The San Francisco 49ers enter Super Bowl XLVII as the favorites, but the oddsmakers in Vegas may be getting caught up in the hype surrounding Colin Kaepernick. Vegas (via Bovada.lv) currently lists the 49ers as four-point favorites for Sunday's game. San Francisco is a good team, but that seems like an awfully wide margin for this matchup.
The Baltimore Ravens were 9-2 at one point this season, and they looked like the favorites to reach the Super Bowl. They showed that they could win close games, which was a good sign for the team.
So, why is Vegas so high on the 49ers?
Easy answer: Kaepernick.
There's absolutely no denying how spectacular the second-year player has been since taking over for Alex Smith in Week 10. He has earned the starting job and swept the nation with his play.
In the eight games that he started, plus the game in which he replaced Smith, Kaepernick threw for 1,725 yards and 10 touchdowns (stats via ESPN.com). He was very efficient and threw only three interceptions. And his 98.3 passer rating was good enough for seventh in the NFL.
Kaepernick has managed to be even better in the postseason. During the regular season, he ran for 415 yards and five touchdowns. But he has managed to get nearly half of that in two games this postseason, with 202 yards and two scores.
While the 49ers have earned the right to be the favorites, it seems like Vegas has gotten caught up in the hype.
San Francisco, a team that couldn't beat the St. Louis Rams in the regular season, is a four-point favorite against a team that is riding some serious momentum. Additionally, Ray Lewis is playing in his final game, so the team will be fired up to send him off with a win. Both defenses have been playing well in the postseason, but Baltimore's will be playing with emotion.
San Francisco has fallen behind early in each of its past four games. Fall behind Baltimore early and good luck getting back in the game.
Kaepernick has been sensational since taking over on November 11th. He deserves all of the credit that he receives, so I'm not taking anything away from him. Still, Vegas oddsmakers have been caught in the hype surrounding him.
The Ravens have beaten Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the road in back-to-back weeks. Those were two of the best offenses in the NFL during the regular season, so Baltimore's defense is doing something right.
I'm not saying that San Francisco won't win the game, but the spread is a little bit too wide.