The betting underdog is 8-3 ATS over the last 11 Super Bowls and has won outright in five of those game, proving that betting against the underdog may be a bad ideas Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers.
Baltimore is a 3.5-point underdog at Bovada and other sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com and they have been a nasty dog in the playoffs, beating the Broncos and Patriots on the road as 9- and 8-point pups.
Other than the underdog angle, why should Super Bowl bettors back the Ravens? [ Check out dozens of Super Bowl betting facts and prop picks ]
Destiny says so
The Baltimore Ravens certainly have the look and feel of a team of destiny. Ray Lewis has been the face of this franchise for over a decade. In returning from injury in the Wild Card matchup against Indianapolis - and announcing his retirement at the end of the season - he seems to have completely rejuvenated the Ravens who entered the postseason on a 1-4 SU and ATS skid.
Defense says so
Lewis' presence isn't only serving as an inspiration; it has made the defense substantially more effective. Going up against three of the NFL's best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady this postseason, Baltimore has allowed only 57 points (19 points per game).
Two of those scores came on kick returns, which is hardly the fault of the Baltimore defense. If any team is capable of solving Colin Kaepernick, it would be the team that held Tom Brady's Patriots offense to just 13 points in their own building.
Flacco says so
But while the defense is playing great, the play of Joe Flacco cannot be understated. Through three games, Flacco has outdueled that incredible list of quarterbacks while throwing for 853 yards and eight touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Understand that only five other quarterbacks have been perfect in the playoffs while throwing at least eight TDs. And all won the Super Bowl and all won the MVP award.
Considering the fact that San Francisco's defense has struggled in its last three games against teams with strong passing attacks (allowing 396 passing yards to Atlanta, 31 points to Green Bay, and 34 points to New England), Flacco could be in position to out-duel another hot quarterback this Sunday.
Recent history says so
Last year on Thanksgiving, John Harbaugh's Ravens topped Jim Harbaugh's 49ers 16-6. The Ravens have already knocked off the Denver Broncos as 8-point underdogs and the New England Patriots as 9-point underdogs.
Would it really be all that surprising to see them cap off this dream run with one more upset, and send Ray Lewis into the sunset with one more ring? It actually seems like a fitting end.
The camel says so
Princess the Camel, an old humpback in a New Jersey zoo, picked the Ravens, by choosing some graham crackers from the right hand of her handler. The left hand would have indicated her choice was the 49ers.
The creature is said to be 7-1 picking Super Bowl winners (better than me) with its unique handicapping approach. Interestingly, the camel picked the Broncos to beat the Ravens in the AFC title game, so now she is changing her tune.
If you trust a flip-flopping camel, you might have your side bet.