Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII from New Orleans has the Baltimore Ravens clashing with the San Francisco 49ers for the first time since Baltimore’s 16-6 win between the foes in 2011. Both squads have swept the board at NFL betting windows in the postseason, combining to cash with a 5-0 spread record. Who will hold serve with another cashed ticket in this “Big Game” showdown?
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San Francisco erased a 17-point deficit in its NFC Championship victory over the Atlanta Falcons with a 28-24 road victory, two weeks ago. 49ers running back Frank Gore dashed for two second half touchdowns, with his squad cashing the closing line as a 3 ½-point favorite.
The 49ers moved to a 5-2 spread record in their last seven battles away from home, while the contest’s combined 52 points lifted the OVER to 4-1 among that span’s last five games. San Francisco visited domes on four occasions, splitting ATS and the ‘total’ at 2-2, including November’s 31-21 win as one-point ‘chalk’ in New Orleans.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has notched 248 YPG through the air during the playoffs, while moving the chains at a 52.6 percent clip in third-down conversions. San Francisco’s defense has given up 294.4 YPG in the same span, with linebacker Patrick Willis logging a team-high 19 tackles.
Baltimore finished its AFC Championship win over the New England Patriots with three unanswered touchdowns, pulling off a 28-13 upset as an eight-point road dog. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found wide out Anquan Boldin for two of the late scores, while defensive mates Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams notched one interception each.
The Ravens’ title win capped off a 5-2 ATS run in its seven road dates since November, with the UNDER also collecting at 5-2. Baltimore allowed 20 PPG in that stretch, with its most recent road duel against an NFC foe coming in a 31-28 overtime loss as a one-point dog to the nearby Washington Redskins.
Flacco has notched a league-high 114.7 quarterback rating in the postseason, while Baltimore’s Ray Rice has rushed for 82.3 YPG over the team’s trio of playoff battles. Ravens retiring linebacker Ray Lewis has notched 25 of his own tackles, while assisting mates with 19 others.
Back the Ravens to cash as dogs
The current NFL odds have San Francisco holding as a four-point favorite, while the opening ‘total’ of 48 found itself dropping to 47 after early UNDER wagers. The current consensus at SBRodds.com has 54 percent of public bets on Baltimore, with the UNDER sitting at 52 percent.
I am adding the Ravens to my NFL picks as underdogs here, looking for Flacco and Co. to collect in the Superdome. The oddsmaking for this battle has had a bit of west-coast bias in the pointspread, with Baltimore backers getting to capitalize with some value.
Baltimore did not have the luxury of a first-round bye in the playoffs, but deserves attention in this spot after knocking off Tom Brady’s Patriots and Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. The Ravens picked up steam with closing their last affair strong, while veterans like Ray Lewis get to recharge their physiques and emotions with a two-week break.
Flacco has been a clutch quarterback in postseason road spots, with this year’s run no exception. The dome environment in New Orleans should only add to the Ravens’offensive spark, with the trio of Flacco, Rice, and Boldin having its chances to light up the 49ers’ defense.
San Francisco had its share of stingy play during the regular season, but has allowed 27.5 PPG in its pair of playoff contests. The 49ers are unlikely to bounce back from behind as they did in Atlanta, facing the wrath of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on a stage like “The Big Easy.”
Look for the Ravens to get on the board early and bring their “A-Game” for a cashed ticket, adding to a 4-1 spread record in their last five battles against teams with winning records.
NFL Picks: Baltimore Ravens +4
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