Before Super Bowl 58 kicks off from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 11, here are a few historical betting trends bettors can use to make educated wagers on the Big Game.
Dogs Bark in the Big Game
Underdogs have performed well against the spread in recent Super Bowls. This year, the Kansas City Chiefs are +2 underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58.
Over the last 20 Super Bowls, the underdog is 13-7 ATS. However, when the underdog is listed at +3 or shorter, they’re only 4-5 ATS.
One profitable trend for Super Bowl spread bettors has been when the AFC team is the underdog. AFC underdogs are 4-1 ATS in the Big Game over the last 20 years, including last year when the Chiefs won as +1.5 underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Oddly, history suggests bettors should fade the line when the favorite’s spread rises. Underdogs who receive a more favorable line (such as +2 or +3) are 6-5 ATS over the last 11 Super Bowls.
That said, underdogs tend to struggle against teams that beat them in their most recent head-to-head matchup. In the last five Super Bowls that featured a spread of +3 or lower, the favorite that won the previous head-to-head meeting is 3-2 ATS.
On the two occasions where they failed to win, the underdog won the game outright.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Games Matter
There’s a massive difference in favorites vs. underdogs against the spread when the game takes place in a domed stadium.
Over the last 19 Super Bowls, underdogs are 4-4 ATS when the roof is closed. In outdoor games, they’re 9-2 against the spread.
Bettors rooting for points in the Big Game should note they tend to come in spades indoors. Over the last eight championship games played indoors, the Over is 5-3, including 2-1 in games with projected totals of 50-plus points.
Given that Super Bowl 58 will be played indoors, there’s a reasonable expectation for points.
Follow the Money
Interestingly, teams that receive a massive amount of bets – usually an indication of the public side – tend to do very well.
Super Bowl teams that received over 55% of all bets are 8-6 ATS over the last 20 years. When they receive at least 60% of tickets, they’re 4-2 ATS in the Super Bowl.
However, that trend is on a bit of a losing streak.
The last three teams to receive more than 55% of tickets failed to cover the spread, with two of those teams losing outright.
That said, history says not to trust teams that move from dogs at opening to favorites at close.
Favorites who opened between +1 and +2.5 are 1-2 ATS in the Super Bowl. The lone success? When the New England Patriots intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line to win Super Bowl 49.
Does Recent Playoff Experience Matter?
In a word, no.
Favorites that reached the postseason the previous year are only 7-12 ATS in the Super Bowl, while dogs that reached the playoffs the previous year are 6-4 ATS, including 2-2 ATS at +3 or shorter.
Conversely, underdogs that missed the previous year’s postseason are 7-3 ATS. However, they’re 2-3 ATS when the spread is +3 or shorter.
There has only been one occasion where a team that missed the previous postseason was favored in the Super Bowl. That was in 2004, when the Patriots won outright but failed to cover against the Carolina Panthers.
Regular Season ATS Record Matters
Favorites with an ATS cover percentage of 65% or lower during the regular season are 5-8 ATS in the Super Bowl over the last 20 years. Conversely, underdogs that posted an ATS win percentage of 60% or higher during the regular season are 7-5 ATS in the Big Game.
If a team covered a lot (or a little) during the regular season, there’s a good chance that trend holds in the Super Bowl.
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