Gambler's Corner: Super Bowl Pick and Prop Bets!
Playoff record: 6-2-1 (+7.06 units)
Baltimore (+3.5) vs. San Francisco (-3.5), o/u 47.5
After a lot of analysis and stats in my first two articles (and solid results), I honestly don’t have a lot of bells and whistles in this one. Baltimore has been the Cinderella story of the offseason. The final stop on the Ray Lewis retirement tour is good ol’ NOLA. Their defense has been fairly solid, limiting Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to 34 combined points (14 of Denver’s 35 points came on kick returns). The story in this one is that Kaepernick provides so many challenges, and I don't feel that the Ravens D is equipped to handle him.
First, Brady and Manning are pocket passers (obviously). Baltimore had the luxury of being able drop 7 and get pressure with Ngata and Suggs. Not only do I feel that the 49ers O-line is better equipped to handle Baltimore's pass rush than Denver or New England, but I also expect the 49ers to run the read-option in Suggs’ direction early to keep him honest. Either way, I see Kaepernick A.) being able to run in his direction if he’s a pass rusher, or B.) have time to throw if he’s setting the edge on play fakes.
The worry with with betting against the Ravens is their deep passing game. If it’s clicking, they’re going to put points up. San Francisco is capable of stopping the run with their stout front 7 though, so I don’t picture a scenario where Baltimore is able to set up the pass with the run like they did against Denver and New England. Expect a lot of quarters coverage from San Francisco as well to protect against the deep pass.
San Francisco has also impressed me with their ability to make adjustments on the fly defensively. They held offensive juggernaut Green Bay to 10 2nd half points (7 were in garbage time) and shutout Atlanta in the 2nd half in the NFC Championship. What it all boils down to for me is that the 49ers have the advantage on offense and defense. I see them winning by at least 7 in this one.
49ers 28, Ravens 17
Play: 49ers -3.5 (2 units)
In case you wanted some more analysis, Johnny and our good buddy from Rotoworld chimed in with their thoughts.
All things being equal, I think Colin Kaepernick is on a fast track in the Big Easy, and things won't be so easy for the Baltimore Ravens. Had this line been bigger, I may have had some doubts. I think Crabtree, Davis and yes, the G.O.A.T., Randy Moss will be too much for an overmatched Ravens' secondary. Not having Lardarius Webb is the difference maker in this matchup. Having to account for the deep play ability of the Niners WRs will leave plenty of running room for Frank Gore and the uber-dangerous Kaepernick.
49ers 28, Baltimore 20
I'm picking the 49ers to cover. My heart is with the Ravens, but I think they lose their biggest edge against San Francisco. The Ravens brought the fight to Denver and New England, knocking them out of rhythm and evenutally into submission. They won't have that advantage against the 49ers, who reslish the challenge of physical football. I also believe the 49ers are going to prove far more adept at taking away Joe Flacco's deep ball, even though they got torched early by Roddy White and Julio Jones in the NFC Championship game. I think Colin Kaepernick gives the 49ers a more dynamic offense than the Ravens, even though Baltimore has more weapons. San Francisco's defnese matches up pound-for-pound with Ray Lewis' defense.
49ers by 7-10 points
I’m not going to put much on these, but they’re always fun and I feel like these few have some value. I’ll be putting 0.25 units on each of these.
Baltimore FG Made before San Francisco FG Made (-110) & David Akers u7.5 points (+105)
These two should be pretty obvious. How can you trust Akers to make any FGs? The dude is so rattled right now. Super Bowl nerves aren’t going to help his cause.
San Francisco 1st Downs -1.5 (-115)
This goes along with my 28-17 score prediction. I think the final first down tally is somewhere around SF 26, BAL 21.
Baltimore Points scored 1H +0.5 vs. Baltimore points scored 2nd half plus OT (-115)
If this is confusing, all it’s saying is that Baltimore essentially scores more points in the first half than it does in the second half plus overtime. I talked about the 49ers ability to shut teams down in the 2nd half, and therefore I really like this play. I’ll actually play this one for 0.5 units.
Both teams first pass not complete (+476)
This seems like a good price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens come out and go deep to catch the 49ers off guard right away, and Kaepernick has shown some nerves early in his first two playoff games.
Safety is not the 1st score (-30000)
Ok, I’m kidding. The juice on this is ridiculous. But do you remember last year what the first score was? It was a safety against Tom Brady. The odds of this happening two years in a row in the Super Bowl have to be like a billion-to-1.
Randy Moss 1st half receiving yards +14.5 vs Torrey Smith 1st half receiving yards (-120)
You better believe that San Francisco is not going to let Torrey Smith burn them deep early in this game. I actually like Moss to have a fairly big role for the 49ers, so I think it's worth the extra 10 cents of juice.
Good luck with your bets this weekend! If you'd like to get my thoughts on any prop bets, please feel free to .
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