A Brief History of Super Bowl Betting

Filed in Other by on January 4, 2012

The New England Patriots and New York Giants will do battle in what is the fifth "re-match" in Super Bowl history in Super Bowl XLVI.

When these two met four years back, the Giants won as a 12-point outsider, tied for third with Kansas City's win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV as the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. The New York Jets hold the record, downing Baltimore in Super Bowl III as an 18-point outsider with New England's win as a 14-point underdog against St Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI sits second.

In fact, in the second game of every Super Bowl re-match, the favourite has always been the same with a repeat of the result occurring in three. Pittsburgh beat Dallas as a 7-point favourite in 1976 and then as a 3.5-point favourite in 1979 (though when these two played for an unprecedented third time in 1996, Dallas won as a 13.5-point elect). San Francisco beat Cincinnati as a 1-point favourite in 1981 and then as a 7-point favourite eight years later. Dallas beat Buffalo as a 6.5- and then 10.5-point favourite in 1993 and 1994.

In fact, Washington are the only team to overturn a previous Super Bowl result in the second match of a series, avenging the 1973 loss to Miami as a 1-point outsider by winning in 1983 as a 3-point outsider.

This is the eighth Super Bowl with a line of three, the first of which was in 1975 and the latest of which was last year. The outsiders have won four times when the line has been three, the last of which was in 1988 when Washington downed Denver 42-10.

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In all Super Bowls when the line has been a touchdown or smaller, favourites have won 22 of 29 times, covering on 16.5 occasions.

Overall, favourites are 33-12 straight-up in Super Bowls and 25-18-2 against the line.

In the last decade, favourites are 6-4 straight-up but only 3-7 against the spread.

The biggest ever favourite win was San Francisco's 23-point victory as an 18.5-point favourite against San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX.

The New England Patriots have played in six Super Bowls, starting favourite in three and outsider in three, winning two as a favourite (2004 v Carolina, 2005 v Philadelphia) and one as an underdog (2002 v St Louis). They have covered just once, when winning as a 14-point dog against St Louis (and pushed against Green Bay in 1997 as a 14-point underdog).

The New York Giants have played in four Super Bowls, jumping as favourite only once. They won that time as the popular elect (1987 v Denver) and twice as an outsider (1991 v Buffalo and 2008 v New England). They covered the three times they won and failed to when getting beaten by Baltimore in 2001.

The total has opened at 55, tied for second as the largest total in Super Bowl history with the over-under line in this match-up in 2008. The largest total ever came in 2010 when the number was set at 57. Both went under with the under 5-3 when the Super Bowl total has exceeded 50. The lowest total set has been 33, which has come up four times, three of which have gone under.

The total has gone over 23 times in Super Bowl history and under 22 times. The over-under is 3-3 in New England Super Bowls while the New York Giants are 2-2 over-under in Super Bowl showings.

The under has come up seven times in the last 11 Super Bowls.

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America


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