Underdogs have won five of the past 11 games, but against the spread, the game has really gone to the dogs with an 8-3 ATS mark, according to the Super Bowl trends at OddsShark.com.
But even though the Ravens opened as a five-point underdog at most Vegas and online sportsbooks (a steady flow cash on Baltimore pushed the number down to -3.5), many bettors seemed poised to wait for the best Super Bowl odds to place their San Francisco bets.
"A lot of the so-called experts don't think this game will be close, despite all the hype around Ray Lewis and Baltimore's run of playoff luck," analyst Jack Randall said in an interview.
"One book still has the 49ers at -4 and I personally still think it will push back towards -5 before kickoff."
The NFC is 5-0 ATS in winning four of the past five championships and the 49ers have covered both playoff games so far. But it's the athleticism of quarterback Colin Kaepernick that has San Francisco bettors comfortable that their offense can't be stopped.
Combine the belief that your offense can score at will with a statistically proven belief that your defense can dominate and you have reason for optimism, both as a fan and as a bettor.
Raven naysayers aim to debunk the 'team of destiny' theory by showing Baltimore's defense has stopped three top quarterbacks—but three pocket-passing, immobile quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
They also feel the luck and magic of the playoff ride will wear off at the first sign of trouble and that Joe Flacco's perfect 8-0 TD-INT ratio won't hold up Sunday.
Super Bowl Pick: San Francisco has the superior talent on both sides of the ball. Getting them at -3.5 is a bargain. This is easy money. We also play the OVER and take Kaepernick to win the Super Bowl MVP at 8/5 odds. (courtesy of PickShark.com)