Super Bowl Line: Ravens Will Continue to Defy Vegas in Battle with 49ers

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after defeating the New England Patriots in the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 28-13.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens are a team of destiny. They will be the 2013 Super Bowl champions. 

Luckily for those who like to place a little wager, the betting public has still not caught on to this fact.  

After spending the last two weeks as big underdogs, the Ravens once again find themselves in that role as they prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers in this year's Super Bowl. 

As of the morning of Feb. 3, Bet Online has the Ravens listed as 3.5-point underdogs, and plus-165 on the moneyline. 

I'm jumping on the moneyline, but with a modest plus-165, taking the crucial 3.5 points is also a nice option. 

As the Ravens have rallied around Ray Lewis, while he embarks on his final playoff run before retiring at the end of the season, this team is doing everything it takes to win. 

They started this playoff run with an easy win at home over the Colts. Next up, they went into Denver to take on the AFC's top seed. 

In that game, the Ravens used an unfathomable 70-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones to tie the game with 31 seconds left and force overtime—where they eventually got a game-winning field goal. 

Those kinds of long bombs, with a team trailing and less than a minute to go, just don't happen in the NFL. However, for these magical Ravens, it was just another day at the office. 

On Conference Championship Sunday, the Ravens entered halftime in New England trailing the Patriots 13-7. That is a recipe for doom. Tom Brady entered that game sporting a perfect 67-0 record when entering halftime at home with the lead. He is now 67-1 in that department, and the Ravens are in the Super Bowl. 

This is now a healthy team peaking at the right time, and they have built up an air of invincibility that inspires the confidence to perform great, and even improbable, things. 

A bet on the Ravens is not just based on this mythical notion of destiny either. There are several on-field factors that highlight the Ravens path to victory. 

The Ravens' offensive line is doing a nice job of protecting Joe Flacco. He has been sacked just four times in the three playoff games. Meanwhile, the 49ers are struggling to put pressure on quarterbacks. They have just two sacks in this postseason run, and outside of Aldon Smith, they don't have any single player they can count on to get consistent pressure. 

As the Falcons showed two weeks ago, while Matt Ryan threw for 396 yards, the 49ers' secondary is vulnerable when the opposing quarterback has time to throw. 

On the other side of the ball, the Ravens will have to figure out how to stop Collin Kaepernick. In the past two games, the Ravens have forced quarterback legends Peyton Manning and Brady into chucking four interceptions and four touchdowns. 

The Ravens will force the 49ers to take to the air to keep up with Baltimore's offense, and they will force some crucial turnovers when they do. 

Prediction: Ravens 31, 49ers 27