NFL Super Bowl Preview: Ravens Relish the Role of Underdog

NFL Super Bowl Baltimore RavensOn Sunday, February 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will meet in Super Bowl XLVII (6:00 PM ET, CBS) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The pre-game discussion surrounding Super Bowl XLVII has centered on the coaching Harbaugh brothers, but once the game starts, none of that will matter.
It will come down to which team performs on the field.
The Ravens opened as four-point underdogs, but their fans will tell you they do not want the points. Baltimore backers are a confident bunch and are predicting a SU win over San Francisco. The latest numbers on Super Bowl 47 are available at Bovada.
Fear the Dogs
Outside of their wild card game against Indianapolis when they were slight favorites over the Colts, Baltimore has been the underdog in three consecutive games. They beat the Broncos as nine-point pups and were eight-point dogs for their game against New England.
Underdogs have fared well in the Super Bowl, winning three of the last five games outright. Dogs are 8-3 ATS in the past 11 games proving that fading the favorites can be a way to go.
Heart and Soul
Over the years, a few lucky teams have had a player of almost mythical proportions on their roster. The Bears had Dick Butkus. The 49ers’ heart and soul was Ronnie Lott. Brett Favre was that guy for the Packers while John Elway was the Broncos’ unquestioned leader. Few players however have developed such a passionate and loyal following like Ray Lewis. He has been the mainstay of the Ravens defense for the last 17 seasons and wants badly to go out a winner. He was the Super Bowl MVP in 2001 and is the third betting favorite (6/1) to win the award this year.
Defensive Battle
Both of these defenses have excellent playmakers and were two of the stingiest in the league this season. Although the Ravens defense may look average on the stat sheet, they do not play that way.
Even though, they have lost a step or two, Baltimore’s defense remains one of the best and most opportunistic squads in the league. Over the last two games, they have forced both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to turn the ball over a total of five times.
The Ravens have an excellent chance to win the Super Bowl. They have good balance on offense, they can play smash mouth football on defense and their special teams are exceptionally strong.
QB Joe Flacco was brilliant against New England, throwing three TD passes in the tight quarters of the red zone. He now has eight TDs and has not thrown a pick in the playoffs. The RB combo of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce has helped Baltimore run for 170, 155 and 121 yards in its three playoff victories.
The Ravens might be dogs on the Super Bowl betting line, but it will not be much of a surprise if they are the ones who are kissing the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night.