NFL

Super Bowl Odds 2013: Baltimore Ravens Are the Smart Bet in Harbaugh Bowl

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after a play late in the game against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2013

I'm expecting the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII, but if you're looking to win some cash, throw your flow on the underdog Baltimore Ravens.

The betting line has already shifted several times, so don't be surprised if it looks a little different by game day. As of early Monday morning, though, the 49ers are listed as 3.5-point favorites, according to RJ Bell of Vegas Insider.

#Ravens money continues: Heritage sportsbook first to move to #49ers -3.5

RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 21, 2013

It's tempting to bet on the 49ers because of their recent success. After destroying the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco recovered from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons at home. Colin Kaepernick was excellent again, and the Niners looked like the most complete team in football.

However, the smart money is on Baltimore in this one.

The Ravens have been on fire this postseason, and they've already made history as an underdog. RJ Bell has the details:

#Ravens FIRST bigger than TD underdog to win BOTH Division rd and Championship rd (from 1978 onwards)

RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 21, 2013

There are many reasons why the Ravens have been able to upset their last two opponents, but the main one is the spectacular play of Joe Flacco. The fifth-year quarterback terrorized his AFC opponents, passing for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in three postseason games.

The Ravens have also been getting strong performances from their defense.

The New England Patriots averaged 34.8 points per game this season (1st in NFL), but Baltimore gave up just 13 points to Tom Brady and company. The Ravens rallied around Ray Lewis again, holding the high-flying Patriots scoreless in the second half.

With their big-play offense and stingy defense, it is almost impossible to blow the Ravens out.

They will certainly keep this game close, and I'd be surprised if they lose by more than three points, if they lose at all.

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