I don't pick NFC North games during the regular season or the playoffs, to the chagrin of those who seek more buffoonery than I already provide to be used against me. But the entire ESPN/ESPN.com crew submitted picks for Super Bowl XLVII, so I had little choice but to jump in.
I've seen the San Francisco 49ers four times in person this season and closely watched a fifth game, which is about as much as I'll ever see a non-NFC North team. The 49ers won four of those games in convincing fashion, beating the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers (twice) by a combined score of 132-79. (The Minnesota Vikings defeated them 24-13 in Week 3.)
So I didn't apply too much science to this pick. The 49ers looked like a championship team 80 percent of the time I saw them. They had a playmaking physical defense and an offense that is a legitimate dual threat to run and pass. That was good enough for me to think they'll overcome the sentiment surrounding the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers will win, 28-27. Unless they don't. Or the score is different.