If it was written in Hollywood, it would have seemed unrealistic. The fact that it has unfolded right before our eyes makes it that much more incredible. The Baltimore Ravens are headed to Super Bowl XLVII to battle the San Francisco 49ers for the right to be called the best in the world, and while many predicted the NFC Championship winner, few thought it would be the Ravens representing the AFC. Not with the Denver Broncos, which Baltimore beat in the AFC Divisional round. Not with the New England Patriots either, which the Ravens knocked off to clinch the AFC Championship this past Sunday. Baltimore has beaten the best to reach Super Bowl XLVII, and with all of the football betting storylines surrounding their path, none is more incredible than that of their emotional leader.
Ray Lewis is 37-years old. He is destined for the Hall of Fame, but clearly his best days are behind him at this point. At least it seemed that way when the Ravens struggled throughout the regular season, and then Lewis tore his triceps in what was supposed to be a season-ending injury. However, Lewis did come back in time for the playoffs. In fact, he didn’t just come back, he has also led the team both emotionally and physically, including a team-high 57 tackles this postseason. Baltimore’s middle linebacker has been an absolute beast in spite of an injury that would have ended the season of most players, and now he gets that final NFL betting chance at one last ring when he ends his career on the biggest stage.
While the defense has been much better in the postseason with Lewis back in the lineup, the offense has taken major steps forward as well. Credit head coach John Harbaugh for making the tough decision to fire Cam Cameron and replace him with new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who got the promotion from the quarterback coach position. The move has had an immediate impact on Joe Flacco, who threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s AFC Championship game. Flacco has passed for over 800 yards and eight touchdowns this postseason compared to zero interceptions, and has finally emerged as the franchise starter the sports betting club knew he could be.
Of course, with Lewis leading the defense and Flacco taking control of the offense, the online sportsbook storyline that will be as talked about as any other leading in to the Super Bowl is that of Harbaugh. The Ravens’ head coach will stand opposite of his brother on the sideline, as Jim Harbaugh looks to lead Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco to a Super Bowl championship. The Harbaugh brothers have emerged as two of the top coaches in the NFL, and it was John’s early success with Baltimore that helped influence the 49ers to take a shot on Jim in the first place, and now the two are set to clash on the biggest stage. For all of the latest Super Bowl news and odds, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.