Super Bowls By the Numbers

January 26, 2016

On February 7, Super Bowl 50 will kick off. The annual end of the season championship of the NFL started in 1967. Prior to that, the NFL and AFL each had their own title games, but did not play a final game to determine one champion.

Overall, the NFC has an edge of 26-23 in the previous 49 Super Bowls. The team with the most Super Bowl wins is the Pittsburgh Steelers with six, while both the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys each have five Super Bowl titles.

More tickets and money is bet on the Super Bowl in the United States that for any other one individual sporting event.

Favorites in the Super Bowl are 33-15 straight while 26-18-3 against the number. One Super Bowl was a Pick ‘em.

The over/under is 25-23. The biggest upset took place in Super Bowl III when the Baltimore Colts were 18-point chalk against the New York Jets, and the Jets won outright 16-7.

Usually when it comes to the Super Bowl, the point spread does not matter that often. In the 49 previous Super Bowls, just six have been won by the favorite who failed to cover the number. Those were in 1976, 1989, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2009.

During last season’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, the closing line for the majority of books was pick ‘em, which was a first for the Super Bowl. The Pats rallied to beat the Seahawks by four points 28-24.

Bookmakers were correct with their number for two Super Bowls, which produced a push or tie. Those two were in 1997 and 2000.

For odds makers the most infamous of Super Bowls was Super Bowl XIII. In that game, Pittsburgh opened as 4.5-points chalk against the Dallas Cowboys. That line dropped to just 3.5 points with early action supporting the Cowboys.

Dallas lost that game by a score of 35-31. Early Dallas bettors were able to cash on the 4.5-point spread with Pittsburgh favored, while Pittsburgh bettors were able to win on the closing 3.5-point line.

Because of that double whammy by bettors on the books, Super Bowl XIII is known as Black Sunday for bookmakers.