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Early Super Bowl Betting Odds Have 49ers Favored Over Ravens

The NFL and odds makers received a gift on Sunday when the championship games ended with the Harbaugh brothers both finding their teams victorious. With a quarterback sensation in San Francisco, Ray Lewis retiring in Baltimore, and the Harbaugh brothers battling on the games biggest stage, the pieces are in place for record-breaking betting.

Odds makers could not contain their excitement for the match-up that will take place in two weeks. Many Las Vegas sports books issued odds before the Ravens-Patriots game had even gone final. When Baltimore picked off Tom Brady for the final time with under two minutes left in the game, odds makers put out a line of 49ers minus five.

By the time the game went final a few minutes later, the line had dropped to 4.5. The early money being on Baltimore could have been a response to the way the team handled what many thought was the best team in the league in New England.

There are many theories as to when the smart money will come in on the Super Bowl. One theory is that the smart money comes in right after the line is announced. A second theory is that the smart money bets are placed after the first week, and still a third theory is that the smart money waits until right before kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday.

One thing that can not be debated is that this years game is going to garner a lot of attention from gamblers.

"It's a monster matchup, bother versus brother," said William Hill odds maker Jimmy Vaccaro. "I believe it will top last year's Super Bowl handle and could go higher."

While the NFL likes to downplay the significance that betting has on the sports popularity, odds makers know different. The past few Super Bowls have seen record wagering patterns, and this year with two teams carrying plenty of story-lines, the betting is expected to again be fast and furious.

The total for the game has been set at 49, with two teams that can score points in bunches, but also have strong defenses.

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