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Super Bowl Betting Trends

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com

Charlie Mullan  | 8 mins

Super Bowl Betting Trends

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Super Bowl LVII kicks off in Arizona on Sunday, 12 February with the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams earned a first-round bye in the playoffs after securing the number one seed in the NFC and the AFC respectively. The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in terms of bets placed with the leading sports betting sites worldwide. 

An estimated $7.6 billion was wagered on last year's Super Bowl, which the Los Angeles Rams won with a tense 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Anyone who backed the Bengals to cover the spread, or backed under 48.5 points, would have been celebrating at the end of the game. 

At Bookies.com, we've analyzed all 56 Super Bowls played to date to highlight the best betting trends you need to know.

Underdogs Have Their Day

The Kansas City Chiefs opened as underdogs for Super Bowl LVII, which is sure to fire up quarterback and MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, who will see it as a slight, just as he did in the AFC Championship game against the Bengals. An injured Mahomes threw for 315 yards and crucially ran five yards on third-and-four late in the fourth quarter, which set up Harrison Butker's game-winning field goal from 45 yards. But how often do the favorites become Super Bowl champions?

Overall, the favorites are 37-19 in the big game. However, in recent years, the underdogs have had their day more often than not. In the last 11 Super Bowls, the teams handed the underdog tag have won seven times. The Chiefs are one of the four teams to have recently won as favorites, when they beat the 49ers in February 2020. The Patriots (Super Bowls LI and LIII) and the Rams last year are the other teams to win when they were expected to.

Under Might Be The Right Call

Super Bowl LVII will be televised by Fox, and no doubt the broadcaster will want a high scoring shoot-out between the two number one seeds in the NFL. Purists, on the other hand, will happily settle for a defensive struggle with a winning field goal in the dying seconds to seal a 13-10 win. So which side of the over/under should you consider?

In each of the last four Super Bowls, under has been a winning bet. Last year, the points total was set at 48.5, but the Rams and Bengals combined for 43 points. Twelve months before that, the Chiefs and Buccaneers shared 40 points when the line was set at 56. In Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers and Chiefs scored 51 points which fell 3.5 points, below the total set by the leading NFL betting sites. At the end of the 2019 season, the Patriots and Rams were expected to pile on the points. The over/under total of 57.5 was the highest ever for a Super Bowl, but with Tom Brady and Jared Goff leading the respective offenses, 16 points was all they could manage.

In the previous 56 Super Bowls, the average points per game is 46.1, which includes the six points the Patriots scored in overtime to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. The first half averages 21.6 points, while the second half has seen an average of 24.4 points. The second half has been the highest scoring half 34 times, including 17 of the last 23 Super Bowls. The over/under for this year's championship game was set at 52. If it stays at that level, it's worth noting that the last four Super Bowls have seen points totals of 16, 51, 40 and 43.

The winning margin throughout the history of the NFL's biggest game is 13.9 points. And three of the previous four Super Bowls have been won by 10 points or more. Could the Chiefs or Eagles win this game by 10 points or more? We'll know soon enough.

An Early Score Helps But Not Always

Scoring first in any game is important as it can set the tone for the remainder of the game. But in the Super Bowl scoring first takes on greater significance. After a fortnight of hyping the game up, nerves can play a big part, which is often why teams prefer to have their defense on the field for the opening drive. Whether it's the Eagles or Chiefs offense we see first, there is a lot of pressure on scoring points either by a touchdown or a field goal.

In the previous 56 Super Bowls, the team that has scored the first points has gone on to win 37 times. That includes Super Bowl LIV when the Eagles took the opening kickoff, kept the ball for seven minutes and five seconds before settling for a 26-yard field goal after a 16-play, 72-yard drive. In the second highest scoring Super Bowl of all time, Philadelphia's defense made a late stand to deny Tom Brady's Patriots what could have been a game-tying touchdown.

Scoring first does not always guarantee victory. In two of the last three Super Bowls, the teams that scored first lost. The Chiefs were the last team to suffer the disappointment of opening the scoring only to lose. A 49-yard field goal by Harrison Butker gave the Chiefs an early 3-0 lead over the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, but Tampa Bay went on to win 31-9 thanks to three touchdown passes from Tom Brady.

Can It Be All White On The Night, Again?

The Philadelphia Eagles have been designated the home team for Super Bowl LVII and with that comes the choice of what color uniform they decide to wear. The decision to wear their white jerseys might be the way to go, given the success of teams wearing white in recent Super Bowls. Of the last 18 teams to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, 15 wore their white uniforms. However, two of the three winning teams not wearing white happen to be contesting this year's championship game. 

The Chiefs wore their red jerseys when they stormed back to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV. Kansas City trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter, but 21 unanswered points saw the Chiefs win their second Super Bowl and their first since beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV, when they also wore red. However, red did not bring them luck a year later when they lost Super Bowl LV to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

This is the fourth time the Eagles have reached a Super Bowl, and they are looking to level their record at 2-2. In all three of their previous Super Bowl appearances, Philadelphia wore their green uniform. After losing Super Bowl XV and XXXIX to the Raiders and Patriots respectively, it was third time lucky in Super Bowl LII. A rematch with New England took place in Minnesota, in a game that produced 74 points, one short of the record set in Super Bowl XXIX when the 49ers beat the Chargers 49-26. 

Will Coin Toss Jinx Continue?

While the designated home team choose which jerseys they get to wear, the away team is given the call when the coin is tossed. If they win the toss, they can decide whether to receive the opening kickoff in the hope of scoring an early touchdown to set the tone for the rest of the game. Or they can choose to defer and receive the kickoff to start the second half. 

In each of the last eight Super Bowls, the team that has won the toss has gone on to lose. The Seattle Seahawks were the last team to win the Super Bowl after winning the toss, when doing so in their 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Seattle called tails that day, and it landed in their favor. 

When the Eagles won their first Super Bowl six seasons ago, New England won the toss by calling heads in Minnesota. But Philadelphia produced one of the most creative plays in the history of the Super Bowl with their 'Philly Special' on fourth-and-one from the Patriots' one-yard line. The trick play ended with quarterback Nick Foles catching a pass from tight end Trey Burton at the end of the second quarter to give the Eagles a 22-12 lead.

When the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, they also lost the toss as San Francisco successfully called tails. It looked as though the 49ers were going to end the five-year jinx when they led 20-10 midway through the fourth quarter. On a third-and-15, Patrick Mahomes got his wish and executed the 'Jet Chip Wasp' play to perfection. The 44-yard completion to Tyreek Hill gave the Chiefs momentum, which they kept for the remainder of the game to score touchdowns on their last three drives in the final eight minutes and 53 seconds.

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Receivers Lead The Way In Touchdown Scorers

Betting on touchdown scorers is one of the more popular Super Bowl wagers. Will it be a pass to a receiver, a rushing play by a running back, or could special teams and defense get in on the act? We've analyzed the last 10 Super Bowls to find out who is most likely to find the end zone.

The last 10 Super Bowls have produced a total of 56 touchdowns. Wide receivers have scored 20 of them, running backs are just two behind on 18, while tight ends are third on the list with nine. Quarterbacks (3), defense (3), special teams (2) and full-backs (1) combined for the remaining nine. Wide receivers have scored the first touchdown in four of the last 10 Super Bowls, with running backs scoring the opening touchdown three times while quarterbacks (1), tight ends (1) and defense (1) complete the list. Be sure to check out our NFL player props if you want to bet on the first touchdown scorer.

Passing touchdowns lead the way with 35 of the 56 touchdowns scored in the last decade of Super Bowls coming through the air. A further 16 have been on the ground while there have been two pick-6s, two kickoff returns and one fumble return. In all 56 Super Bowl games, touchdowns have been the first points scored 27 times, while field goals are just one behind on 26 and three Super Bowls have started with a safety being scored. 

About the Author

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com
Charlie Mullan
UK-based stats man Charlie Mullan brings previous expertise from the Press Association, DraftKings, Betfair, SportPesa, Hull Daily Mail and more where he has crunched soccer data for many seasons, creating content to support odds providers and market makers in the European betting industry. Charlie has more than a decade of experience using in-depth stats to make informed picks across the biggest games in the EPL and European soccer leagues.