Super Bowl XLVII is scheduled to kickoff almost 48 hours from now and the San Francisco 49ers are still holding firm a the favorite to win the Lombardi Trophy. The latest Super Bowl Betting Odds 2013 have the 49ers listed as a -3.5 against the spread and -175 moneyline favorite ($175 wins $100) to defeat the Baltimore Ravens.
Strangely enough, most pundits are pointing toward the Niners offense and its ability to, potentially, exploit the Ravens aging defense as the key to Sunday’s game. San Francisco’s vaunted defense is not an afterthought, but it is safe to say a large number of people no longer view it as the team’s biggest strength.
The 49ers offensive transformation has been well documented. Football fans and bettors are well aware of the impact Colin Kaepernick has had on the team since taking over under center (23.6 points per game to 28.1 points per game), but the numbers would indicate the switch at quarterback has also impacted the defense.
Simply put, this defense has not played like an elite unit since its week nine bye. San Francisco allowed just 271.3 yards and 13.4 points per game prior to its break; it has given up 336.8 yards and 22.5 points per contest since. That’s a difference of 65.6 yards and 9.1 points per game in games where Kaepernick has taken the majority of the snaps.
While the numbers are dramatically different, the results have largely been the same with the Niners going 6-2 with Alex Smith and 7-2-1 with Kaepernick, but there could be cause for concern this weekend.
San Francisco produced 32 sacks in its first 13 games for an average of 2.5 per game, but it has tallied a mere eight sacks in its last five games and three of those came against the Patriots (1.6 sacks per game). The lack of pressure has manifested itself in the pass defense with the Niners giving up an average of 289.2 pass yards per game in their last five games. To lend that number some perspective, had San Francisco finished the season with that average it would have ranked as the third worst pass defense in the entire NFL.
Given the way Joe Flacco has played of late, he could spell big trouble for the Niners defense if it is unable to pressure him. The Ravens have a significant deep threat in Torrey Smith and a sure handed chains mover in Anquan Boldin, and Flacco will take full advantage of both if allowed to do so.
Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore vs. San Francisco Betting
Everything you need to know about betting the Side, Total and Props in Super Bowl 47 between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (2/03/13) -- with free picks by Pregame.com's Steve Fezzik, Vegas Runner and Bryan Leonard.
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