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The sporting public loves backing favorites and when it comes to the Super Bowl it’s like putting kids in a candy store. They go crazy.
As a result the public today suffers from a severe case of betting diabetes. That’s because overloading on these super-sweet favorites has proven to be an unhealthy experience, with favorites sporting a 20-12 SU and 13-17-2 ATS record, including 5-10-2 ATS the last 17 games.
Ravens’ deep threat vs. Niners’ deep-rooted issues
The Ravens rode the big arm of QB Joe Flacco to New Orleans, with Baltimore averaging 276 yards per game and 9.2 yards per pass in the playoffs. Flacco isn’t afraid to let it fly, going 20 yards or more on over 17 percent of his pass attempts this year – highest in the league. Half on his 22 TD passes this season have been on deep balls.
San Francisco watched Atlanta move the ball with ease en route to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons spread the love amongst their receivers and got two deep strikes from WR Julio Jones. The 49ers have been beat up by the deep ball recently, allowing 15 plays of 20 or more yards in the last three games, with four of those plays posting 40 or more yards. They gave up only 32 plays of 20 or more yards in the 15 games previous. To cut the Niners some slack, those games were against elite QBs Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers)
I expect both quarterbacks to have plenty of success on Sunday, but I can't resist playing Kaepernick with a considerable yardage cushion. The 49ers receivers match up well against the Ravens secondary, and I don't think we'll see Kaepernick hesitate to throw it deep when given the opportunity.
We haven't seen a lot of that from the rookie, but I expect the Ravens to do a nice job of limiting Kaepernick's mobility in this game and as a result, forcing him to take to the air a little more often than usual. Joe Flacco is well-positioned to turn in another stellar effort but his lack of consistency worries me in terms of this prop.
Niners’ QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Ravens’ record vs. dual threats
Baltimore’s aging defense hasn’t had to tangle with many dual-threat QBs this season. However, the two times they did have to worry about the QB breaking off big gains, they got burned for losses. The Ravens fell 24-23 to Philadelphia and Michael Vick (371 yards passing, 34 yards rushing and a TD) in Week 2 and lost 31-28 in overtime to Washington and rookie Robert Griffin III (242 yards passing, 34 yards rushing) in Week 14.
The Ravens have a tough time getting sideline to sideline and Kaepernick presents a huge challenge. Not only does his ability to scramble and break the big run need to be accounted for on every snap, but he’s proven just as dangerous with his arm. Kaepernick gashed Green Bay for 181 yards and two TDs on the ground while tacking on two more scores and 263 passing yards in the NFC Divisional Round.
Twenty-eight points is the cut-line for favorites in Super Bowl games. Since 1980, those who failed to score 28 points in the big game are 1-16-1 ATS. Those who managed to tally 28 or more points are 12-1-1 ATS.
FYI: Baltimore has surrendered 28 or more points in 13 of 93 games under John Harbaugh, including twice in 12 playoff games.