Ravens' Super Bowl Victory Also A Win For Bettors
Perhaps we all should have seen the Super Bowl XLVII victory by the underdog Baltimore Ravens coming. After all, the Ravens had been 6-0 all-time under coach John Harbaugh following a bye week. Make that 7-0 after Sunday's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in a game that will be remembered for a power outage at the Superdome that delayed it for more than 30 minutes. Because of that, it was the longest Super Bowl game ever at 4 hours and 14 minutes.
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Baltimore's second Super Bowl title and the first for an AFC team since the 2008 season also was good for bettors at Bovada. The Ravens closed at +4 with the total at 47.5 - the teams blew by that number in the third quarter. Super Bowl XLVII became the second championship game in NFL history in which each team scored at least 30 points. The other was Super Bowl XIII when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-31.
A little more than 51% of the action on the Super Bowl XLVII spread was on Baltimore. At +155 on the moneyline, the Ravens took almost 60%. The over 47.5 points got 55% of the lean.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, soon to be a very rich man with his new contract, was named the game's MVP, the fourth-straight year a QB won it. Flacco finished 22 of 33 for 287 yards, three touchdowns (all in the first half) and no picks. He became the second quarterback with 11 total touchdowns and no interceptions in a postseason, joining former 49ers great Joe Montana (1989). Flacco closed as the 11/4 second-favorite to win game MVP honors and it was a great result for the book, which was heavily exposed on San Francisco's Vernon Davis (14/1) and Randy Moss (30/1). That Flacco didn't thank anyone (God, parents, teammates, etc.) upon accepting the award was 9/4.
Baltimore receiver/returner Jacoby Jones certainly had a case for MVP honors as well. He scored on a 56-yard reception in the second quarter and opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return for a TD, the longest play in Super Bowl history. Jones was part of the field on the MVP prop at 25/1. The first touchdown of the game was on a 13-yard reception by Ravens wideout Anquan Boldin. He was a co-fourth-favorite to score the game's first TD at 17/2 and the second-favorite at 15/4 to score Baltimore's first touchdown. That Boldin would score a TD at any point in the game paid out at +130.
The top player prop overall for bettors was on Ravens safety Ed Reed intercepting a pass, which paid out at +275. Flacco over 250.5 passing yards and 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick over 50.5 rushing yards also were big wins for bettors. Kaepernick finishing with exactly one touchdown pass was the book's top player prop result, followed by the Ravens' Ray Rice not scoring a touchdown (-125) and Rice under 67.5 rushing yards.
Did you know that only three current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame won a Super Bowl in their final game? They are John Elway, Gary Zimmerman and Russ Grimm. Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis certainly will join that group when he's eligible for Canton in five years, presuming he sticks to his retirement pledge. Lewis was given an over/under of three mentions of the word "God" or "Lord" in a postgame TV interview and he only did so once - bettors leaned over there.
The top storyline heading into the game was the Harbaugh brothers coaching against one another. The book had several Harbaugh-related props. Rather surprisingly, the terms Harbaugh Bowl, Har Bowl or Super Baugh were not mentioned once during the telecast. That had an over/under of 2.5. The over/under for number of times the word Harbaugh was uttered on the telecast finished way above the total of 20.5. The postgame handshake/hug between John and Jim Harbaugh was four seconds, under the 7.5-second total. Jim was mentioned more times overall (-120) and was shown first on the television (even money). Father Jack was shown once, which was even money and under the 1.5 total.
The ratings for the game were announced Monday at 46.3, slightly down from last year's 47.0 for Giants-Patriots. The over/under this year was set at 46, and bettors leaned over significantly. Baltimore had the largest rating of any measured city with more than 59.6% of households watching the game. San Francisco wasn't in the top 10. That Baltimore would draw a higher rating than San Francisco was a -150 favorite and a good result for bettors.
The Dow Jones was down more than 129 points on Monday. That the market would be up was the -140 favorite, and bettors did lean on that. The market finishing down was even money. The Ravens winning is a potentially bad sign for the Dow this year. Since the first Super Bowl, the Dow has finished down around 75% of the time in years an AFC team has won the game.
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