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NFL

Niners the early favorite in what figures to be heavily bet Super Bowl

| Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 11:44 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — If the Baltimore Ravens are to become Super Bowl champions, they'll have to beat the odds again to do it.

Bookmakers in this gambling city mostly have the San Francisco 49ers as 4 12-point favorites over the Ravens in the Super Bowl, amid expectations this could be the heaviest bet title game ever.

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

“We've got money coming in as we speak, it looks like it will be good on both sides,” said LVH book director Jay Kornegay.

Baltimore already is the first underdog of more than a touchdown to win both the division and championship playoff rounds. The Ravens were 7 12-point underdogs to the Patriots before beating them, 28-13, Sunday.

“The Ravens are the hot team now, but they're not getting a lot of support from the public,” Kornegay said. “These are very similar teams, both can run the ball well, play smashmouth football and have two quarterbacks playing very good football.”

Last year's game between the New York Giants and the Patriots drew $93.9 million in wagers in Nevada, just under the record $94.5 million bet in 2006 when the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10. Those who follow the betting industry closely say hundreds of millions of dollars — possibly even billions — will be bet on the game by the time the offshore sports books and illegal bookmakers take in their share.

Like the LVH, some books in Las Vegas opened the game at 4 12 points, while others put their number up at 5.

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