Sport American football

NFL Super Bowl XLVII special

Written by James Potter

Here we go! The San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans on Sunday 3 February. A Super Bowl needs no further intrigue, however, the fact that two brothers will coach against each other for the ultimate prize in US sport makes this an especially dramatic lead-up to kickoff.

Let’s have a look at the competitors.

San Francisco 49ers
They beat Atlanta even though they were down 17-0 halfway through the second quarter. They stuck to their game plan and came out on top with their defense not conceding a single point in the second half. The Falcons did well and my heart goes out to Tony Gonzalez, the greatest ever tight end, who will now hang up the cleats.

The 49ers are a franchise which always gets the job done. This is their sixth Super Bowl and they are the only team to have won every Super Bowl they have competed in. The 2013 49ers are a complete football team. They have a great coach, a great passing game, a great running game and arguably the best defense in the sport.

How they can win:
Their defense has to get to Flacco. The Baltimore quarterback is hopeless if he doesn’t have time in the pocket.

How they can lose:
Kaepernick is talented but with fewer than 10 NFL starts he is inexperienced to say the least. He can’t turn over the ball. Look for the 49ers to run the ball early.

Baltimore Ravens
What a journey it has been for the Ravens this year. The injuries, the sackings and the poor form are now distant memories, and their demolition of New England in the second half of the AFC Championship Game was wonderful to watch.

The Ravens, like the 49ers, are a complete team. They have a great coach, a great passing game, a great running game and a defense defying its age.

How they can win:
They need to continue believing in their dream. Get on the Ray Lewis bandwagon and go along for the ride!

How they can lose:
Frank Gore could run Baltimore into the ground. They can’t afford to let the 49ers ease into long drives. Even though the Broncos and the Patriots failed in their attempts, the Ravens’ defense is old and they will tire if kept on the field long enough.

Now we come to the serious business. Who do we bet on? I marked the game with San Francisco as -3 point favorites. The line has been drawn at -4 and this extra point is significant. I would say Baltimore at +4 is a good bet, yet not a great one. The Ravens can win this game so you could even think about backing them without the handicap.

The bet I will be taking is the total points scored. This line has come out at 48 and I reckon total points under is a very good bet. I marked the game at 41, so at 48 I’m all over it! I expect both teams to come out running so the clock will tick quickly. As long as there aren’t any blowouts late in the game, we should be watching the cash roll in.

Enjoy the game!