If I'm being honest, I generally stay away from betting the Super Bowl total most years. Why? For one, both teams have the same amount of time to prepare, so that's a wash. But mainly it's because there's no home-field advantage. The college football National Championship Game is also held at a neutral site, but those games are filled with fans from each team and some teams travel (Alabama) way better than others.
Have you ever been to a Super Bowl? You aren't going to see a large section of raucous fans cheering for either side. It's mostly a corporate event these days as regular fans can't afford the game ticket on top of travel and jacked-up hotel accommodations in the Super Bowl city.
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Super Bowl 50 Weather Looks Good
Another reason I often bypass the Super Bowl total is that you don't get a potential weather advantage. The game is always played in a warm-weather outdoor stadium or in a dome. But that's changing. Two years ago, MetLife Stadium outside New York City hosted the first cold-weather outdoor Super Bowl, and it was a giant success -- the weather cooperated in a big way but the NFL also got lucky because that area was pounded by a winter storm shortly after Super Bowl Sunday. That Super Bowl featured the NFL's top offense, the record-setting Denver Broncos, against its No. 1 defense, the Seattle Seahawks. The total was 47.5. The Seahawks rolled 43-8 as that defense overwhelmed Peyton Manning, who was part of a safety on the first play from scrimmage. The weather really wasn't a factor; plus both the Broncos and Seahawks were outdoor teams used to playing in the elements.
Last year's game also featured Seattle's top-ranked defense against a very good New England offense in the University of Phoenix Stadium dome in the desert. The total was 47.5 again, and the Patriots won 28-24. Thus, the over has now hit in three straight Super Bowls.
Super Bowl 50 is held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home of the San Francisco 49ers even though the stadium is about 45 miles south of San Francisco. I've been to San Francisco, and the weather there is always unpredictable. Candlestick Park was right in a wind tunnel. I've not been to Santa Clara, so I can't speak for the weather around Levi's Stadium. The weather.com forecast as of this writing has Feb. 7 with a high of 67 and low of 48 with nearly zero percent chance of precipitation and winds at only seven miles per hour. So it appears weather shouldn't matter there, either.
The current total for Super Bowl 50 is 45 points , down from an open of 45.5. That's the lowest it has been since Super Bowl XLV, when it was also 45. Green Bay beat Pittsburgh 31-25 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in that game.
The last Super Bowl to go under the total was XLVI when the total was 53 points between the Patriots and Giants in Indianapolis. New England had the No. 3 scoring offense that season and New York the No. 9 defense (24.6 ppg allowed). The Giants won in a 21-17 upset.
The Broncos' Manning is 1-2 in his Super Bowl career straight up. Two of his three games have gone under, both with the Colts. In XLIV the total was a whopping 57, the highest in Super Bowl history. New Orleans and Drew Brees won 31-17 in Miami. Manning's lone Super Bowl victory was also in Miami, XLI against Chicago. The total was 47, and the Colts won 29-17 on a rainy night. That nearly was a push on the total, and as far as I can tell, there has never been one even though the majority of Super Bowl totals haven't closed on a half-point total.
Super Bowl 50 Betting Trends
Denver had the NFL's No. 1 total defense during the regular season and was No. 4 in scoring defense, allowing 18.5 points per game. The Broncos were 6-9-1 O/U during the season, and both playoff games have gone under against two fantastic offenses in the Steelers and Patriots. Those teams also had to play in the thin air of Denver, and the altitude seemed to really affect New England star tight end Rob Gronkowski for some of the AFC title game. The under is 5-1 in Denver's past six playoff games overall.
Behind NFL MVP lock Cam Newton, the Panthers led the NFL in scoring offense, averaging 31.3 points per game. The Panthers were 10-5-1 O/U during the regular season despite having an excellent defense themselves. Both playoff games have gone over -- the Panthers alone topped the total of 47 points in the NFC title game with a 49-15 win over Arizona, the NFL's No. 2 scoring offense. The over is 6-0 in the Panthers' past six games after a win of at least 14 points.
Super Bowl 50 Totals Betting Picks and Predictions
I'm going under. That Broncos excellent pass rush led by DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller is going to give Newton some trouble -- Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is one of the best in the NFL, and given two weeks he will figure out a way to spy Newton. Plus, the Panthers receivers won't scare the Broncos. Meanwhile, Manning simply is average at best these days and isn't going to be leading his offense to a 30-point day at this point in his Hall of Fame career. Carolina cornerback Josh Norman will take like Demaryius Thomas completely out of the game.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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