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SBXLVII - Early Total Thoughts

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Super Bowl Total: Can the Ravens and 49ers get to 48?

The total for the Super Bowl sits at 47 ½ points and with history suggesting that bettors will likely only push this line up as the game gets closer; some are wondering if they should get in on the total now.

Since realignment in 2002 we have seen some high-scoring Super Bowls, but only half of them (5) have combined for 48 or more points. With the way these two offenses are playing at the moment, there aren’t many reasons to think this game can’t see at least 48 points.

Until you look at “HarBowl I…

That was a 16-6 Baltimore Ravens win over the 49ers in the first game these two brothers coached against one another. San Francisco was still using Alex Smith at QB and he really struggled. Smith had only 140 passing yards (0 TD/1INT) and was sacked nine times. 9 Times!

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Obviously, Kaepernick’s mobility helps tremendously this time around, but John Harbaugh still may have something figured out in how he believes the 49ers will attack him. To have nine sacks against someone is to dominate their offensive-line to a point of confused exhaustion. The 49ers offensive-line looked that way numerous times in that first meeting and could be in for another rough time.

Kaepernick will be able to make up for many of those deficiencies and simply make plays. Just the threat of his mobility has to slow down Baltimore’s pass rush. That isn’t something the Ravens have been too concerned in this playoff run. They’ve beat Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. All three are prototypical drop-back passes that provide little threat with their legs. That’s what Alex Smith is, and that’s why Baltimore dominated last year’s game. Baltimore won’t have that luxury with Kaepernick back there and the Ravens will continue to need strong secondary play to win this game.

Yet, with these teams almost identically built (great RB, great D, deep-threat WR), and coached by brothers, you do have to believe there will be some shots taken. It will be near impossible for either coach to not have one or two big play calls up his sleeve. This is the biggest stage of them all and you’re trying to beat someone that knows you so well. Thinking outside the box will decide this game, and big plays of any nature, (trick plays, long bombs) typically lead to points. For these two to put up at least 24 isn’t too much to ask.

After all, when Baltimore scored 24 or more 7 times this regular season and has done so in all three of their playoff games. San Francisco has topped that mark in both postseason games as well, and hit the mark 11 times. Six of those 11 came in games that Kaepernick saw significant time in and as a starter he’s pushed the 49ers over that mark in eight of his nine starts.

As good as these two can be defensively and for how much they both like to run the ball, this game still doesn’t have the feeling of a 16-6 grinding affair that the first meeting did. San Francisco and Baltimore got to this point by being ultra-aggressive in their play calling and that can’t change now. Flacco has been hitting on a couple deep balls every game and Kaepernick could bust out a 50-yard run on any play.

So if you are leaning on the over 47.5 (as I am), it’s best to take it now. Super Bowl totals generally only go up and getting that win on “48” rather than a push or worse makes it better to invest earlier than later.

  
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