49ers vs Ravens Prediction: Potential Super Bowl preview served up on Christmas

 | December 23 | 

3 mins read

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The NFL is serving up quite the Christmas present from Santa (Clara), and a potential Super Bowl preview, as the San Francisco 49ers welcome the Baltimore Ravens to Levi's Stadium in the early hours of Boxing Day (01:15) for Monday Night Football.

What a match this has the potential to be - dominant defenses facing high-powered offenses, and the top two MVP favorites going head-to-head.

Both sides sit top of their respective conferences heading into this one, with the Niners (11-3) top of the NFC and the Ravens (11-3) leading the AFC.

49ers vs Ravens Prediction

  • 49ers (-6.5) @ 20/21
  • #PickYourPunt - Christian McCaffrey over 99.5 rushing yards and to score a touchdown @ 2/1

Team News

For the 49ers, both starting defensive tackles, Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave, have not practiced this week and are questionable to play against Baltimore. Ray-Ray McCloud, their primary punt-returner, remains on injured reserve, along with a host of injuries to their defensive line depth.

As for the Ravens, they travel to Northern California without the services of Odell Beckham Jr., and star tight end Mark Andrews is still on injury reserve, but he could potentially able to make a come back in the playoffs.

Match Odds

The Niners are the straight-up favs on the money line at 2/5, and the Ravens are 2/1.

The handicap has ben set at 6.5 and San Francisco can be backed to cover the spread at 20/21, while it's 20/23 for Baltimore to cover.

49ers (-6.5) @ 20/21

If this 49ers team are fully firing, their offense is almost unbeatable.

When Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brock Purdy and Trent Williams are all in the lineup, the 49ers are 18-0 (including playoffs) going back to last season, so it's easy to understand why they're favourites here.

Purdy is at the forefront of the MVP conversation at the moment - along with McCaffrey and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson - and he threw for 242 yards and four touchdowns in last Sunday’s 45-29 win at Arizona. It marked his sixth game of the season with a QB rating of 130 or higher, which is tied for the most in a single season in NFL history. What a campaign he is having.

One concern for the 49ers could be their run defense, after allowing 234 yards in the win against the Cardinals - their most in a game in more than six seasons. Having to try and slow down Jackson and the Ravens running game will be a tough challenge, but I think the weapons that San Francisco have offensively will be the difference here.


#PickYourPunt - Christian McCaffrey over 99.5 rushing yards and to score a touchdown @ 2/1

As mentioned above, McCaffrey is in the MVP conversation alongside his teammate Purdy, and he's also enjoying a stellar season.

McCaffrey scored three touchdowns last week against Arizona to give him 20 for the season. He had 115 yards on the ground on 18 carries and another 72 yards through the air via five receptions, as well as completing a seventh-straight game with 100+ scrimmage yards.

CMC is part of a wider, free-flowing San Francisco offense that is ranking first in the entire NFL, in any offensive metric you want to use. Percentage of successful plays? Check. First in yards per play? Check. First in offensive plays of 20+ yards? Check.

It feels like McCaffrey could roll out of bed and have over 99.5 rushing yards as well as a touchdown at the moment, so this #PickYourPunt feels like a no-brainer to me.

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