By Kyle Ross (posted by Rick Morris)
NOTE: Kyle was kind enough, in the capacity of his day job with Vegas Experts, to assess the biggest sports wagering event of the year for us.
Quite simply, the Super Bowl is the most wagered on sporting event of the entire year.
The Super Bowl XLVI matchup features the New England Patriots favored by three points over the New York Giants. The over/under line for the Super Bowl has opened at 55.5, making it one of the highest totals in Super Bowl history. The highest over/under line ever for a Super Bowl was two years ago, when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in a game that obviously cashed for Under bettors.
This is the second time in five years that the Patriots and Giants are meeting in the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl 42, the Giants won outright as 12-point underdogs, pulling off one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history.
Speaking of Super Bowl history, here are some pertinent betting facts that will help you handicap Super Bowl 46.
Super Bowl favorites have won the game straight up 33 of the previous 45 times. Interestingly, five of the 12 underdogs that won the game straight up were of the double digit variety, the last two being the Giants (Super Bowl 42) and the Patriots (Super Bowl 36).
All-time, favorites hold a 25-18-2 ATS advantage in Super Bowls. However, underdogs are on a 7-3 ATS run over the last decade. Last year’s win and cover by favorite Green Bay snapped a 3-0 ATS run by Super Bowl dogs. Favorites dominated the early Super Bowls, going 9-2 ATS the first 11 with the only two exceptions being a pair of huge outright upsets by the AFL’s Jets (3) and Chiefs (4).
The NFC dominated the Super Bowl in the 1980s and 90s in a fashion so stunning it’s almost hard to fathom. From 1982-1997, the AFC won just ONE Super Bowl (the Raiders over Washington 38-9 in XVII), while going a pitiful 3-10-1 ATS. The NFC has won three of the last four Super Bowls despite being an underdog in three of those games.
New England is making its seventh all-time Super Bowl appearance. They are 1-4-1 ATS (3-3 SU) previously, with the only cover coming in that huge upset of the Rams in Super Bowl 36.
This is the Giants’ fifth all-time Super Bowl appearance. They are 3-1 SU/ATS, with the only loss coming in a 34-7 drubbing at the hands of that great Baltimore team at the end of the 2000 season.
Six times the pointspread has come into play in Super Bowl history, meaning the SU winner failed to cover the betting line. The last time this happened was Super Bowl 43, when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 as seven-point favorites. Two of the other occasions involved the Patriots during the Tom Brady era as they beat the Eagles 24-21 (-7) and the Panthers 32-29 (-7).
There have been two ‘pushes’ in Super Bowl history. The first involved the Patriots in Super Bowl 31, a 35-21 loss to the Packers as 14-point pups. The second was the Rams’ (-7) 23-16 win over the Titans in Super Bowl 34. Nobody likes a push!
Super Bowl Totals are an amazing 22-22 all-time with no O/U line recorded for the first Super Bowl game, which almost certainly would have gone Over with a 35-10 final in favor of the Packers over the Chiefs.
After the Over cashed in Super Bowl II, the Under cashed every year from Super Bowl 3 through 9. The Under is also 5-2 the last seven Super Bowls, though last year’s win by the Packers against the Steelers went Over.
This will only be the ninth Super Bowl in history with a total greater than 50 points. The Under is 5-3 in eight previous instances, including 3-0 the last three. As previously mentioned, this over/under line would be the second highest in Super Bowl history and just the third at 55 points or greater. The previous two both went Under, including the Giants upset of New England, which cashed by more than three touchdowns.
Good luck betting on Super Bowl 46.