USA Today Sports

NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Super Bowl XLVII

In a game as big as the Super Bowl, there’s no shortage of analysis and re-analysis. The media mosh pit breaks down every angle for the Big Game, in hopes of finding the edge.

We’ve been doing this each week of the NFL season, exposing the underlying mismatches to keep you one step ahead of the books, and we’re not going to stop now. Here are three betting mismatches you may or may not have considered when handicapping Super Bowl XLVII.

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers (-3.5, 47)

Ravens’ deep threat vs. Niners’ deep-rooted issues

The Ravens rode the big arm of QB Joe Flacco to New Orleans, with Baltimore averaging 276 yards per game and 9.2 yards per pass in the playoffs. Flacco isn’t afraid to let it fly, going 20 yards or more on over 17 percent of his pass attempts this year – highest in the league. Half on his 22 TD passes this season have been on deep balls.

San Francisco watched Atlanta move the ball with ease en route to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons spread the love amongst their receivers and got two deep strikes from WR Julio Jones. The 49ers have been beat up by the deep ball recently, allowing 15 plays of 20 or more yards in the last three games, with four of those plays posting 40 or more yards. They gave up only 32 plays of 20 or more yards in the 15 games previous. To cut the Niners some slack, those games were against elite QBs Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.

Niners’ QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Ravens’ record vs. dual threats

Baltimore’s aging defense hasn’t had to tangle with many dual-threat QBs this season. However, the two times they did have to worry about the QB breaking off big gains, they got burned for losses. The Ravens fell 24-23 to Philadelphia and Michael Vick (371 yards passing, 34 yards rushing and a TD) in Week 2 and lost 31-28 in overtime to Washington and rookie Robert Griffin III (242 yards passing, 34 yards rushing) in Week 14.

The Ravens have a tough time getting sideline to sideline and Kaepernick presents a huge challenge. Not only does his ability to scramble and break the big run need to be accounted for on every snap, but he’s proven just as dangerous with his arm. Kaepernick gashed Green Bay for 181 yards and two TDs on the ground while tacking on two more scores and 263 passing yards in the NFC Divisional Round.

Ravens’ oh-so special teams vs. Niners’ not-so special teams

The biggest chink in the 49ers' armor this season is their special teams. San Francisco was second worst in the NFL in kick return coverage, giving up 26.9 yards per kickoff. The Niners didn’t take any chances last week, recording five touchbacks on five kickoffs. The Ravens return team was tops in the NFL in average return yards, picking up 27.3 yards per kickoff and returned two kicks for scores, both from speedster Jacoby Jones.

On top of that, Baltimore boasts the steady leg of rookie Justin Tucker, who connected on 32 of his 35 field goal attempts and is perfect on extra points. He’s hit both FG attempts in the postseason so far, which is more than 49ers kicker David Akers can say. Akers has been shaky all season (29 for 42 FGA) and “donged” a 38-yard attempt off the left upright versus Atlanta two weeks ago. San Francisco may roll the dice on fourth down instead of sending out Akers for the long FG shot Sunday.

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Posted by tomnolan
1 year ago

niners win going away. this game is being played indoors fast track. kapernick and friends will be running and running and running on an old ravens defense. flaco will finally be exposed with at great niners defense. will not have time to deliver those long bombs. niners win 34-17. good luck to all!!!
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Posted by stats1
1 year ago

ravens 24-14 also balt.-.5 +190 for the 1st quarter is a great bet...
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Posted by erratic
1 year ago

UNDER w/ Ravens plus the points - Niners ML
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Posted by jjpga
1 year ago

BALTIMORE 31-27.. THIS IS A OVER 47 ALL DAY LONG. FLACCO WILL BE THROWING DOWN FIELD ALOT, RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS ARE ONE OF THE BEST IN NFL FOR GETTING SUPERIOR FIELD POSITION, RAVENS KICKER IS WAY BETTER, DEFENSES ARE ABOUT THE SAME IN MY OPINION. DON'T GET ME WRONG I THINK RAVENS WILL HAVE TROUBLE STOPPING KAPERNICK RUNNING, BUT ITS THE RAVENS TIME WITH LEWIS RETIRING AFTER GAME AND THAT WILL BE EXTRA MOTIVATION.. DONT KNOW WHY TOTAL IS 47, THAT IS A JOKE.. BET THE HOUSE ON THE OVER AND IF YOU REALLY WANNA TRY AND GET PAID PLAY BALTIMORE ML PARLAYED WITH OVER 47..........
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Posted by rickyn
1 year ago

kaepernick exposes the ravens over rated defense niners get sweet revenge for last years game niners in a rout by the way if i turn out to be wrong forget everything i just said see yaaaa
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Posted by Dot123
1 year ago

Kaepernick IS very good, but Flacco has more WINS in play-off games than any QB, plus Flacco has elevated his game to an entirely new level in the last two games. I believe that he will ride that momentum along with Baltimore's "D" who will ride their momentum from holding the PATS to a mere 13 points in FoxBoro. Kaepernick is 2/4 ATS on the road, the Rams beat him and tied him and don't forget he is still an over-achieving "rookie." Baltimore's D is far better than Atlanta's. I keep hearing about the "aging" Baltimore D, do you mean "experienced?" Baltimore 24, 49ers 17.
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Posted by rickyn
1 year ago

flacco will finally be exposed as a one dimensional over rated qb while the young kaepernick exposes the ravens old defense with two weeks to prepare the pistol offense with a young fast confident kaepernick and his run and gun style attack will befuddle the ravens defense while the 6 pro bowlers on the niners defense shut down an overrated flacco and force at least two turnovers in route to a 35-17 victory see yaaaaa
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Posted by HuggyBear724
1 year ago

Ravens +3.5 and the straight up win, I like this game to be close thru out as neither brother will want to embarrass the other. Baltimore wins with a Justin Tucker 39 yard field goal breaking a 24-24 tie with only 1:32 left on the clock. Ray Lewis and the Baltimore D hold will keep the Niners from winning number 6. That's just the way I think it will play out. Oh and by the way did I mention I'm having Pinks Pizza at my Super Bowl Party, should be a good day.
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Posted by %^$%
1 year ago

HuggyBear724, I'm LOOKING for a SB party. See my thread [General Discussion] Topic: NEED A SB PARTY IN THE CHICAGO (or NW IN, or SW MI) AREA
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Posted by gunpati
1 year ago

Defences goes to sleep. Offence wakes up. 49'ers 38 Ravens 35. over 47.....................
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Posted by Ravenswinitall
1 year ago

...you will win Super Bowl 49.
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Posted by Ravenswinitall
1 year ago

The 49ers will finally lose a Super Bowl. But no worries Niners Fans...you will Super Bowl 49 Sincerely, House Annihilator
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Posted by Ravenswinitall
1 year ago

I want everyone reading this comment to read what I will write very slowly and truly understand what I'm about to tell you about Super Bowl 47: This game will be legendary. It will be the hardest hitting, teeth rattling, most physical confrontation in the history of the Super Bowl. It will also be the first Super Bowl to go to overtime. And because the Ravens special teams is superior to the 49ers this season, Ray Lewis will win his last appearance as an NFL player and ride into the sunset like Elway and Bettis. This will happen exactly as I have described. Armed with this inside information, wager accordingly and you will shake the House to it's foundations. Sincerely, House Annihilator
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Posted by ashylarrymp
1 year ago

2 weeks to prepare for both coaches, i expect all of these to be addressed, especially the first 2. should be a good game, but i trust Kaepernick's sheer speed over the niners ability to gameplan for the deep threat. 27-20 niners.
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Posted by texancapper
1 year ago

Based on the stats in previous 3 games....joe flacco is throwing elite #s. he's right there with Brady, Rodgers, and Matt Ryan. Of those 3 QBs, they don't have a defense like the ravens to compliment.
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Posted by nc1capper
1 year ago

28-24 SF
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Posted by Skubishack
1 year ago

Sounds about right.
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Top Response

Posted by HuggyBear724
1 year ago

"Ravens +3.5 and the straight up win, I like this game to be close thru out as neither brother will want to embarrass the other. Baltimore wins with a Justin Tucker 39 yard field goal breaking a 24-24 tie with only 1:32 left on the clock. Ray Lewis ..."