The “Roll With Dyce” column has been reprised to help the NFL Spin Zone faithful navigate through their Super Bowl parties victoriously. Yesterday we had a renowned Vegas expert, Michael Konik, give us some tips on how to be successful on the big Super Bowl Sunday. And earlier this week we examined some Super Bowl prop bets. But now, our friends at Pro Computer Gambler have teamed up with us again to bring you the insight needed, so you too can be victorious on Super Bowl Sunday!
There are a lot of emotional stories in this Super Bowl that can sway you one way or the other. Maybe you get caught up in the emotional Ray Lewis farewell tour. Or you think Randy Moss will have a big game and finally win a ring so you want to bet on the 49ers. Well Joe Flacco is in a contract year and could win MVP honors as he leads the Ravens to victory and a new big contract for himself.
Pro Computer Gambler helps us get past that and looks directly at the numbers and trends to make a prediction in time for kick off at 5:30 EST on CBS. As of right now the San Francisco 49ers are favored to win and the spread is 4 points.
Making the case for the San Francisco 49ers
The Ravens have won games by an average of 11.3 points, whereas the 49ers have won games by an average of 16 points this season. Both teams are capable of a blow out win, which is defined as more than 10 points. The Ravens have had 6 blow out wins while the 49ers have put together 8 blow outs. According to PCG, the team more capable of the blowout win is 42-28-1 against the spread, which is 4 points for this game, since 2004. However in Super Bowls the record is 2-3 against the spread.
The 49ers earned a first round bye and divisional title after navigating the 3rd most difficult schedule in the NFL. The Ravens by comparison have had the 15th most difficult schedule. Early on voters were favoring the Ravens, who got 2/3 of the early bets.
There is a new definition of quarterback mobility taking over the NFL with pistol formations and zone-read options and the 49ers switched from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick to embrace this idea. This gamble might pay off because the Baltimore Ravens only faced one mobile quarterback, Robert Griffin III, and they lost that game in over time. The rest of the quarterbacks they faced are your standard NFL drop back passers. Baltimore could have their hands fulled with Kapernick who has already set an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a game earlier these play offs.
Making a case for the Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have been known to have a dominant defense for over a decade now. While the 49ers are a dominant defense as well behind their own 52, Patrick Willis, the Ray Lewis squad is better at pressuring the quarterback. Since 2004, the team that averages more sacks are 57-40-1 against the spread (58.7%), 6-4 this season, and 5-3 in Super Bowls. That favors the Ravens.
We’ve seen wild card teams dominate the Super Bowl while favorites have tumbled. Famously with the New York Giants defeating the undefeated New England Patriots in 2007. Since 2001, the Super Bowl contender with the lower win precentage is 10-0 against the spread and a still dominant 7-3 straight up. The 49ers enjoyed a first round bye while the Ravens duked it out with a rising legend Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.
An what about that old adage “defense wins championships?”
Pro Computer Gambler says the team that averages more points offensively is only 3-7 against the spread and still boast a losing 4-6 record straight up.
This certainly will be a close game with two teams that seem so evenly matched. If you had to trust David Aker or Justin Tucker with the game on the line. You’d take Justin Tucker and he is a Raven. David Akers converted 29 of 42 field goals this season, for 69% his lowest total since 1999, a year which he only attempted 6 kicks. Akers is also 1/2 in the 2013 playoffs. Justin Tucker however has made 30 of 33 attempts for a 90% success rate. His 3 misses were in the 40-49 yard range.
The Pro Computer Gambler simulations have this game being separated by desimal points with a projected score of 24.2 to 24 and the Ravens beating the 49ers.
If the game is this close, take the Ravens with 4 points, if they lose a close game you’ll still cover. If they win even better.
I personally like the Ravens to win as well. I don’t take such a purely statistical look at the game. My gut tells me the Ravens will win behind Ray Lewis and his motivation. But factor in other veterans they’re doing it for, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin and there is a lot of motivation here. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say the Ravens win a close one.