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Super Bowl Point Spread: Why Las Vegas Got It Wrong

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh (L) of the San Francisco 49ers and his brother, head coach John Harbaugh (R) of the Baltimore Ravens stand next to each other before the start of their game at M&T Bank Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2013

The Super Bowl point spread (-4, per Bovada.lv) for the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens might look like a risky bet to take and that's because it is.

If you're going to take the spread Las Vegas has given, it means you believe the 49ers will emerge victorious. Coming into Super Bowl XLVII, the Niners are clearly the better all-around team, so it certainly isn't a stretch that they win this game.

Now we have to focus on the margin of victory, which must be more than four points for takers of the spread to become winners.

Against the New England Patriots, the Ravens were heavy underdogs (-9, per Bovada.lv), but that didn't matter as Baltimore won, 28-13. That spread was poorly thought out despite the Pats' past success earlier in the season, and the Ravens proved it.

Besides, three of the Ravens' six regular season losses were by less than four points. They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-23, the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-20, and the Washington Redskins, 31-28. Chances are if the Ravens lose, it will be a close contest that will fall in line with the spread.

The Niners can be seen as the bigger threat to live up to their side of the bargain in this spread.

San Francisco has yet to beat an opponent by less than four points in the playoffs, although they beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, 28-24.

In fact, none of the 49ers' wins this entire season have been by less than four points, but don't fret just yet.

The Super Bowl is an entirely different animal in and of itself. The incredible pressure of the biggest game of the NFL season will no doubt leave both teams nervous and likely off to slow starts, no matter what the players may say.

Colin Kaepernick is a sensational player and is the key to any 49ers' win, but he is human and the pressure of the big game could take a little bit out of the second-year quarterback and his success on the field.

This scenario will keep the game close, thus a three-point or less margin of victory is more likely than not.

Baltimore will come out extremely motivated to play and win this game, much like they have done these entire playoffs. San Francisco will come out the same, making this a hard-fought battle that won't see either team running away with it.

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