The Super Bowl is the marquee event of the year when it comes to sports betting, and 2013 will be no different.
In fact, this may be one of—if not—the most wagered on games in history at the Las Vegas sports books. According to William Hill oddsmaker Jimmy Vacarro (via CBSSports.com), this year's game will top the $93.9 million risked in 2012 and has a chance to break the $94.5 million mark set back in 2006.
If you, like millions of other Americans, are interested in getting down on the action, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re here with our complete gambling guide to Super Bowl XLVIII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, which will include the lines and advice concerning the point spread, total and various proposition bets.
Keep reading to find out how to get an edge on your book and cash tickets following the “Big Game.”
Kickoff: Sunday, February 3, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Live Stream: CBSSports.com
*Betting lines and prop odds provided by Bovada.lv and Betonline.com
Point Spread: San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) over Baltimore Ravens
Our Pick: 49ers (-3.5)
This line has been swaying since it first opened with the Niners as five-point favorites, but we figure some big Baltimore money will keep it right above or at three come kick off.
It is a tough bet, as both teams are evenly matched, and the game promises to be a back-and-forth affair.
However, the 49ers seem destined to win it all and have had every gamble go their way this season—including the risky decision to install QB Colin Kaepernick as a starter over incumbent Alex Smith back in Week 11.
That decision has paid dividends, and we think the team will ride that momentum all the way to a Super Bowl win, triumphing by at least a touchdown.
Our Pick: Under 47.5
Jim and John Harbaugh first met as NFL coaches on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, a matchup many dubbed the first Harbaugh Bowl.
The rosters are largely unchanged since that showdown, which means it would not be surprising to see similar results.
As expected, the defenses stole the show in that contest, as the Ravens carved out a narrow, 16-6 win on the shoulders of their Ray Lewis-less D.
With Lewis back in action and playing in his last game, you know the Baltimore defense is going to step up and make some plays for its leader.
On the other side, San Francisco’s D has made a name for itself with hard-hitting players, a ferocious pass rush and more.
We expect neither side to concede many points, and the total should definitely wind up well below 47.5
Predicted Final Score: 49ers 21 – Ravens 14
Our Pick: Colin Kaepernick, SF QB (9/5). Other Favorites: Joe Flacco, BAL QB (11/4), Frank Gore, SF RB (7/1), Ray Lewis, BAL LB (7/1), Ray Rice, BAL RB (10/1)
As mentioned, Kaepernick has been nothing short of special since taking over the reins of the 49ers offense.
As a starter, he has a 7-2 record going into this Super Bowl and has already put up some of the most impressive playoff performances in history. He set the single-game rushing record by a QB against the Packers and played an all-around great game to beat the Falcons in the NFC Championship.
If the Niners win, as we predict they will, there is absolutely no doubt it is going to be on the shoulders of their signal caller. While the team does have a beastly defense and a great running back in Frank Gore, none impact the game in the same way as the second-year man out of Nevada.
Score in the First 7 Minutes 30 Seconds of Game?
Our Pick: No (+150). Other option: Yes (-180)
We did some research on this prop and taking “No” is an absolute steal that you need to lock up immediately.
According to Nik Bonaddio and Keith Goldner of numberFire (via ESPN Insider, behind pay wall):
Starting right off the bat, our top two predictors (Pittsburgh vs. Denver in 2006 and Washington vs. Seattle in 2006) both started their games slow out of the gate, not scoring until late in the first quarter in the former and nearly halfway through the second in the latter. Somewhat shockingly, we don't see a score in the first 7:30 until the sixth comparable (Carolina vs. New York Giants in 2009), which featured a John Carney field goal with 9:39 left in the first quarter.
With so many comparable teams in history to base this matchup between the 49ers and Ravens off of, it seems safe to say we won’t see a score early on in this one.
Will Both Jim and John Harbaugh Be Wearing Hats?
Our Pick: Yes (-1000). Other Option: No (+600)
Our research for this one comes courtesy of Google Images.
While not scientific fact, it is clear as day when you type in “Jim Harbaugh” and “John Harbaugh” that they almost always wear a hat when coaching on the sidelines.
You may think that's because they usually play outside, but further searching shows the two brothers both wearing ball caps in domes as well.
It is quite the risk to earn a worthwhile reward, but it is a stone cold lock that these two come out with hats on for the Super Bowl.
What Will Nevada’s Handle be for this Super Bowl?
Our Pick: Over 90.5 million dollars (-115), Other Option: Under 90.5 million dollars (-115)
This is a tough one to call, but as we mentioned, Jimmy Vaccaro (who, according to his Twitter biography, has spent 37 years as a bookmaker in Vegas) believes it will go over, and we’re not about to bet against him.
Remember, you can directly influence this one yourself, so go out there, and put a few of your millions on the over for the sake of all us degenerates.