not, John and Jim have built two similar teams.
However, this Baltimore team seems to be one of destiny and they have a lot of players that have been to this point before. They’re a veteran team that won’t be afraid to go into any stadium and play any team, so a neutral site won’t worry them at all. The 49ers may be a bit green going into this game and even though Kaepernick has shown a ton of poise, the Super Bowl is a whole different ball game and if the pressure is going to get to him, it’ll be on Sunday. Take the Ravens on the betting lines for the upset.
Pick: Ravens +3.5