NFL Betting: Super Bowl Tips



Of course, because it's the big one, the Super Bowl is the only game in town this weekend. The line is the San Francisco 49ers giving 3.5 points to the Baltimore Ravens, which tempts me to take the underdog because the Ravens have not only covered but won on the road in their last two play-off games. But just because there's only the one game doesn't mean there aren't a plethora of other bets to keep you busy — in fact, because it's the Super Bowl, you can bet on almost anything. After all, this is America!

Sure thing: Colin Kaepernick rushing yards - over 45.5 at 1.75

This is the one I like the best, because it's unlikely the Ravens will sell their defence out to stop Kaepernick the way the Falcons did against San Francisco in the conference championship. It worked - in the sense that Kaepernick didn't get many yards at all - but it also allowed Frank Gore to gain a lot, and it gave up a touchdown to LaMichael James on a veer-option (James running outside Kaepernick) which the Niners hadn't used all season. What makes this bet more attractive is that the Ravens rush the passer very aggressively — and Kaepernick is very good at scrambling for yardage as well as running on set plays. That gives you two ways to get to 46 yards.

Outside bet: Randy Moss touchdown yes/no - yes at 4.25

Moss has been the outlier for the Niner offense all year, and might get overlooked once they're near the goal line. But I actually see a better possibility of Moss doing to Baltimore what their Torrey Smith has done to other teams all season, and beat a corner back deep in single coverage to come up with an unexpected score. I'd also consider spreading money around on Vernon Davis and Dennis Pitta (the opposing tight ends), with the only mitigating factor being that I like the under (47 points at 1.91) too, and thus can't expect too many touchdowns!

Value bet: Team that scores first to win yes/no - no at 2.35

I am convinced this is going to be a close game, and I would also be very tempted to take the Ravens for the first score. But I don't see that as any guarantee they will win, and because the odds tilt in favour of the team that scores first, this becomes a pretty good value bet. I also don't see overtime, because the Ravens have a very efficient field goal kicker in Justin Tucker, while the Niners' veteran David Akers has been extremely erratic all season long.

One to avoid: The game itself!

The Ravens and points is very tempting, and I am very much convinced they may win this game outright as they did as road dogs against Denver and New England. I am picking the Niners straight up, which is me following my head: I think they're better balanced and have more weapons to defeat a very good Baltimore defence that has got healthy at just the right time. But in my gut, I'm looking at that Ravens' D and their big-play potential on offence, and thinking that, like the Giants in 2007 and last year or the Packers the year before last, they are the form team that will be able to continue their form one more week.

The battle of the Harbaugh brothers is the thing that's receiving all the attention, but what's also interesting to me is that both of the Niners' coordinators, Greg Roman and Vic Fangio, coached for the Ravens (albeit in the pre-John Harbaugh era). These are two teams that play football based on power up front, but the Niners are very creative offensively and the Ravens have that big-play potential, and, in Ray Rice, the guy most likely to make a one-off spectacular play to save a game. I actually like the way the Ravens' D matches up, but the next most likely guy to make a spectacular play is probably Kaepernick, which is why I picked the Niners. You can follow your own head or your own gut on this one!

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