Super Bowl Sunday has traditionally been the gambling equivalent of Christmas for the many football fans out there who’ve made The Big Game a bit more interesting by throwing some money on the line.
That’s truer than ever after the Supreme Court opened the floodgates with the ruling that gave states across America the green light to legalize sports betting within their borders, which 36 of them (as well as Washington, D.C.) have already done ahead of the showdown between the Chiefs and the Eagles.
That contest is expected to generate more than $16 billion in bets thanks to the more than 50 million people who are expected to get some skin in the game prior to (and, in some cases, during) Super Bowl LVII.
If you’ve had the chance to explore the wagers sportsbooks are offering, you’ve probably been a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you have to choose from thanks to the hundreds (if not thousands) of prop bets they’ve set lines for ahead of the contest.
However, if you’re looking for some entry-level offerings, the spread and the over/under are solid places to get started.
We previously looked at how the favorites and underdogs have fared in “close” games, and with Sunday on the horizon, there’s no better time to take a look at the history of the over and the under to see how things have historically panned out.
Does the over or the under have a better record in the Super Bowl?
There was no over/under listed for the first Super Bowl, but anyone who bet the Packers and the Raiders would combine to score more than 43 points in the second iteration of what was then a showdown between the best teams in the NFL and the AFL walked away happy after Green Bay won by a score of 33-14.
However, the under Had A Moment after that contest by hitting seven years in a row before the longest consecutive streak either side can boast came to an end at Super Bowl X.
The over has had the edge since then, but as things currently stand, both sides are remarkably close, as it has cashed in a total of 27 Super Bowls compared to the 28 times the under has come through.
There are a few interesting takeaways when you do a deeper dive into the results.
For example, oddsmakers have missed the final mark far more than they’ve come close to hitting it over the years. The over and under have ultimately missed by at least 10 points or more in 23 contests (none of which saw a bigger miscalculation than the 39.5-point difference we were treated to when the snoozer between the Rams and the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII ended with a final score of 13-3).
That stands in stark contrast to the eight times where the projected total was within three points of the actual one (you have to give credit where credit is due to the people who set the lines in Super Bowl XV, XIX, and XXXIII, which all finished within a half of a point of the final score).
If you’re one of those bettors who buys into Recent Trends, you may be interested to know the under has currently hit in the previous four Super Bowls, which—depending on which side of the gambler’s fallacy you subscribe to—means the over is due to hit or there’s no way it won’t keep chugging along.