Well this is it. After 2 weeks of hearing about the Harbaugh brothers, and Ray Lewis, and how NOW people are noticing Joe Flacco is a clutch player (have I mentioned I was well in front of that?!), and how the head coaches in this game came from the same womb. We also had 1 week of deer antler talk, that was really sweet. But now its done, the game is today. It has the ingredients to be a great game. 2 good teams, 2 tough teams, 2 QB’s who have been very clutch in these playoffs. It has the potential to be an all time great game. Lets be honest…while the last 5 Super Bowls have been close games, only the Steelers/Cards game was actually a great game. Great finishes, the odd classic moment, but its so tough in this game for either offense to get any rythem in their game. Anyway, I could ramble on for hours but I want to get to bed some time tonight so lets get to this for the last time until September.
Baltimore vs San Francisco
After rolling with dogs all year long, and literally every pick in the playoffs, why would I change now?! I went 18 games over .500 in the regular season, and I’ve gone 4-2 ATS in the last 2 playoff weekends. Yes wildcard weekend went horribly wrong, it was the exception to the rule….not the rule. But its not just as simple as picking the dog. Its that half a point I’m getting. In games where literally any outcome is in play, getting more than a field goal is huge. So while I really can’t get any kind of read on this game, I do know that I’m much better off betting on the Ravens getting a field goal cushion.
The Niners have been known for having an amazing defense all season long, and all season long the Ravens have been known for having a declining defense that is a shell of it former self. That is true for the entire season, but I’m looking at the playoffs. And in the playoffs the Niners defense hasn’t been itself (actually it started when Justin Smith got hurt and hasn’t been the same even when he has played). Meanwhile, the Ravens held Peyton Manning to 21 points (remember, 14 of the Broncos points were on returns) and they held Tom Brady to 13 points. They may have looked like a shell of its former self most of the season, but with Lewis back in the lineup it has been the old Baltimore D.
As for the offenses, both Kaepernick and Flacco have been cool under pressure in these playoffs. But this is where I think the difference in the game will be, Kaepernick. When betting, it isn’t smart to trust such an inexperienced guy in such a big spot. Tom Brady was great in his 1st Super Bowl, but Ben Roethlisberger was dreadful. Also, I believe that the Niners offense really needs to get into a rythem. It took them a little while to get rolling against the Packers and took them nearly an entire half to get rolling against the Falcons. This game because of more time spent standing around during national anthems and coin tosses, longer commerical breaks, and longer half times I believe will hurt the Niners more than the Ravens.
So take the Ravens getting the points. As for the over/under, I got it at 48.5. I’ve seen in some spots it’s dropped as low as 47.5. My rule in big games like the Super Bowl, BCS title game, Grey Cup, etc is to take the under. Again, with so much stuff going on it is just so difficult to get into a rythem on offense. Also these are 2 of the better defenses that have been in the Super Bowl in a while so while it doesn’t seem like the under is a good bet with how 5 of the last 6 playoff games have gone, this is just a different animal.
So you got my picks, I hope for your sake you used them all season and then took wildcard weekend off. If you win big with these picks today, I want 10-15% of your winnings. If these lose, nobody put a gun to your head and its all YOUR fault! Don’t bet what you don’t have, enjoy the game!
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