Super Bowl 2013 Odds: Line and Spread Info for Ravens vs. 49ers

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Super Bowl 2013 Odds: Line and Spread Info for Ravens vs. 49ers
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

 

HarBowl it is in 2013 at Super Bowl XLVII.

John and Jim Harbaugh, two brothers, will become the first biologically paired football coaches to duel one another for a chance to win football's biggest prize.

John Harbaugh and his team got the better of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship, as Baltimore shocked the world again to reach the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history. 

In the NFC, San Francisco weathered the storm of the the first-half assault by Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons to squeak out a win. Their return to the Super Bowl marks the first time since 1995, when Steve Young led his team to their fifth championship. 

The matchup poses two preseason favorites who have overcome considerable odds to meet in the big game.

Teams favored to win were 8-2 in this year's postseason, with Baltimore scoring both victories for the underdogs.

 

John Harbaugh congratulated his brother, hours before his team punched their ticket to the big game.

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.

When: Sunday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS, online at CBSSports.com

Listen: Sirus XM Radio: 88

 

Spread: San Francisco -4.5 (according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants' opening line)

This initial betting line is sure to shift in the coming weeks as the Super Bowl is always one of the heaviest sporting events of the year. Playing as underdogs doesn't seem to phase John Harbaugh's team, as they have won their past two games while having their opponents favored in Las Vegas.

Overall, this game could really go either way.

The deciding factor will ultimately be each team's ability to stop the running game of their opponent.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons put the ball in the air and beat the 49ers in the first half, but couldn't steadily move the ball on the ground as the Niners adjusted to stop the pass.

Alternately, the New England Patriots got away from their MO and failed to stay balanced once falling behind the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.

Running the ball will open everything else up and the 49ers have the advantage there. Look for them to win by at least one touchdown as a result.

 

Over/Under: 49.5 (according to Las Vegas Sports Consultants' opening line)

These NFL playoffs have proven one thing: Defense has gone completely out the window in the playoffs. That trend should continue with Baltimore's offensive resurgence and with the way Colin Kaepernick has changed the lethality of San Francisco's offense.

Overall, both teams have strong and physical defenders that can make impact plays. But, the pressure of the moment and the scheming that will go on by the two brothers bodes well for a high-scoring and exciting season finale.

The last time these two teams met, Baltimore won a very low-scoring regular season matchup. Expect the opposite this time around, with both teams combining to break 50 total points in New Orleans.

 

Players to Watch

Baltimore: RB Ray Rice

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta did not run the football very effectively against San Francisco in the NFC Championship and it cost them. Rice, who only totaled 48 yards on 19 attempts against New England, will need to have a big game for the Ravens in order to keep them in positive down-and-distance situations.

He certainly has the ability, although he has taken a step back in importance in the Ravens' offense thanks to the new reliance on Joe Flacco to carry the team.

As Ryan showed last week, beating San Francisco for four quarters is a tough endeavor. Look for the Ravens to attack the strong 49ers' rush defense in order to better control the pace of the game.

 

San Francisco: QB Colin Kaepernick

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Kaepernick didn't repeat his excellent record-setting performance by taking to the ground often in the 49ers' win over Atlanta. Still, the young QB was efficient, smart and made plays when he needed to with his feet rather than relying on them.

Baltimore has done a good job containing mobile quarterbacks this season, holding Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick to under 40 yards.

That means the team's running game may have to be powered not with the legs, but with the arm of Kaepernick. And he's shown that he has one of the best guns in the league. Some of his throws resemble MLB pitchers hurling fastballs towards their catchers. 

 

Keys to a Ravens Win

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Baltimore needs to stay aggressive and keep the pressure on the 49ers' secondary. Matt Ryan and the Falcons exposed some weaknesses back there by playing to their team's strengths.

Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin are similar to Roddy White and Julio Jones, and could stretch the Niners deep in order to open up the underneath game.

It all starts with game-planning, and John Harbaugh must keep his foot on the gas in order to cap off this remarkable season with a victory.

 

Keys to a 49ers Win

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This is pretty simple for the 49ers. If they can play their style of football, which used to be the Ravens' style of football, they will come away with a victory in New Orleans.

The Niners must run the football effectively and use that success in order to let Kaepernick work the ball down the field. Establishing the run, especially against a Ravens D that allowed over 120 yards per game, is an imperative for them.

If they can do that, they will open up everything else in their playbook. And Kaepernick has all the tools to execute anything in Jim Harbaugh's game plan.

 

Prediction

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This is a matchup many people wanted to see. A tough game to call, but ultimately a fine showdown for the season's biggest game. Neither team played one another in the regular season and both have similar makeups.

San Francisco is built to beat teams like Baltimore, though, competing in a hard-nosed NFC West Division this season. Baltimore's AFC North is no slouch, either, so this should be a hard-fought and competitive game that has its fair share of big hits and punishment dealt.

In the end, the 49ers are the complete package and will finally end the impressive resurgence of the Ravens. It won't be easy and it won't be decided early on. The Niners will win on a late turnover and field goal that will put the game out of reach for Baltimore.

49ers win 30-21

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