On many boards, the opening line for the Super Bowl had the San Francisco 49ers as a 5-point favorite over the Baltimore Ravens. Now we’re seeing that line tighten a bit with the 49ers as a 4-point favorite.
These teams look pretty evenly matched. The only difference seems to be the Kaepernick factor. He’s not your typical “running” quarterback as he has a gun for an arm, and against Atlanta he showed incredible touch with his passes as well. Of course he can also kill you with his feet, and it can be even worse if you’re stuck with Green Bay’s defense.
But, he’s still a young quarterback. Frankly I won’t be surprised by anything in this game.
On the other side we have Joe Flacco, who seems to have matured a bit, focusing on his team as opposed to how sportswriters feel about him.
We have two strong-armed quarterbacks, some very talented receivers and two excellent running backs. Both defenses are also strong. It should be a good game, but if I had to place some money here, I think I would take the points.
Betting the game is really more about fun. If you’re serious about odds and bets, you’ll be patient and regularly visit sites like bwin to closely study the odds in each sport. So in this evenly matched up contest, really think about it and study it, and then be honest as to whether you’re betting for fun or whether you have a real line on the game.
Will this be the last NFL game for Ray Lewis, or with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady get to another Super Bowl. The guys in Vegas have New England at more than a touchdown favorite, but the line has been moving in Baltimore’s direction.
The other hot pick seems to be San Francisco, as they are now a 3.5 to 4 point favorite on the road against Atlanta, as everyone seems to be jumping on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon. It’s safe to say that quite a bit of money will be wagered today testing that premise.
This is one of the more interesting questions as the NFL kicks off its divisional playoffs later today. Peyton Manning’s record in cold weather games hasn’t been great, and now we hear he’ll be wearing gloves for this playoff game. The Broncos are heavy favorites today as they host the Ravens, and many Ravens fans and those betters taking the points are hoping Peyton will freeze up a bit today.
I hate making NFL predictions. Mostly because the NFL is so hard to predict. It’s also hard reading most of them, as many writers sound so sure of themselves when anyone with a brain should know that there are so many factors that will affect the outcome. Every pick involves weighing probabilities and risks.
It’s particularly frustrating in the first couple of weeks in the season, when people who should know a lot about the NFL and football in generally get sucked in by the hype created by the media. Did you hear about Russell Wilson, and how all of a sudden everyone was picking this short, 3rd round pick to have one of the best rookie seasons?
By reading this week’s Bill Simmons article, I learned that he picked the Seahawks as his sleeper Super Bowl pick. I love reading Simmons, but this is another example of how emotion and hype are thrown into the mix whenever he provides “analysis.” He can really break down certain situations, but since he manages to write about practically everything, we often get excited observations that he pulls out of his ass.
Wilson might go on to have a good year for the Seahawks, but the fact remains that Pete Carroll has taken a huge gamble starting this rookie over Matt Flynn as I pointed when earlier in the preseason. The Seahawks do have a shot at the playoffs, but they pretty much gave away game 1 when Wilson completed only 18 of 34 passes for 153 yards and was sacked three times. The icing on the cake was watching Braylon “stone hands” Edwards drop the last pass. They’re just not good enough to give away games.
Now, I’m not going to completely write off Russell Wilson after one game, just like I won’t write off Brandon Weeden after his horrific debut performance. But at least Weeden has a big arm and is closer to 6′ 4″ as opposed to 5′ 11″. The odds are stacked against Wilson, and that’s just a fact. He may overcome them, but the odds for Seattle this season were probably a little better with Matt Flynn running the offense.
Check out all the lines for this weeks games here.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning (10) hurries a pass as San Francisco 49ers Isaac Sopoaga thunders in on him in the first half at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on November 13, 2011. The 49ers defeated the Giants 27-20. UPI/Terry Schmitt
Ravens @ Patriots, 3:00PM ET, Sunday
The Patriots opened as a 9-point favorite when the odds were first released but the spread has dropped at all major offshore and Las Vegas sports books. Now New England is listed as a 7.5-point home favorite, while the over/under total is sitting between 49.5 and 50.5 after opening at 50.5.
The home team is 4-1-1 against the spread in the last six meetings between these two teams while the Ravens are just 1-3-2 against the number in their last six trips to New England. That said, the last time these two teams met in Foxboro, the Ravens raced out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead on their way to a 33-14 blowout in the 2009 Wildcard round.
Giants @ 49ers, 6:30PM ET, Sunday
This game opened as a pick’em at most sports books but there was an early flood of money posted on the 49ers, who are now 2.5-point favorites over the Giants. The over/under total is sitting between 41.5 and 42.5 after opening at 44.5, so clearly the consensus is that this will be a defensive battle throughout.
These two teams met in Week 10 of the regular season when the 49ers beat the Giants 27-20 as a 4-point home favorite. The favorite is 4-0 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams while the home squad is 5-2 against the number in the last seven overall meetings. But the Giants are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the 49ers and 7-0 against the number in their last seven playoff road games.
2012 NFL Conference Championship Odds:
AFC Championship Game
Baltimore Ravens +7.5 (50)
New England Patriots –7.5
NFC Championship Game
New York Giants +2.5 (42)
San Francisco 49ers –2.5
Check back nest week for more odds as everyone gets ready for 2012 Super Bowl action as we gear up for the biggest sports day of the year.