The purpose of Super Bowl XLVII is ultimately to decide whether the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers will be crowned the champion of the 2012-13 NFL season, but it's also a massive money-making venture for bettors across the world.
With endless prop bets, live betting scenarios and more, the Super Bowl is a yearly exercise in a never-ending gambling extravaganza.
It's also the oddsmakers' favorite day of the year.
For the most part, the Vegas oddsmakers rake in millions on the Super Bowl every year. Inexperienced bettors flock to the sportsbooks with their checkbooks open, placing uneducated bets that so often lead to an empty wallet.
Luckily, all it takes is a little education and logic to turn free money for the oddsmakers into some extra spending change for bettors. With that in mind, let's take a look at all the betting information for Super Bowl XLVII.
Spread: 49ers -4 (via Vegas Insider)
It seems like we've been saying it the entire postseason: Just about every single piece of statistical evidence points to the 49ers winning and covering the spread.
San Francisco was the better team during the entire regular season, looked like one of the best squads in recent NFL history against the Green Bay Packers and proved it could battle back against the Atlanta Falcons.
On paper, it seems unlikely that the Ravens' defense, which isn't exactly the most spry bunch in the league, would be able to shut down Kaepernick in the read-option. The 49ers quarterback ran just twice against the Falcons, a coaching move that seemed curious at the time, but may once again prove fruitful in New Orleans.
However, it's impossible to ignore the fact that we have been saying this for the entire postseason. The Ravens have taken a soaring leap forward during the postseason, vanquishing Peyton Manning in the divisional round and holding Tom Brady's New England Patriots scoreless in the second half of the AFC Championship Game.
Ray Lewis has returned to the lineup and made a once-porous run defense look fantastic, recording a whopping 44 tackles in three games. What's more, Baltimore's secondary and pass rush have continually forced check-downs this postseason. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 1.57 fewer yards per attempt against the Ravens than they did during the regular season thus far.
With Kaepernick's big play ability having such a factor for the 49ers' trip to New Orleans, Baltimore seems like the only team playing well enough to come away victorious.
At the very worst, this feels like a field goal difference. Wait until pre-kickoff and see if the line moves any more in San Francisco's favor, but pick the Ravens and hope to at least win on the points.
Pick: The Ravens
Over/Under: 47.5 (via Vegas Insider)
Six of the past eight Super Bowls have hit the under. That stat means absolutely nothing, but it's one that will undoubtedly be quoted incessantly by those talking heads wanting to seem edgy by mentioning the television taboo known as betting lines.
As for Super Bowl XLVII, well, it feels a whole lot like we're destined for a seventh "under" hitting in the past nine years. The current 47.5 figure is the fourth highest in the past decade, and has been bet down feverishly since opening at 52.5.
That should have been expected considering how well Baltimore's defense has played during the postseason. You don't hold Brady scoreless for an entire half and Manning to 21 points (excluding the two Trindon Holliday touchdowns) without your play rising to a certain elite status.
But Lest we forget that the 49ers had arguably the NFL's best defense during the regular season. They finished fourth against both the run and pass yardage-wise, second in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric and first in Pro Football Focus' overall defensive rankings.
Kaepernick has been the story during the playoffs, and rightfully so. San Francisco's defense looked vulnerable during the first half against the Falcons and allowed (a very misleading) 31 points to the Packers.
There is a possibility that both quarterbacks ascend once again on the big stage and we have a shootout. However, this feels far more like both Harbaughs playing it close to the vest and Super Bowl XLVII playing a methodical pace.
Take: The Under
Best Prop Bet (via Bovada)
Will Beyonce be joined by Jay-Z on stage during the Super Bowl halftime show? (Yes, 11/10)
This obviously has nothing to do with the on-field festivities whatsoever. But that doesn't make it any less of a money-making venture.
Unless you've abstained from television for the past month, Beyonce will be the Super Bowl halftime performer. Her husband just so happens to be Jay-Z, part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets and hip-hop legend.
On the surface, the easy answer to this prop would be no. Jay-Z is a famous enough to headline the Super Bowl himself. What's more, Mr. Shawn Corey Knowles-Carter and his equally talented wife are famously private and haven't really been prone to surprise performances together—until recently. Jay-Z famously brought Beyonce to the stage during his final show at the Barclays Center in October, and now he has the chance to return the favor.
The real clincher here is a little song called "Crazy in Love." It's arguably Beyonce's biggest hit of her career and features a fun guest verse from—you guessed it—Jay-Z. Though Beyonce has probably played that song a kajillion and a half times without her husband, this is the Super Bowl.
Crazy things and guest performances happen all the time. With the cat already out of the bag about a Destiny's Child reunion in New Orleans, a surprise appearance from the Jigga Man may be the only way to make Beyonce's set legendary.
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