Betting on the Super Bowl is the reason that the game has become must-see television for millions of people in this country. The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers have legions of fans, but the reason the game will likely set television ratings records is because of all the fluff.
That fluff includes the commercials, Beyonce singing at halftime and, of course, the gambling aspect of the game.
It is amazing how fast Las Vegas, or wherever you get your odds from, works. As soon as the Super Bowl is set, the odds are ready to go. They will change, obviously, over the next two weeks as bettors decide where to best use their money.
Since we are just two days into the betting, the line has not moved a lot yet. But there is a lot of action taking place, and we are going to break down the odds for Super Bowl XLVII.
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider
Point Spread: San Francisco (-4)
The fact that the 49ers are favored is not a surprise. They entered the season as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, did nothing in the regular season to make anyone think less of them and the emergence of Colin Kaepernick has made the offense more dangerous.
It also doesn't hurt that the 49ers have been rolling, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They have put up 73 points in their two playoff games. The defense has given up 48 points (the team has allowed 55, but seven came on Kaepernick's interception returned for a touchdown against Green Bay).
Plus, Green Bay and Atlanta have been able to throw the ball against the 49ers because of an inconsistent pass rush. The defense has allowed 653 passing yards and five touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.
The Ravens played a bend-but-don't-break style against Indianapolis, allowing 419 yards on 87 plays. They gave up a lot of points against Denver, but were able to get big plays from the offense and did enough in the second half defensively to get the win in double overtime.
Against New England, the Ravens struggled early. They had just seven points at halftime, and Joe Flacco was struggling with his consistency. After offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell cut him loose in the second half, they had their way with a depleted Patriots secondary.
When you can go on the road and pitch a shutout in the second half, as both the Ravens and 49ers did in their conference championship games, you are going to make an impression.
A four-point spread is hardly a slap in the face to the Ravens, though it does seem to be a little generous given what we have seen from both teams in the postseason.
That number strikes me as being high for this game. We have seen both teams put up a lot of points in a hurry, but it doesn't seem like either team is going to be able to move the ball that well against the opposing defense.
Yes, the 49ers have given up a lot of passing yards. But rarely do they get caught sleeping and beaten for big plays. It did happen against Atlanta, but that was primarily due to confusion on their part and not something that the Falcons were doing.
It would be a surprise to see Dashon Goldson have as difficult a time in coverage in this game as he did against Atlanta.
Both teams have the playmakers on offense to put up points, it just feels like this is going to turn into more of a defensive showdown than anything else. It could get close to that 47.5-point total, though it doesn't seem like that will happen.