Super Bowl XLVII will be a showdown between two extremely explosive offenses in the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.
Both teams have exceptional running games and two cannon-armed QBs who make the deep passing attack particularly dangerous. Despite the reputedly great defenses on both sides, this should be a somewhat high-scoring affair.
Thus, it is worth analyzing some intriguing scoring prop bets for the big game to see if there is any worthwhile way to make a little bit of extra coin on Sunday.
Note: All odds are courtesy of SportsBook.com.
Team to score first:
Baltimore (even), San Francisco (-120)
Considering how poorly the Niners have started in two previous postseason showings, it wouldn't be a bad bet to throw some money down on the Ravens. San Francisco has recently had trouble defending the deep ball, which happens to be Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco's specialty.
The Niners have also had trouble pressuring the quarterback since Justin Smith's triceps injury late in the regular season. Flacco has received outstanding protection in the past three weeks.
Should that continue, those long pass plays will have time to properly develop, and Flacco will be able to stand in the pocket and deliver down the field, most likely to Torrey Smith.
Speaking of which, that makes Smith a prime candidate for first touchdown of the game.
First score of the game will be:
Any other score (+120)
With the big-play ability of both these offenses, it's hard not to think that the first score will be a touchdown.
However, the Ravens played stout red-zone defense against the New England Patriots, and the Niners shut out the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of their conference championship game.
Both are playing at a high level entering this game and could force a field goal attempt. As mentioned above, San Francisco struggled out of the gates in its first two rounds and has had a hard time stopping opponents inside the 20.
With extra time off, though, the Niners front seven should provide more push with a slightly healthier Justin Smith. Should that be the case, it will be difficult for the Ravens to put six on the board in their first drive.
Prediction: Kicker Justin Tucker converts a short field goal for Baltimore
Will either team score in the last two minutes of the first half?
Yes (-240), No (+200)
The no-huddle offense has been implemented in Baltimore with varying success all season, and now Flacco has finally come into his own.
In an effort to not get beat deep in the secondary like two weeks ago, San Francisco will likely be sagging back in coverage most of the game. That should allow for plenty of room underneath for Anquan Boldin and TE Dennis Pitta to operate and lend itself well to screen plays.
That should especially make the two-minute drill a lot easier for the Ravens.
Meanwhile, the Niners can go the distance faster than most teams, whether Niners QB Colin Kaepernick runs or throws. One knock on Kaepernick, though, is his tendency to get delay-of-game penalties, which can be a setback on a drive.
If the Niners have the ball last, beware. David Akers hasn't been his typically reliable self as kicker and could swing this bet heavily with a miss at the 30-minute buzzer.
Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown?
Yes (+140), No (-165)
The special teams breakdowns by the Ravens should have cost them their season in the divisional playoffs against the Denver Broncos. Trindon Holliday ran back a punt and a kick for scores, and it took Flacco's heroics—or Rahim Moore's horrible play on the ball—for Baltimore to force overtime.
Ted Ginn Jr. has become somewhat forgotten on the Niners and could easily emerge as an X-factor in this one by returning a punt or kickoff to the house.
It would be a fitting way to redeem not only a lackluster career, but also Kyle Williams' mistakes, which cost San Francisco a trip to the Super Bowl last season. But the special teams factor is not the only one that has could make this bet attractive.
With so many playmakers on both defenses, it's easy to see how a defender could find the end zone. The favorites have to be Ravens ball-hawking safety Ed Reed and Niners LB Aldon Smith, thanks to his fantastic speed off the edge.
Smart money says not to touch this bet, but it is at least worth a look based on the talent on both sides and the recent special teams follies from Baltimore.
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