Baltimore Ravens have produced a Herculean effort to reach Super Bowl XLVII and it’s difficult to see how any neutral fan will be willing anything other than victory for the underdogs in New Orleans.
However, as their 31/20 money line price dictates, overcoming the San Francisco 49ers – who are available to back at 4/7 – will be an even bigger achievement than making it as far as they have done.
Unfortunately for legendary Raven Ray Lewis, his pro football swansong is going to end in disappointment courtesy of a combination of the 49ers’ superior defensive unit and their piercing running game.
It’s not as though the Ravens are struggling for points – they’ve put 90 on the board over three playoff games – and quarterback Joe Flacco has been on fire postseason, to boot. Their three playoff opponents, though, were nowhere near as rigid as the 49ers and the 853 yards with eight touchdowns he’s thrown won’t be easy to build on.
The San Franciscan outfit have been able to boast the second best defense in the NFL two years running and they have given up just 38 passes longer than 20 yards last term – the third fewest in the league.
These factors conspire to make the 5/6 for fewer than 21.5 points to be scored by the Ravens a good looking bet.
The running game of the 49ers will be what puts their name on the Super Bowl trophy for the sixth time; all of their playoff victims sampled how deadly this can be.
Baltimore ship an average of 128.3 yards per game to runners and, when you consider that, from just 72 carries in the postseason, the 49ers finest speedsters – LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon, Frank Gore and quarterback Colin Kaepernick – chalked up a mammoth 472 yards trouble is afoot for the Ravens.
For rushing to be the source of the game’s first touchdown, an attractive looking 6/4 is available and it could be well worth a punt based on the 49ers threat when they get up and running.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date