Super Bowl 2013 odds and line: 49ers favored by 3½ heading into weekend

USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are favored to win Super Bowl XLVII by 3½ points over the Ravens, according to the folks over at Odds Shark.

The San Francisco 49ers are favored to win their sixth Super Bowl title by 3½ points over the Baltimore Ravens, according to the folks over at Odds Shark.

For more on the story, visit Baltimore Beatdown and Niners Nation

Betting on football has become huge in recent years, especially with the ability to place bets online without having to go to a sportsbook in Las Vegas or a bookie who erases debts by breaking legs. Millions upon millions of football fans are likely placing bets for Sunday's NFL championship game, but with a spread as small as 3½, picking the winner can be tricky.

The spread has lowered to 3½ from the opening line, which favored the Niners by five points over the Ravens. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have an explosive offense capable of scoring at will, but that offense will be facing a Ravens defense led by one of the greatest middle linebackers of all time, Ray Lewis, who is extra motivated due to the fact that Super Bowl XLVII will be the last game of his career.

The Ravens edge the Niners in points scored per game by the slightest margin, averaging 24.9 to San Francisco's 24.8, but the key to this game is likely going to be the defense. The 49ers' defense has only allowed opposing offenses to score an average of 17.1 points per game, while the Ravens have allowed 21.5. Both teams are tied at -0.6 in turnover margins, too.

With two teams being so similar, which makes sense due to the fact that they're coached by brothers, Super Bowl XLVII will likely be a great one. That's good, considering that four of the last five Super Bowls have been decided by a touchdown or less. Watching a blowout wouldn't be much fun for any fans other than the winning team's.

The lines are decided upon by some of the greatest minds in sports betting, and it's a safe bet that when they come up with a spread that's half a point greater than a field goal, the game is going to be a good one. Of course, they're not always right. If they were, sports betting would make us all millionaires.

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