Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
We made our official Super Bowl pick earlier today (the 49ers). Now let’s check out what the national talking heads think.When you combine ESPN, SI, NFL.com, CBS Sports, Yahoo!, and PFT, you get 49 experts who made Super Bowl picks.
Surprisingly, 26 of those experts picked the underdog Ravens, and 23 picked the 49ers.
This is really interesting for a few reasons.
First of all, the experts almost always pick the favourites. While the 49ers aren’t considered an overwhelming juggernaut, they are favoured by 3.5 points — which indicates that Vegas thinks they have a small but clear advantage over the Ravens.
In addition, all the stats say that 49ers are slightly better. San Francisco’s offence and defence are both better than Baltimore’s in Football Outsiders’ advanced stats. The only place that the Ravens have an advantage is special teams.
So why are the experts so comfortable picking an upset?
Part of it could be the inherent conservatism of the NFL world.
The 49ers are by far the more radical of the two teams. They win using college-derived offensive plays, and they have a non-traditional quarterback.
This style is objectively more effective than Baltimore’s, but the bias towards traditionalism in the NFL world may have pushed some experts to consider the Ravens the safer of the two teams.
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