Over the past eight years, the underdog has covered the spread. That should put Baltimore Ravens fans in a good mood, along with many experts picking them to outright defeat the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
San Francisco is favored by four points, with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick leading the way. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his stellar play this postseason were big reasons experts went against Vegas oddsmakers.
San Francisco’s Frank Gore and Baltimore's Ray Rice were also mentioned as "X factors," with both team’s success hinging on their ability to run the ball Sunday.
Check out some of the experts' predictions and scores below.
SI went with the Ravens clinching their second title, albeit by a touchdown or less. Two writers picked the 49ers to win by more than a touchdown.
Peter King, BAL 27, SF 23
Don Banks, SF 31, BAL 20
Jim Trotter, BAL 27, SF 24
A mix of anchors and TV hosts overwhelmingly picked San Francisco but by a slight scoring margin.
Chris Berman, BAL 27, SF 26
Bill Simmons, SF to win
Mike Ditka, SF 28, BAL 24
Chris Mortensen, SF 31, BAL 23
John Clayton, SF 28, BAL 24
Adam Schefter, SF 17, BAL 14
Perhaps influenced by their Ravens constituency, Baltimore Sun beat writers picked the home town team, with one exception.
Kevin Cowherd, BAL 27, SF 20
Edward Lee, SF 31, BAL 28
Mike Preston, BAL, 27, SF, 24
Jeff Darlington, BAL 24, SF 21
Ian Rapoport, SF 31, BAL 20
Never hesitant to give an opinion, Mike Florio said: “There’s something about the Ravens this year, between the impact of Ray Lewis and the emergence of Joe Flacco and the reality that, after this season, Baltimore could have some rebuilding to do. For the 49ers, they could be back on a much more regular basis. In the end, there’s a good chance that each Harbaugh brother will get a ring. For now, the first-born son becomes the first one to hoist the trophy.”
Mike Florio, BAL 20, SF 27
Yahoo! Sports went 2 to 1, with Mike Silver and Les Carpenter confident in Baltimore.
The game kicks-off at 6:30 p.m. eastern time, and will be broadcast by CBS with an expected audience of over 100 million in the U.S.