The biggest football game of the year is this Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. So, today, we bust out the ol’ betting notebook looking for some trends and insight into Sunday’s game:
-The loser has scored exactly 10 points in four of the six previous Super Bowls at the Superdome. The average margin of victory in the six games was 22 points, thanks to blowouts conducted by arguably the two greatest teams of all time, the 1989 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears. The last Super Bowl played in New Orleans, however, was the razor-thin 20-17 New England victory over St. Louis in 2002.
-Super Bowl XLVII will end a streak of five straight title games where at least one quarterback had Super Bowl experience.
-San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has improved against added pressure during the postseason, primarily because he is making quicker decisions. He held onto the football for 3.8 seconds before passing, taking a sack or scrambling in the regular season when facing five or more pass rushers (league average: 3.4 seconds). That has dipped to 2.8 seconds in the postseason, and the result has been a 98.9 total quarterback rating (out of 100).
-Ray Rice is averaging 21.3 carries per game this postseason. The Ravens are 21-3 when he starts and gets more than 20 carries.
-The Ravens lead the all-time series with the 49ers 3-1 and have won three straight. The last two Ravens-49ers games have featured a total of two TDs.
-The Ravens are 7-1 all-time as the No. 4 seed. Their previous Super Bowl win in 2011 came as a No. 4 seed. Baltimore boasts a 13-7 record in the postseason, the best win percentage of any franchise.
-The NFC has won three straight Super Bowls. The last time the NFC won four in a row was streak of 13 straight Super Bowl wins from 1984-96.
-39 of the 46 Super Bowl winners have owned Top-10 ranked defences. What is surprising, though, is that while clubs with the better defence have gone 22-10 SU and 18-14 ATS in the big game since 1981, these teams are only 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS over the last six years.
-The 49ers are 5-0 all-time in the Super Bowl; they are the only franchise with more than one Super Bowl appearance without a loss. With a win, San Francisco would join Pittsburgh as the only franchises to win six Super Bowls
-The Ravens have allowed only two passing TD to tight ends this season (including the playoffs) – the fewest TD allowed to tight ends this season. Vernon Davis has the most receiving yards per game (110.5) by a tight end in postseason history.
-As NFL head coaches, neither Harbaugh has lost a game following a bye week including the playoffs. John is 6-0; Jim is 3-0-1.
-The Ravens downed the Niners, 16-6, on Thanksgiving Day last year, marking the only time Brother Jim has come up short in a non-conference tilt, as he is 7-1 SU and ATS against the AFC. That ties into his 19-5 SU and 19-5 ATS record in all games played outside the NFC West division.
-Jim Harbaugh is 10-1 SU and 8-3 over/under in games when the total is set at more than 43 points, while John is 5-2 over/under in games identically set at more than 43 points.
Super Bowl favourites (read: San Francisco) taking on opponents off back-to-back SU and ATS wins are just 13-10 SU and 8-15 ATS.
-28 points is the cut-line for favourites in Super Bowl games. Since 1980, those who failed to score 28 points in the big game are 1-17 ATS. Those who managed to tally 28 or more points are 12-2 ATS.
-The NFC has held the upper hand over the AFC in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, going 21-10 SU and 21-10 ATS, including 4-0 SU and ATS the last four years.