Sports

Gambling: 49ers should win and cover

By Ed Ryan

Globe staff

I’m a free agent for the Super Bowl.

Instead of watching the NFL’s last game of the season in Las Vegas or on my couch in Cleveland Circle — two very different but very satisfying locations where I’ve typically watched the big game over the years — I’m looking to alter my norm.

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I’m also looking to finish in positive money for the fourth straight season. I’ve been tossing around the pros and cons of the 49ers and Ravens since the Patriots were eliminated in a baffling display of mediocrity nearly two weeks ago, and a strong case can be made for each of the final two teams.

A strong case can also be made to spend the game at a house party or at The Mirage on Las Vegas Boulevard, but here is where I’m going to introduce change in my life.

In an attempt to combine the excitement of a casino with the comfort of my sofa, I plan on settling in for the game at The Baseball Tavern on Boylston Street. Why not spend the game in a friendly atmosphere with friendly people? The Super Bowl is for everyone, and The Bettors Edge is devoted to inclusion — and winners.

This week’s pick (favorite in caps):

SAN FRANCISCO (-3½) over Baltimore: Let’s keep this simple — the 49ers have been the NFL’s top team since September, and they competed in the superior conference (AFC division winners went 0-6 against NFC playoff teams). San Francisco opened as a 5-point favorite but money placed on Baltimore lowered the number. Don’t be deterred. Take that gift, pass the pigs-in-a-blanket, and celebrate the end of another season with a winning ticket. Risking $440 to win $400.

Since it’s the Super Bowl, you have to take some proposition bets. Here are five:

Joe Flacco, over 240½ passing yards. Risking $55 to win $50. A wise play if you think the Ravens will be playing from behind.

 The longest touchdown, under 46½ yards. Risking $55 to win $50.

 Blake Griffin’s total points and rebounds for the Los Angeles Clippers against the Boston Celtics over Ray Rice’s receiving yards. Risking $55 to win $50.

 Frank Gore to win Most Valuable Player. Risking $100 to win $700.

 San Francisco to win by 13 to 18 points. Risking $100 to win $600.

Two weeks ago: 0-1-1, minus $165. Season: 37-36-1, minus $33.

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