The San Francisco 49ers are currently 3.5-point favorites in Super Bowl XLVII (per OddsShark.com), and they will cover. First and foremost, they are my pick to win the game over the Baltimore Ravens, but I'm also predicting the margin of victory to between seven to 10 points.
We could take a look at the teams' records against the spread, and how they have fared when they are favored or underdogs by more than a field goal, but none of that matters.
These two teams haven't played each other this season, and there is no real way to know the outcome. What they've done against other teams will only lead you astray and create false trends.
What we do know is that the Ravens are facing an offense their aging defense doesn't match up well with. Colin Kaepernick and the read-option will show the cracks in the foundation we saw in the regular season but haven't seen throughout the postseason.
With the Niners' three-headed monster in the running game (Kaepernick, Frank Gore and LaMichael James), and weapons in the passing game up the seams (Vernon Davis) and on the outside (Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree), the team will score points.
The Niners' biggest issue is on defense.
The major question is how they will contain the suddenly balanced and deadly Ravens attack. The Niners secondary is the best group the Ravens will have faced throughout the postseason.
They won't leave a cornerback on an island to be destroyed the way Champ Bailey was by Torrey Smith in the divisional round.
Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has shown a commitment to the running game, and he'll need to establish that to keep the Niners honest.
This is far easier said than done against a front seven genuinely capable of containing most run games without safety help.
I'm obviously not predicting a blowout, but the Ravens can't keep pace with the Niners. My prediction for the final score is 24-14, with another major championship headed to the City by the Bay.
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