NFL Picks: Super Bowl Picks & Early Predictions

Jason Lake

Monday, January 21, 2013 1:34 PM GMT

Coming in fresh off a sweep of the Conference round, Jason Lake is soaking in the NFL betting profits with just one more game left to go in the postseason. It’s Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Jason’s record on his final weekly NFL picks for the 2012 postseason:

5-5 ATS (+0.31 units)

8-2 Totals (+5.91 units)

Profit: +6.21 units

Ah, sweet, sweet money. It’s so good to see you. You’re looking good. Please make yourself comfortable in my wallet. It’s leather.

That’ll be the extent of my bragging. Yes, my picks were spot on as I got the spread and the total right in both the NFC and the AFC Championship Games. And yes, I put a rare 1.5 NFL betting units on the San Francisco 49ers (–3.5 away) in their 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (OVER 47.5). But those were two straightforward picks as far as I was concerned. The degree of difficulty is about to rise, as we gear up to place our NFL Super Bowl picks. Substantially.

Check Ze Tweets

I hope you were in agreement with me about the Baltimore Ravens (+9.5) giving the New England Patriots all kinds of problems – which they did, winning 28-13 (UNDER 49.5). If so, then you might have already gone ahead and taken the NFC as a 2.5-point dog on the Super Bowl XLVII futures market. That was the price at Bodog before the Championship round, back when the Patriots were also the 11-10 favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Ravens were 15-2.

If you weren’t able to grab that tasty NFL betting line, you’re looking at about a touchdown difference between that and the opening Super Bowl odds. The first tweets coming out of Las Vegas Sunday evening had the 49ers being favored by five points at the Superdome, with a total of 50. Our updated NFL odds board should have something posted in that range by the time you read this.

When Worlds Collide

Damned if I know off the top of my head whom I shall pick. All the great betting trends I rode on the Niners (13-4-1 SU, 11-7 ATS) and the Ravens (13-6 SU, 9-9-1 ATS) are about to collide. San Francisco is 6-2 SU and ATS since Colin Kaepernick was named starting quarterback – Week 17 not included. Baltimore is 7-3-1 ATS this year with Terrell Suggs in the lineup, and 3-0 SU and ATS in these playoffs with Suggs and Ray Lewis working together.

The efficiency rakings aren’t particularly revealing, either. The Niners ranked No. 4 overall during the regular season (No. 5 offense, No. 2 defense, No. 20 special teams), while the Ravens ranked No. 8 (No. 13 offense, No.. 9 defense, No. 1 special teams). And again, the efficiency stats in question are for the full regular season. Both teams are much better off with Kaepernick on the one hand, and Suggs and Lewis on the other.

Kick

I don’t see any injury reports of note coming down the newswires, so that leaves me grasping for football betting advantages here. My inclination is to go with the underdogs, who also happen to have the special teams advantage in this case. David Akers schtoinked a 38-yard field goal attempt off the upright against the Falcons; that kick would have tied the game at 24-24, and after he missed, Akers looked like he was ready to join the French Foreign Legion.

The Niners also have some deficiencies in the return game, while the Ravens are among the league’s best in both that category and in the kicking department. Rookie PK Justin Tucker was 30-of-33 on field goals during the regular season and 2-of-2 during these playoffs. Special teams are generally overlooked by casual bettors, which makes the Ravens a viable Super Bowl value pick this year. At least, in my early analysis.

NFL Pick: Take the Ravens +5