Super Bowl XLVII: Expert Picks Against the Spread

Jan 30, 2013

This is it. After 5 months, 266 games and 100+“This guy…” references from Jon Gruden, the end of the 2012 season is in sight. When the Super Bowl concludes on Sunday, there won’t be a meaningful game played for another 213 days. It’s a depressing thought, we know.

 

Not quite as depressing has been the performance of the expert consensus vs. the spread this postseason. With the Conference Title games in the books, the consensus is now sporting a 7-2-1 playoff record.  Naturally, the experts are looking to carry that hot streak over to the most important game of the season. Here’s who the pundits like (against the spread) in Super Bowl XLVII…

 

BAL vs. SF (-3.5): Sunday, 6:30pm EST

 

60% 40%
“Baltimore is playing great on both sides of the ball, but I simply don’t seem them stopping a red-hot Colin Kaepernick right now. He’s throwing the ball even better than Flacco, and adds the running dynamic to the mix. The 49ers defense has been a bit weak against the pass, but facing Brady, Rodgers, Wilson, and Ryan will do that. I think they slip past BAL by a TD.” – Mike Clay (Pro Football Focus)
“The Ravens had lost 4 of their last 5 games, but they have since turned it up in the playoffs. They frustrated Broncos QB Peyton Manning in the second half of the Divisional Round Game and shut out New England Patriots QB Tom Brady in the the second half of the AFC Championship Game. In a game that figures to be decided by a field goal, it makes sense to take the team that is receiving 3.5 points and I look for the Ravens to win the game outright. They are on a mission to send MLB Ray Lewis into retirement as a champion and I believe they will do just that on Super Bowl Sunday.” – Derek Lofland (Fantasy Football Maniax)
“The Ravens defense has been much better of late but still doesn’t stack up against the 49ers defense. Vernon Davis could be a huge factor as San Francisco looks to exploit Ray Lewis and the Baltimore linebackers all day in coverage mismatches. Kaepernick as a triple threat will be just too much for the Ravens to contain and the 49ers will win by at least seven.” – Walton Spurlin (Fantasy Sharks)
“After losing four of their final five regular-season games, the Ravens are playing great on both sides of the ball and I think they keep this game close if they don’t win outright.  Joe Flacco has an 8:0 TD-to-INT ratio this postseason and the defense has slowed down Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back-to-back weeks.” – Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)
“The 49ers running game is too much for the Ravens.  While the air attack has been working for Flacco and the Ravens, New England and Indianapolis are not San Francisco.” – Muntradamus (Beast Dome)
“I don’t want the Ravens to win in any way. I pray that they lose for so many reasons. However, the emotion brought by Ray Lewis in his final game and the fact that a wild card team seems to win every Super Bowl these days has convinced me the 49ers don’t stand a chance.” – Kevin Roberts (NFL Soup)
“While the Ravens run in the playoffs has been quite impressive, they haven’t played a mobile quarterback like Kaepernick yet. It brings a whole new look to this Ravens defense because I don’t think they have the speed with the older LBs to keep up with him. Frank Gore is also looking fresh after somewhat of a timeshare this season. I like the 49ers 24-17. ” – Mike Tagliere (Tags Fantasy Football)
“The 49ers best bet to score on offense is to do it on the ground, as the Ravens allowed the 2nd fewest passing TDs in the league this year. They might be able to move the ball through the air a bit, but I’m guessing we’ll see more field goal attempts from David Akers than TDs in this one. The X-factor here will be Joe Flacco and whether or not he can sustain his current playoff hot streak. I believe he does and ends up leading the Ravens to a very close victory, but either way, this is going to be one of the more hard-nosed games in Super Bowl history, which I also believe gives BAL a slight edge.” – Dawgmatica (Pyromaniac)
“I had the hardest time with this one, but I think San Francisco is the best team on both sides of the ball. After watching the adjustments that the 49ers have made in the 2nd half of both of their playoff games, it’s hard to pick against them. They continued to pour on points in both games while only allowing a GB field goal and a GB garbage time TD. The 3.5 number is a little scary, but I think the 49ers go on to win by a TD.” – Ryan Forbes (2MugsFF)
“This will be a very close game, and right now it is hard to go against the hottest team in football in the Ravens. The Ravens can exploit the one Achilles heel the 49ers have, and that is defending the deep ball. Flacco has been unconscious this post season, as he has thrown for 828 yards, 8 TDs, and no picks. I also see San Francisco getting tired, as they have a limited defensive rotation, and the Super Bowl is where you need all of your players right down to number 53 on the roster.” – Dan Yanotchko (EDSFootball)
“I keep taking the 49ers because when I do, I’m taking the better defense and the better coach.  I’m also getting the more dangerous quarterback in Colin Kaepernick, and with him, an offense explosive enough to cover three-and-a-half points.” – Greg Smith (The Fake Football)
“I truly think Colin K is going to get hit hard and often. Baltimore will use its TEs to open the middle of the field and use Ray Rice in the passing game.” – Ken Zalis (Fans Fantasy Football)
“Colin Kaepernick will be the X factor. The 49ers defense will have an easier time against Flacco and Co. than the Ravens D will against C.K. and the 49ers offense.” – Zach Greubel (Win My Fantasy League)
“This team has more playoff experience, a better kicker, and they’ve had to overcome more to get this far.” – Sigmund Bloom (FootballGuys)
“The Ravens have been on a magic carpet ride, but I think Patrick Willis and company end the fairy tale ending for Ray Lewis. They are more physical on both sides of the football. On Sunday, it will show.” – Ryan Lester (Lesters Legends)
 Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts)
 “San Francisco has both the offensive weapons and a better defense to beat Baltimore. I don’t even think that the game will be close. Look for QB Colin Kaepernick to do what he did against Green Bay which was rush for 181 yards.” – Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Sports Empires)
 Michael Pichan (RotoInfo)
“Baltimore reminds me of the 2008 Cardinals. I picked against the Cardinals in all of their playoff games. I was finally right in their Super Bowl loss to the Steelers. This is the week that I’m finally right about the Ravens losing. How’s that for logic?” – Austin Lee (Pro Football Focus)
 Joe Dyken (FFNerd)

“I simply cannot believe the emotional train that is Ray Lewis will carry his team to a Super Bowl title in his “last” NFL season. I see Gore punishing the Ravens’ defensive line, which will open up throwing lanes for Kaepernick both underneath and over the top to Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. The 49ers defensive unit (and we all know defense wins championships) should finally shut down the Joe Flacco/Ray Rice show.” – Tony Mauriello (FantasyTrade411)
“Both teams are playing well, but I just think the 49ers are better. Great analysis, I know.” – John Halpin (Fox Sports)
“It’s not going to be easy for SF, but their defense will help them take it home.” – James Hatfield (Hatty Waiver Wire Guru)
 Jeff Brubach (The Fake Football)
 Raju Byfield (Win My Fantasy League)

 

As always, thanks to the experts for taking the time to give us their predictions. Best of luck to everyone with your rooting interest this weekend. Enjoy the game!

 

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